A variety of sharks have been found to be swimming in the Thames and though they might not be as imposing as other predatory fish, this variety of shark can release venom from their fins.
Hundreds of animals call River Thames home
The sharks that have been observed to have taken refuge in the Thames are the tope, which can grow to as large as six feet, starry smooth-hounds and spurdogs. The latter are the ones responsible for releasing venom into the water which can cause swelling and discomfort in humans.
Experts believe that these sharks have decided to occupy these waters to nurse their offspring as these types of sharks are known for preferring to give birth in more shallow bodies of water. But it's not only sharks that have decided to call River Thames home. According to Alison Debney, who works at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), over 115 species of fish, 92 species of birds, seals and nearly 600 hectares of salt march now live there too. She explains that:
Estuaries provide us with clean water, protection from flooding and are an important nursery for wildlife. This report has enabled us to really look at how far the Thames has come on its journey to recovery.
A rather positive indication
And though this might sound a little scary for some of you, it is actually an indication thatwildlife preservation measures are working. The fact that more species can allow themselves to live in this particular area actually shows that water quality and oxygen concentrations are favourable. Conservation biologist Thea Cox said:
As top predators, (seals) are a great indicator of ecological health, so they tell us how the Thames is doing.