One rescue operation found 2 seals with spikes on the neck.
At first they thought they were pieces of wood, or perhaps thorns from a stem. About a year ago in Namibia there was a mass death of seals.
Thousands of seals of different age groups were dying on the shore.
However, they knew that hunger was killing these poor animals.
They were desperate for food, and the only thing available to them was the St. Joseph shark.
Sometimes the food is bitten off.
One of the rescuers found two seals with spikes around their necks.
Naud and Denzil of Ocean Conservation Namibia rescued the injured seals. One of them had a strange spike sticking out of his neck.
At the time, they thought they were pieces of wood, or perhaps thorns from a trunk.
However, this meeting helped them discover the true cause of the spots. What they thought was ordinary salvation gave them the answers they needed.
It was the Saint Joseph shark.
The young cape male even had a whole fish with him.
The Saint Joseph Shark, also called the Cape Elephantfish, is a true chimera, a member of a subclass of primitive fish that diverged before many of the characteristics we associate with sharks developed. It’s not a shark or bony fish.
As a result, the St. Joseph shark has some distinctive features, and they are similar to the ratfish found in the United States.
Saint Joseph sharks are quite common.
They are mainly found in the shallow seas of the Western Cape, although they can also be found in Namibia and the Eastern Cape.
Despite popular belief, chimeras are actually quite numerous.
The Saint Joseph shark is the only common shallow water species, as most chimeras live in deep sea habitats.
Their bites are grim.
Large stingers protrude from the dorsal fin.