ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — The Hammerhead Shark that washed up on Orange Beach Thursday was pregnant with 40 shark pups, according to researchers from the Mississippi State University Marine Fisheries Ecology Department.

The City of Orange Beach Coastal Resources posted on Facebook what researchers found during an autopsy on the shark. The resource team said they contacted Dr. Drymon from MSU who is a researcher that focuses on coastal sharks. Drymon sent a team to Orange Beach to perform the autopsy.

Researchers discovered that the dead 14-foot shark was female and it was pregnant with 40 shark pups. According to the post, it is very rare to find a large pregnant female shark, however, the data the researchers were able to collect will be helpful in learning more about the species.

“This was definitely an experience that we won’t forget, and we are grateful to have played a small role in this unique case,” read the post. The cause of death has not been determined.