A TRIP to the beach turned up an exciting find for six-year-old Harrison Calsby.
He was with his mum, Eve, near Shoreham Fort when he discovered the remains of a shark last Wednesday.
They were on a day out from their Brighton home and Eve said he was really excited, although they did not know exactly what species it was.
Steve Savage, education co-ordinator for the Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve, confirmed it was a small shark species, possibly a smoothhound.
“The smoothhound is predominantly an inshore species, where it feeds on bottom living crustaceans, but may also eat squid and fish,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the tail shape and the orientation and relative size of the various fins, which would normally be good indicators of species, are not visible.
“This is a male as you can clearly see the claspers, which are an extension of the pelvic fins.”
There are more than 500 species of shark worldwide and 35 different species of shark visit UK waters.
Steve said: “We often find egg cases of small British sharks belonging to the dogfish (catshark family) and rays which are often referred to as mermaid’s purse.
“However, the smoothhounded is a viviparous species which means they bear live young that have developed inside the body of the female shark. Smoothhound can produce between four and15 young sharks called pups.”
Many species of shark are endangered worldwide, including the great white shark.
Steve has written five children’s books on sharks and also runs shark courses for schools and adult groups.
The Shoreham Beach Nature Reserve runs an extensive education programme which includes a local and global view of sharks. A list of their current programme can be downloaded from www.fosbeach.com/education-onshoreham-beach/