Preserving a Great White Shark Jaw

Video uploaded by NovaScotiaMuseum on 27.01.2012:

Preserving a Great White Shark Jaw for the Museum of Natural History, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Please see the related post 2. Dec 2011 Halifax Museum displays Great White Shark Jaw




  1. Andrew Sprott

    Nice job done on the jaw but i would have cleaned it as you did, but soaked the jaw in a peroxide / bleach / water solution to make it whiter.
    Have been cleaning Great White Shark jaws for over 20 years.
    Best wishes
    Andrew Sprott ( Scotland)

    • Hi Andrew,
      Thanks for the good comment!
      Working on this Great White Shark jaws was a wonderful first experience for me. After discussions with our curator and conservator we decided not to bleach our specimen because it wasn’t bringing any extra information to do so. It is a little bit more authentic with the bloodstain and we hope our visitors will appreciate to get to see it that way. In this case, smell isn’t an issue since our specimen is in a case.
      Hope one day I can discuss your techniques.
      Melissa (Canada, Nova Scotia)

  2. While I can appreciate the all natural look on the jaws, I’ve also been cleaning jaws for many years and I agree with the peroxide treatment.  The main benefit is that it sterilizes the jaw and by removing the blood and small bits of meat, prevents decomposition of the cartilage which will make for a much longer lasting display.  Over time, bacteria will degrade the jaw and make the cartilage unmanageable in the future.  Also, I always trim the gum flaps away while the jaw is wet using a razor.  This results in a much cleaner removal and there’s no need to use a dremel near the fragile teeth.  

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