Page last updated at 13:35 GMT, Thursday, 24 September 2009 14:35 UK

Thresher shark is found on beach

Thresher shark
The 12 foot long Thresher shark was found on Hayle Beach

A 12ft shark of a breed rarely seen off the Cornish coast has been found washed up on a beach.

The thresher shark was seen in the water by surfers at Hayle, on the north Cornwall coast, on Wednesday night and reported to the coastguard.

Ian Rayson, who spotted the shark, said: "Its back tail kept coming out of the water. Its gills and things weren't moving so we knew it wasn't alive."

Threshers can grow up to 20ft (6m) and are identified by their tail length.

Whip-like tail

The shark which was discovered had a 6ft (1.8m) long body, with a tail of the same length.

Dave Jarvis from Cornwall Wildlife Trust, who formally identified the shark, said: "It's in good condition physically, so we're going to take some photographs and some measurements and see if we can make some arrangements for post-mortem."

The Cornish Wildlife Marine Trust is hoping to find an agency to carry out the post-mortem examination.

The species is said to be harmless to humans although can cause some damage with its strong, whip-like tail.

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