Over 700 tons of these animals are legally caught each year in gill nets off the West Coast of South Africa. Picture: Saambr

Durban - Last week a school of St. Joseph sharks, also known as elephant shark, were one of the unusual new additions at the uShaka Sea World aquarium.

“These unusual fish are known as Chimaera, because they are part fish and part shark. Their skeleton is cartilaginous and they have external claspers for reproduction, like sharks and rays, but they have only one gill opening, on each side and their skin is smooth, like some fish,” the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (Saambr) said on their Facebook page.

The fish are found in cooler waters around the coast of South Africa.

“Over 700 tons of these animals are legally caught each year in gill nets off the West Coast of South Africa. We are privileged to be able to share these special fish with our visitors, they remind us yet again of the wonder of nature,” Saambr said.

Here is how Facebook users reacted to the new addition:

Tayla Ginsburg: Such a wonderful opportunity to see a rare species!

John S Jackson: Why they still netting them. Surely they endangered. Never seen them or even heard of them before.

Dudu Megan Vilane: Beautiful specimens....saw them at Two Oceans...so glad that uShaka Sea World also exhibit them...amazing wonders...something new to come see..

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