Museum 3D Preserves Rare Shark With Help of 3D Scanning

Museum Victoria just got a new rare shark specimen for their collection.

A few weeks ago, off the coast of Australia, a rare 20-foot long, 7,716 pound basking shark was found in a a fishing net. It did not survive.

So the fishermen donated the shark to Museum Victoria to study.

To preserve the very rare shark, the team at the museum decided to go high tech with the help of 3D technology.

“This is the first time we have done 3D scanning at the museum, certainly at this scale,” Martin Gomon, the museum’s senior curator of ichthyology, said about the plan to 3D scan and ultimately 3D print the shark.“We can compare their morphology with fish from other areas to see if they are a different species or how they are related to other species. The internal structures can also be X-rayed or CAT-scanned, so they are very valuable.”

Once ready, the 3D printed shark replica will allow museum goers to get up close and personal to the rare shark in a way never before possible.

Researchers will also be able to swap the anatomical details of the shark, and even the files to print a replica, with labs around the world, making sure that the basking shark –  only third ever caught since 1855 – can be fully examined and researched without the need to wait for the next big catch.

Photo Credit: 3D Print