Local wildlife photographer Alex Aitkenhead has posted pictures of a juvenile thresher shark carcass that washed ashore at Sunset Beach last week.
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“It’s not often we get to see this remarkable shark, this is a thresher shark, using its long tail to stun its prey and then consume it. I’m not sure why this juvenile washed up on our shores at Sunset Beach,” Aitkenhead wrote.
Aitkenhead explained that thresher sharks were large lamniform sharks of the Alopiidae family found in all temperate and tropical oceans of the world; the family contains three extant species, within the genus Alopias and classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with a depleting population.
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The shark’s eyes were missing, but Aitkenhead said this was a common occurrence and was purely a case of smaller fish eating the softest part of the body.
CAUSE OF SHARK’S DEATH UNKNOWN
It suggests that the animal was in the water for quite a long time, probably about a day or two after it died.
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Thresher sharks’ predators include larger sharks, but the absence of any obvious bite wounds in this instance suggest this particular shark died for other reasons.
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The cause of death at the time of publishing remains unknown.
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