An inside view of a bronze whaler

A bronze whaler shark caught in the act of inhaling a fish. Photo: Brianna Jones.

Sharks are a unique species which inspire both fascination and fear.

That’s why University of Waikato scientists will give people an ‘inside view’ of a shark dissection this afternoon, to dispell some of the myths surrounding the top predator while also contributing to knowledge of shark biology.

The 2.54 metre long bronze whaler (Carcharhinus brachyurus) was found on the beach on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula last year and is believed to have died after being caught in a fishing net.

It was donated by the Department of Conservation and the Auckland Museum to the University’s Coastal Marine Field Station.

 The dissection will take place in Tauranga today, and will be carried out by University of Waikato marine biologists.

It will run from 2pm until about 4.30pm. It is also part of Seaweek and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana Happy Harbour Fun Day.

 The first half of the dissection will focus on the bronze whaler’s external features such as the fins, teeth, gills and skin, along with the shark’s six senses and brain.

The second half will focus on the liver, stomach, kidneys and reproductive organs. What scientists find inside the shark’s stomach may be quite intriguing.

 The live stream will be available through the University of Waikato’s Facebook page.

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