Sunday, December 14, 2008

Massive Mako Mother Makes Good Science

So....we missed the flight to NZ but the story remains one of predatory fascination. Turns out this female had recently given birth. More than 800 onlookers showed up:

The 3.6-metre, 460-kilogram shark died in the Mapua channel last month.

Conservation Department shark expert Clinton Duffy, who carried out the dissection, found an empty stomach and that the mako gave birth recently. The autopsy indicated it may have been killed by an encounter with a boat.

There was massive bruising behind its jaws, Touch the Sea aquarium marine educator Richard de Hamel said. "So it may have been feeling a bit sick, then got a bump on the head, and that's really put her on the downhill slide."

The condition of the shark's uterus showed it had given birth within the past few months.

A sample of its spine was taken and its growth rings will be used to determine its age, which was probably about 30. Video here.

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