Over the years, the use of shark products has gone from purely food to a mixture of products for human use and research.
Correspondingly, the research into sharks has not only been for behavioural purposes, but also looking at how sharks might help us in other ways: from looking at the composition of their cartilage for studies into structures used for building products, to using the material in their teeth as a replacement for damages caused to the underlying dental bone structure in humans.
Simon’s interest in this field comes obviously primarily from the jaws’ point of view.
Many scientific researchers use the jaws not only for studying the biomechanics of the bite of sharks, but also to use as a study aid when it comes to comparing the various modern-day sharks to their primitive ancestors.
While the structure of modern-day teeth does not vary greatly from the structure and shape of many prehistoric teeth, the comparison of the jaws with their prehistoric ancestors give us a clearer understanding of the evolution of this majestic creature.
Recently, in Australia, shark jaws have been used for a variety of purposes, ranging from the measurement of the dentition as an aid in identifying the size of a shark (after an attack on either a person or a surfboard), to taking a small amount of cartilage in the form of powder from the jaw as an aid in gaining a genetic map of various sharks, especially tiger sharks.
The research institute will brief us on what is required and the shark jaw will be cleaned, restored and set accordingly.
Measurements are usually taken while the shark jaw is fresh, before the process is commenced, so a record can be kept of any shrinkage during the drying process. This is important, especially when measuring the upper and lower jaw perimeter, as differences between the wet jaw and dry jaw will occur.
Shark Jaw Cleaning also carries out restoration on old jaws which have been with museums and research institutes over a number of years. This allows the researchers and museum staff to have in their possession a clean and whitened jaw, rather than an old, yellow jaw which had been badly cleaned in the first place.
If you need assistance restoring older jaws, contact Simon today using the form below.