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NS: the jaw of a shark on display at museum

HALIFAX – The jaws of a great white shark of 272 pounds found in the Bay of Fundy and will be exhibited in a museum in Halifax next month.

The jaw is all that remains of the massive sea creature trapped in the nets of fishermen, Nova Scotia.

The curator of the Natural History Museum of Nova Scotia, John Gilhen, said the decision was of considerable importance. The great white shark appears only rarely in this region, one finds little evidence of its passages.

Gilhen says, “the event is important because the stories about these animals are reported quite often, but (the experts) do not have hard evidence.”

He added that the jaws provide a “solid proof that great white sharks visit the coast of Nova Scotia.”

The curator emeritus said that the shark, with a length of three meters, is a young female. She had reached only half its size when it was taken on August 7.

Mr. Gilhen said the mammal had been captured alive, and died later.

The fisherman who found the shark initially thought it was a mako. Mr. Gilhen however doubted this hypothesis when he examined photographs of the animal sent two days later.

“With the triangular teeth, I have determined that it was a white shark,” he said. “So we arranged for the head.”

The head, which the museum acquired, weighs 45 pounds.

Mr. Gilhen said he would first use a knife to remove the cartilage of the jaw that smells disgusting. It will then use a scalpel to expose the bone and the rows of teeth, which will be monitored to avoid theft.

The jaws will be presented to the public in the maritime section of the museum in mid-September.

“Of course, these parts are always available to scientists wishing to examine them,” said Mr. Gilhen.

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