Three angelsharks washed up on Chicken Ranch Beach last week, too decayed for necropsies by the time a Department of Fish and Wildlife researcher responded. Yet Dr. Mark Okihiro, a senior fish pathologist for the department, said sharks commonly die from naturally occurring pathogens that disorient them. “Most of these shark species, we have a pretty good idea of what kills them,” he said. “But we haven’t had a chance to look at angelsharks. It would be nice to get our hands on one of the little swimmers next time they get stranded.” Over the last 50 years, hundreds to thousands of leopard sharks have washed up on Bay Area beaches, killed by these parasitic pathogens, but this is the first report the Department of Fish and Wildlife has received a report of dead angelsharks. The bottom-dwelling ambush predators usually live in shallow Southern California waters and are rare this far up the coast, according to Sean Van Sommeran, the executive director of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation. “There’s a lot of stuff [going on] in California that we don’t usually see happening,” he said. The beached angelsharks may represent just a small portion of the dead sharks—whose bodies don’t float—in Tomales Bay. — Braden Cartwright   David Briggs