Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Rare shark birth captured on camera

2 January 2015 Last updated at 11:23

By Victoria GillScience reporter, BBC NewsContinue reading the main story

A remarkable photograph of the live birth of a thresher shark has cast light on the lives of these elusive, vulnerable fish.

The image, taken during a research dive in 2013 and now published in the journal Coral Reefs, is believed to be the first record of a birth in this species.

Lead researcher Dr Simon Oliver from the University of Chester told BBC News that this was also "the first record of any oceanic species giving birth".

He added that seeing the image was one of the most exciting moments in his career.

"We were doing a standard survey - out every day, making observations, " Dr Oliver recalled.

"One of [our team] is a photographer - Attila Kaszo. He took the picture of the shark, and when he processed the image and showed it to me, I freaked out."

Dr Simon Thorrold, a senior scientist fromWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, US, described the photograph, which has now been published in the journal Coral Reefs, as "amazing".

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