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Rare Breed Of ‘Walking Shark’ Spotted On Beach

Rare Breed Of ‘Walking Shark’ Spotted On Beach

The epaulette shark was spotted using its fins to crawl over rocks in Papau New Guinea

In the latest instalment of 'your nightmares come to life', a rare 'walking shark' has been spotted making its way across land in Papau New Guinea.

I know what you're thinking - sharks can be scary enough when they're confined to the ocean, so the last thing we need is to have to start worrying about them on dry land too.

Thankfully, this shark is small enough that we probably don't need to have those fears - at least not yet.

Check it out below:

Footage of the rare epaulette shark, also known as the Hemiscyllium Ocellatum, was shared amid Discovery's Shark Week as wildlife biologist Forrest Galante hosted Island of the Walking Sharks.

Far from the huge grey creatures you might conjure up in your mind upon hearing the word 'shark', the epaulette shark is a long, slender creature that is typically cream or brown in colour and is covered with spots.

They can venture out of the ocean to forage for food in tide pools, surviving for up to an hour without oxygen as they use their fins to 'walk' across the land.

After witnessing the rare scene, conservationist and biologist Galante said: “This is the first time in history one of the Papuan species of epaulettes has been documented walking.

"This is so incredible. All traits are selected for, when it allows a species to survive better and eke out an environment where they're safe and can get food.

"But once they're done, they're trapped. What epaulettes have learned to do is climb up in the reef and plop themselves in the next tide pool."

Though sharks of any kind learning to walk might be a slight concern to generations who encounter more evolved versions, for now we're safe from the creatures as they only feast on worms, bony fish and crustaceans.

Epaulettes only grow to around 25 inches in length, and tend to hunt at dawn and dusk to keep themselves safe.

Galante was widely praised by fans of Shark Week after the walking shark was caught on camera, with one fan writing: "What a great show! And as always, only @ForrestGalante could find the sharks AND witness one walking on land."

Another commented: "@ForrestGalante once again, Forrest has my fav show on shark week. That was awesome. Thank you!"

The presenter himself admitted on Instagram he 'totally freak[ed] out' when he watched the scene unfold before him and encouraged people to catch up on the events on Discovery.

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Featured Image Credit: Discovery/ Matthew Oldfield Underwater Photography / Alamy

Topics: Animals, Film and TV