24-Year Shark Attack Mystery Solved by Tooth Pulled From Surfer's Foot


A Florida man bitten by a shark twenty five years ago now knows what kind of shark it was thanks to a piece of the shark's tooth that was recently removed from his foot and with the help of a DNA test to boot to discuss how the mystery was solved we're joined live on the KCBS ring central news line by Gavin Naylor director of the Florida program for shark research at the Florida museum of natural history thank you for joining us this morning first of all how unusual is it that that piece of shark tooth would work its way out of a guy's foot or leg people think it's very unusual but I think it's probably more common than you might anticipate them if you look at any one individual they might get a splinter in that port and then comment that one thing has been to that emerged after several years but it seems like a rather of entering into an individual but across the population these kinds of things that probably more common than you might think and this story has so many fascinating aspects of first of all this piece of shark tooth comes out of the fellas four years later he stumbles across the research that you're involved in this if shark DNA analysis and decides well instead of making a pendant for myself which any normal person would do the shark tooth that came out of their cars he he gets a hold of you guys yeah Jeff is a very curious guy outdoorsman you can edit stuff for a magazine that focuses on outdoor sports he is a keen surfer he became persimmon they really like the natural world but he was that predisposes to want to know exactly what the big name several years previous so what did you find so what what what we got a little shot a few pictures hi Amy and but we have to get rid of any contaminants good people that handle but two Senate couple of guest DNA we had a bleach yet to get rid of the superficial DNA and then we dug down with a scalpel or sterile felt helpful into the two in the hope we might find some residual of the fifty nine and then post book in the lab lay Yang but the work from the paper actually was successful and he sent it to me and I believe that needs a bullet keep looking and we rolled out that it with contamination and that so we have left with the conclusion that it actually is a shock the end and it turns out that if the blacktip shock which happens to be one of the most common one in the area where Jeff had being stuffing twenty four years previously so the data look compelling and are black tipped sharks known to be biting problem in that area of Florida that's a great question we don't really care that much about them because they for the fly under the radar that hundred to separate animals of a target bait fish but they do actually we think like a lot of people make that no for talent the recorder from them because they basically bike in relief but people get you know if you stick is often from them and we think that they are responsible for many more by then we will have a two bolt this particular story is very interesting but doing it does it give you a broader perspective on something how does it advance your science that's a great question so we've been able to get DNA from old samples we work in a museum we can get you in I could bump with the two hundred three hundred years old some people are even able to get DNA with the banking DNA methods from samples that are several hundred thousand years old like Dennis open I think about it from a from a human but what we thought would particularly we at is that this is a piece of material that being inside somebody's body with their immune system is trying to pocket it and get rid of it and and so we would have thought that any foreign DNA would have been completely removed by Jeff body so that's what was quite strange so it opens up opportunities for more current the hi hat where DNA might actually put this then in open it then the longer than we'd have to go yeah that's a fascinating aspect unto itself and then on the other side of this this whole question of shark identity I was surprised to learn how few shark bite cases our lead to an actual identification of who done it absolutely that's something the general public on the weather up probably about sixty eight percent of all by go on the sign good one somebody get bitten you know the last thing that thinking about is going to show what that they want to get out of the water and they and then of the night what has been well alright it was faster right so it's quite hard for us to ID them and stuff this provides a new tool that we hope we can use that to up a little down some of the ones which had previously been

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