By Jennifer Grimes

Triplicate staff writer

Questions are still lingering over whether a baby shark found on Crescent Citys Pebble Beach Monday is a Great White or not.

Robert Lea, of the California Department of Fish and Game in Monterey, is showing interest in the fish due to its likeness to the dangerous species.

My mind is not made up yet. Id really like to study this closely, Lea said.

The color pattern of the fish found by local Jim Snow, is exactly like the great white. Blue on the top half and white on the bottom half, midway between the tail and head, the blue drops down into the white in a U-shaped pattern.

Mako sharks have a similar coloring, but no U-shaped drop down.

But that could be just an individual characteristic, said Lea. It really needs more study.

Lea said his main reservation for not confirming the infant fish as a Great White is its size.

Whites are thought to be at least four feet long at birth, though such a birth has never been recorded as being witnessed. The shark found here is only 39 inches.

To find out for sure, Lea and his colleague Cindy Dawson said they need to examine the fish - or at least its jaw. Snow said he made steaks out of the baby shark.

Theyre good, too. Kind of like the veal of the shark world - real tender, he said.

The jaws may still be around, however, as Snow said he cut off the head and gave it to a friend who boiled it down.

He told me it was so tender it just fell apart, but he may still have the jaws, Snow said.

If the teeth are available, Lea will examine them in addition to photographs of the fish, to make his final determination.