July 14, 2009 -- A 20-foot-long basking shark that appears to have died from some kind of illness has washed ashore on a Long Island beach.
New York State Parks official George Gorman said Tuesday that researchers will examine the shark to determine a cause of death.
After that, it will be buried in nearby sand dunes on the beach.
The basking shark, which are a common sight in the waters off Long Island, washed ashore on a town beach a few miles east of Jones Beach. Basking sharks are not considered dangerous. They eat plankton.
Tracy Marcus of Cornell Cooperative Extension says the shark weighs about a ton. She says it is unusual for an ailing basking shark to come ashore. Usually they die in the ocean.