What wildlife lives in the Thames as shark fin spotted near the London Eye is revealed to be a hoax?

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  • July 16, 2020
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Wait, is a shark really lurking in the water of the River Thames? Nope, turns out it was a hoax.

A mysterious shark-like fin was reportedly spotted yesterday by Westminster, Vauxhall and Hammersmith by witnesses who shared photos of it on social media.

While seals and the odd whale and dolphin have previously found their way into the river, a spokesperson for the Port of London authority said a shark was ‘unlikely’.

Turns out they were right as they have since received a phone call from the guilty perpetrators confessing to their pointless ruse.

‘He phoned us late last night to say it was photoshop,’ explained Martin Garside from Port London Authority.

Adding to the Evening Standard: ‘He said he was trying to hoax the media and called to apologise that it took up some of our time.’

That’s not to say that other animals don’t live in the waters – here’s what you can find.

How big is the Thames and what wildlife lives there?

This might amaze you, but the River Thames is 215 miles long (346 km).

The Thames begins in Gloucestershire at Trewsbury Mead (near Cheltenham) and ends between Whitstable, Kent, and Foulness Point, Essex.

The river’s depth varies wildly but at London Bridge it’s 1.8m. It’s recorded as 1.9m at Westminster Bridge.

That’s a lot of water and distance for wildlife to happily make a home.

The Thames Estuary is home to harbour seals, grey seals, harbour porpoises and sometimes even dolphins and whales.

Oh, and over 120 species of fish such as roach, Chub, Perch, Dace, Pike and Bream.

There are also two rarities: the Twaite Shad (a type of migrating herring) and Sea Lamprey spawning in the tidal Thames.

Fish aren’t the only ones living it up there though.

There are numerous small animals known as invertebrates (animals without backbones) flourishing in or along the river banks.

Many go unnoticed, living in the depths, hiding under rocks, crawling along the foreshore or drifting on the surface, but without them, the fish folk would be without food.

Among them are Brown and Opossum Shrimp, Prawns, Oligochaete Worms, Ragworms, Shore Crabs, Chinese Mitten Crabs, Water Hog-louse, Leeches, River Limpets, Snails, Shrimps, Cockles, Starfish and Whiteweed.

During the months of May and June you can spot Alderflies, Mayflies and Caddisflies.

Plus, there are Dragonflies, Damselflies, Whirligig beetles, Waterboatmen and Pond Skaters – David Attenborough eat your heart out.

Elsewhere, nature lovers can tick the Water Vole, Otter and American Mink off of their list.

While twitchers can delight in the Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Mallard Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Greylag Goose, Grey Heron, Coot and Moorhen.

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