Researchers: Tooth in teen's leg ID’d as sand tiger shark
Researchers say a tooth taken from the leg of a boy bitten at New York's Fire Island has been identified as that of a sand tiger shark.
University of Florida researchers compared DNA from the tooth to a genetic dataset of sharks to determine its species.
In a release Wednesday, Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, said it's the first time a shark involved in a bite has been identified using DNA.
Beaches were closed at Fire Island in mid-July after the 13-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl were bitten.
Both children were treated and released from a hospital.
Naylor believes both bites were accidental, from juvenile sharks following schools of fish.
He says sand tigers can grow up to 500 pounds but rarely bite humans.
AP wire services helped contribute to this report.