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Oregon scientists dissect great white shark

 Posted: 4:48 PM October 02, 2009

NEWPORT — Oregon researchers hope their two-day necropsy of a 12-foot great white shark that got caught in a crab pot off the coast will help them learn more about the creatures.

Wade Smith is an Oregon State University doctoral student who specializes in the study of sharks and is involved in the dissection that started Thursday in Newport.

He says in 12 years of research this is only the fourth time he’s been able to dissect a great white.

Sure, it would be a better learning opportunity had the fishermen who inadvertently pulled the shark out of the water not gutted it before bringing it back to shore.

But the scientists still hope vertebrae will reveal clues about the shark’s age.

And they say tissue could contain toxins and information about genetics.

Smith says we don’t know much about what variety of species sharks eat, where they reproduce and where they migrate.

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