Originally Posted by Nate
Not strictly true - some shark species give birth to live young, basking sharks among them.
I stand corrected . I had just as well tell the story where I got the info from .
It was about 10 years ago .
I was Kayaking with a friend having left Penzance on a calm hot day heading for Lands End .
I was close under Tater Du lighthouse and a basking shark swam the other way feeding, it was a really big one so I turned around and caut it up and paddled along right beside him as he fed . I was close enough to touch his fin .
The shark then closed its mouth and dived away . As I turned in a big arc to re join my mate who was keeping clear he shouted look out , the shark was swimming fast on the surface mouth closed right for the centre of my boat . I paddled out of the way and kept going fast, the shark went round me and then appeared to give chase for about 100 yds . I was going flat out about 7mph and my mate was about 50 yds to the side watching . The shark then disapeared which was just as well as I was Knackered . This shark was not feeding as he chased me and we were bothe quite shaken up.
a few hundred yds later we passed a much smaller basking shark going the same direction as the first . We left it well alone and I concluded this was the young of the first one hence its actions .
My mates Dad is Doctor Potts a marine biologist at plymouth aquarium . I called him to tell the story and find out what I had done wrong. We used to report all shark and dolphin sightings to Dr Potts .
He was surprised by the sharks action and Iam certain told me that it was nothing to do with caring for young and that they lay eggs . I even seem to remember the description of the egg, it being like a woodscrew so it settles into the sand . He said there was a lot more to learn about basking sharks and that he had spent much time snorkeling with them and studying them .
I must have the info he gave me mixed up unless they have only found out since that they do give birth , the info on the net is quite sketchy but does as you say state that they give birth
Whenever I asked Dr Potts a question the pencil would come out and I would often get an ilustration of the creature , he was a great artist .