Shark Day at the Visitor Center – now with live Web stream!

Sharks of OregonNEWPORT – Shark Day is returning to the Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center this Saturday (Jan. 8) – and this year, Internet audiences are invited to join in learning more about these fascinating marine animals via a live-streamed shark dissection and “ask the scientist” chat.

At 1:30 pm (Pacific Time), Bill Hanshumaker, Sea Grant public education specialist, will be dissecting a seven-foot salmon shark  (Lamna ditropis), which has been in the deep freeze since it was hauled up as by-catch by a hake trawler last summer and donated to the center.  Dr. Hanshumaker will systematically dissect the shark to reveal its nervous, circulatory, digestive and reproductive systems, and talk about shark biology and adaptations.

This year’s Shark Day dissection will be streamed live over the Web via the center’s ScienceCam – and a new feature will allow Internet visitors to join in a live, moderated chat where they can ask questions about shark biology and behavior.

Follow this link to view the dissection live and find out how to take part in the live chat.

Samples of the shark’s tissue and vertebrae will be collected and passed on to researchers who will determine the animal’s age and test test for parasites and mitochondrial concentration.

The specimen is on display at the Center today and through Saturday, until the dissection.

The ScienceCam is one of the Visitor Center’s new initiatives to expand marine education and outreach offerings to those unable to visit the Oregon Coast. In addition to occasional public presentations, it is being used to stream marine science demonstrations to school classrooms, many of them far from the ocean.

(Illustration: Sharks of Oregon poster, available from Oregon Sea Grant)

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