Great white shark autopsy to stream live on web


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A museum in New Zealand is to perform a live necropsy on a Great white shark this Thursday to raise awareness of a much maligned species.

Clinton Duffy of the Department of Conservation Marine Conservation Section in New Zealand and Tom Trnski, Marine Curator of the Auckland Museum will perform the autopsy at the museum s loading dock at 11am-1pm (Wednesday 11pm- 1am UK time) on Thursday 8th January in front of a public audience of up to 1000 people and the footage will be streamed live via its website.

The shark measures 3 metres in length and weighs in at 300kg. It was retrieved last week after becoming entangled and dying in a gill net in Kaipara Bay, Auckland. The Great White Shark is protected in New Zealand. Although it is not against the law to accidentally kill a Great white shark, it is illegal not to inform the Department of Conservation if one is caught or killed.

The scientists will dissect the shark in an open amphitheatre at the Auckland Museum and examine its stomach contents, measure its internal organs and record all their findings for international shark research. Thawing of the shark this morning revealed that it is a female so they will also examine its reproductive organs.

Dr. Trnski said 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. 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.

Once completed, the museum will keep the jaws for display and hang on to some tissue and DNA samples for future research.

This couldn t have come at a better time after a spate of shark sightings including a fatal shark attack off the coast of Australia and New Zealand.

A Sydney beach was closed on Sunday after a sighting of three hammerhead sharks and Western Australian authorities have stepped up the frequency of helicopter ~shark patrols . Despite this panic, only 60 people have been killed in Australia in the last 50 years.