A 1.8 m long skeleton was hauled up on a bottom set line from a depth of approximately 150 m in the Tathra Canyons off Tathra New South Wales in 2003.
The image was taken by D. Stephens and sent to the Australian Museum by DPI Fisheries Officer, Ian Merrington. It shows the skull and vertebral column of a shark, most likely a member of the family Lamnidae* or possibly Carcharhinidae. This family Lamnidae includes the White Shark, Shortfin Mako and Porbeagle Shark. Carcharhinidae includes the Whaler Sharks and Tiger Shark.
Unlike the skeleton of bony fishes, the elasmobranchs have skeletons made of cartilage, not bone.
Helfman, G.S., Collette, B.B. & D.E. Facey. 1997. The Diversity of Fishes. Blackwell Science. Pp. 528.
* Thank you to Dr John Stevens CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research, Hobart, for his help identifying the skeleton.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology