Saturday, July 28, 2007

How strong is the bite of a Great White shark?

EXPERTS will be able to determine the "bite force" of the Great White shark for the first time, after development of new technology.

Biologists at the University of New South Wales started to examine a specimen today, which was caught in a shark net off the Central Coast, north of Sydney.

The young shark, which has been nicknamed Blancito, would "have been in business for a while" and used its teeth for catching other marine life and fish, according to Dan Huber, who flew in specially from the University of Tampa, Florida for the dissection.

"It's the first time I've dissected one of these," Dr Huber said. "This dissection has been a long time in the making."

UNSW scientist Stephen Wroe, who is behind the development of the "bite force" measuring equipment, said that almost nothing was known about the bite force and skull mechanics of the Great White.

"This will allow us to discover the maximum bite capacity," Dr Wroe said. "It will help us design shark proof equipment, such as cages."

The project is a collaboration between the University of Newcastle and University of NSW.


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