A 20 foot (6m) long, one ton basking shark has washed up on a beach on Long Island, New York.
According to reports the shark is alive but is believed to be dying from an unknown illness. There are no marks on the shark suggesting that it wasn’t hit by a boat or attacked by other sharks.
Basking sharks are the second largest living sharks and are common in the waters off New York, although not so commonly found on New York breaches. The species is classified as vulnerable, and gets the name basking shark because it is most often observed when feeding at the surface and appears to be basking. Unlike a range of its relatives, the basking shark is considered harmless and is a “filter feeder,” that is it eats by straining suspended matter and food particles from water.
A video of the basking shark from a local New York TV station as follows: