What's Inside the Stomach of a Great White Shark? Find out, Live!
January 7, 2008 @ 2:00pm (Pacific) Loading Dock, Maunsell Road, Newmarket entrance
The public are invited to view the autopsy and come face to face with the shark from 11am-1pm in the loading dock at the south-eastern corner of the Museum. In one of the most iconic scenes in cinema history, Richard Dreyfuss of Jaws cuts open the stomach of a shark to reveal a crushed tin can and a licence plate. Auckland Museum recreates this incredible operation when with public necropsy, or animal autopsy, on a 3.0 metre long, 300 kg Great White Shark.
The event, run in collaboration with the Department of Conservation, is to raise awareness of the threats facing this magnificent and vulnerable species, and to dispel the unfortunate myths surrounding it.
The female large Great White Shark was retrieved in the Kaipara Harbour on Monday last week, entangled and dead in a gill net. The fisherman notified the Department of Conservation Auckland Area staff who recovered the shark.
The Great White Shark is protected in New Zealand. It is not against the law to accidentally kill a Great White Shark, but it is illegal not to inform the Department of Conservation if one is caught or killed. The necropsy will be carried out by Clinton Duffy of the Department of Conservation Marine Conservation Section and Dr. Tom Trnski, Marine Curator of the Auckland Museum.
"This is a rare opportunity for people to get a close look at a Great White, and to see how scientists find out more about the complexities of the natural world through their research," says Dr. Trnski. "Little is known about the life history of these apex predators of the ocean, and we hope to learn more about the shark's recent past before it came into the harbour."
The operation will examine the shark's stomach contents, take measurements of internal organs, as well as investigating the gills and removing the jaws.
Great White facts:
Diet: Fish, rays, sea lions, seals, sea-birds, small whales, turtles, porpoises, carrion and other sharks. Speed: Can reach 40kmh when in pursuit of prey and can leap clear out of the water. Size: Up to 6 metres. Weight: Up to 2 tons. Habitat: Great White Sharks live in almost all cold or temperate waters of the world, including New Zealand, and can be found close inshore and well offshore over the deep oceans. Did you know?
Great Whites can detect one drop of blood in 100 litres of water and can sense even tiny amounts of blood in the water up to 5 kilometres. Despite their fearsome reputation, far more people are killed each year by dogs than have been killed by Great White Sharks in the last 100 years. The Great White has far more to fear from humans. It has been listed as a Vulnerable Species, but is still targeted for the trade in its teeth, jaws and fins.