Mako Shark Skull
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This Shrotfin Mako (insures oxyrhincus) was a commercial by-catch from one of the longliners plying the northern Australian coastlines, caught in 2019.
I was given the task by a famed marine biologist and shark researcher, Amanda Elizabeth, to prepare the skull for educational purposes, both for her university work and a podcast she does on sharks.
The idea of doing a “half/half” skull is something I have been working on for the past year or so, adding a new dimension in the structure of the skull. The skull with half of one side left with the original skin and the original eye gives the skull a huge impact when it is then turned around to see the actual cartilage side of the head.
A half skeleton / half flesh Mako shark.
The process of getting the head to this point is extremely laborious and involves many hours of preparation and dissection.
The chemicals used to preserve the skin side are very powerful, and some are used in the embalming industry, therefore quite expensive.
The dimensions of this head are 25 cm long (tip-off snout to base of skull) and 12cm wide across the orbital area.
Once fully dried, the skin part was then stained with up to 5 different coloured Japanese inks which permeate through the skin and give much better colour permanence than just painting. The skull was then repaired in certain spots where cracking occurred and then given a final coating of a non-reflective protection varnish,, that is UV stable and non-yellowing.