The male basking shark that came ashore in Portland in June has had its head scanned inside and out, with the data used to make an interactive 3D model for scientists.
The scan of the 600-kilogram head will also be used by Museum Victoria to make a life-sized model of the 6.5-metre-long shark, which will go on public display.
The digital model is likely to be invaluable to researchers - although because it is such new technology, the exact scenarios when the 3D scan will come into its own are yet to be determined.
"The more we work with the model, the more we will know how we can use it for research purposes," said Martin Gomon, Museum Victoria's senior curator of ichthyology.
Dr Gomon said the museum planned to do a similar scan of the 2.6-tonne animal's dorsal, pectoral, anal and pelvic fins as well.
It took about an hour to 3D scan the shark's head, including the folds of the gills and inside the creature's cavernous mouth. The laser scan generated up to 15 gigabytes of raw data.
That information has since been used to make three digital versions of the shark head - each interactive model lets researchers spin the image and "fly-over" and through the mouth.
"It's just a fantastic reconstruction of the head of the shark," Dr Gomon said. "It's extraordinarily realistic."
The high and low-resolution monochrome mesh scans are made by connecting all the data points.
"When you connect them all together it looks like a model made of chicken wire," he said.
Another version has realistic texture and colour superimposed, essentially providing a photographic view of the shark head.
"It's very impressive," Dr Gomon said.
The scanned shark's head will be uploaded onto the Museum Victoria YouTube site for overseas-based researchers to access it.
Globally, basking sharks are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.