24-Foot Shark Washes Up on L.I. Beach

A necropsy will determine what killed the creature

By Victoria Cavaliere
|  Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009  |  Updated 7:30 AM EDT
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Officials measured the shark, which is full grown and came in at 24 feet long.

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A 24-foot shark washed ashore on a Long Island beach today, but died a short time later, police said.

It’s unclear how the basking shark died or how it found its way to Gilgo State Park near Babylon in Suffolk County.  A necropsy will be performed soon.

Basking sharks are the second largest shark in the sea after the whale shark and are not a threat to humans.

According to marine biologists, these sharks have no teeth and are called basking sharks because they are often observed when feeding at the surface and appear to be basking in the water.  They can grow up to 30-feet long and the one found today is full grown, experts said.

Basking sharks often feed close to land and will enter enclosed bays as they follow concentrations of plankton.  They also inhabit warmer sea water around the continental shelves, marine experts said.

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