Story filed: 12:35 Monday 22nd April 2002
Rarest shark washes up on South African beach
A rare megamouth shark has been washed up on a beach in South Africa.
The 11.5ft shark is only the second female of the species to be sighted
anywhere in the world.
It is the first time one of the sharks has been seen in South Africa.
It was washed up dead on the beach at Natures Valley near Plettenberg Bay.
The shark will be examined by Dr Malcolm Smale of the Port Elizabeth Museum.
Dr Vic Cockcroft, from the Centre for Dolphin Studies, says the shark
resembled a tadpole, although it was at least 500 times bigger.
The species was not known to exist until 1976 and only about a dozen
megamouth sharks have ever been spotted, caught or washed ashore, reports
the Daily Mail and Guardian.
The shark has been previously sighted off Hawaii, California, Japan, the
Philippines, Senegal, Indonesia and Western Australia.