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A hammerhead shark has been sighted in British waters for the first ever time, scientists have revealed.
The predator, that has a distinctive hammer-shaped flattened head, was spotted in the Celtic Sea about 100 miles south west of Ireland.
Appearance - Surface - Sea - Marine - Scientists
Its appearance on the surface of the sea was fleeting but two nearby marine scientists were able to positively identify it by its unique dorsal fin.
The species is not normally found in waters this far north but experts believe hammerheads could become regular visitors to British waters by 2050 due to rising sea temperatures.
Animal - Survey - Stocks - Area - Celtic
The animal was spotted during a survey of herring stocks in an area of the Celtic Sea by scientists from the Marine Institute based in Galway, Ireland.
The survey is carried out every year on board the Marine Institute's RV Celtic Explorer.
Humans - Hammerhead - Shark
No humans are recorded to have been killed by a hammerhead shark since
Hammerheads, that can grow to 20ft in length, usually inhabit warm and tropical waters such as the Caribbean and West Africa and migrate to cooler seas in the summer.
Experts - Lone - Specimen - Oceans - Warmer
Experts say the lone specimen could have been lost but probably ventured further north than normal due to the oceans getting warmer.
Its arrival could also make it more likely that a Great White shark may be seen in UK waters in the near future.
John - Power - Observer - Hammerhead - 'While
John Power, a marine mammal observer who spotted the hammerhead, said: 'While scanning the ocean surface, we sighted a dorsal fin unlike anything we had encountered before. It was quite different to the fins seen on basking sharks and blue sharks.
'After consulting available ID keys, we agreed that the shark must be a smooth hammerhead.'
Dr - Paul - Connolly - Director - Fisheries
Dr Paul Connolly, director of fisheries and ecosystems services at the Marine...
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