Page last updated at 13:12 GMT, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 14:12 UK

Shark hatches out in diver's hand

Baby shark, Ariel
The baby shark was put in quarantine for his own safety

A baby shark had an out of water birth when he popped out of his egg into a diver's hands in Cheshire.

The creature decided to enter the world as eggs were being transferred from Blue Planet Aquarium's 3.8m litre Caribbean Reef display.

Measuring just 10cm (4ins) in length, the bamboo shark was taken to the quarantine section for medical checks.

Diver Kelly Timmins said: "We're just hoping it doesn't bond with the first thing it sees, which was me."

The shark has been named Ariel and is coping well without his mother.

'Growing well'

"It is pretty unique for a shark to be born out of the water," Ms Timmins added. "Ariel's doing well though.

"These sharks spend the first few weeks living off a little egg before moving on to solid food but he's growing well.

"We're also hoping it is only a matter of time before his brothers and sisters start hatching out - although we're hoping they'll do it all in the water."

The aim is to get the eggs out of the main ocean display before they hatch to protect them from the larger species.

Bamboo sharks are distributed in many areas, including Indonesia, India, Arabia, China, Japan, and the Philippines. They are also common in coral reefs.

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