Resurrecting the Shark: A Scientific Obsession and the Mavericks Who Solved the Mystery of a 270-Million-Year-Old Fossil

Resurrecting the Shark: A Scientific Obsession and the Mavericks Who Solved the Mystery of a 270-Million-Year-Old Fossil By Susan Ewing, Resurrecting the Shark A Scientific Obsession and the Mavericks Who Solved the Mystery of a Million Year Old Fossil In Alaskan artist and paleo shark enthusiast Ray Troll stumbled upon the weirdest fossil he had ever seen a platter sized spiral of tightly wound shark teeth This chance encounter in the basemen
  • Title: Resurrecting the Shark: A Scientific Obsession and the Mavericks Who Solved the Mystery of a 270-Million-Year-Old Fossil
  • Author: Susan Ewing
  • ISBN: 9781681773438
  • Page: 153
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Resurrecting the Shark: A Scientific Obsession and the Mavericks Who Solved the Mystery of a 270-Million-Year-Old Fossil By Susan Ewing, In 1993, Alaskan artist and paleo shark enthusiast Ray Troll stumbled upon the weirdest fossil he had ever seen a platter sized spiral of tightly wound shark teeth This chance encounter in the basement of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County sparked Troll s obsession with Helicoprion, a mysterious monster from deep time.In 2010, tattooed undergraduate studentIn 1993, Alaskan artist and paleo shark enthusiast Ray Troll stumbled upon the weirdest fossil he had ever seen a platter sized spiral of tightly wound shark teeth This chance encounter in the basement of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County sparked Troll s obsession with Helicoprion, a mysterious monster from deep time.In 2010, tattooed undergraduate student and returning Iraq War veteran Jesse Pruitt became seriously smitten with a Helicoprion fossil in a museum basement in Idaho These two bizarre shark disciples found each other, and an unconventional band of collaborators grew serendipitously around them, determined to solve the puzzle of the mysterious tooth whorl once and for all.Helicoprion was a Paleozoic chondrichthyan about the size of a modern great white shark, with a circular saw of teeth centered in its lower jaw a feature unseen in the shark world before or since For some ten million years, long before the Age of Dinosaurs, Helicoprion patrolled the shallow seas around the supercontinent Pangaea as the apex predator of its time.Just a few tumultuous years after Pruitt and Troll met, imagination, passion, scientific process, and state of the art technology merged into an unstoppable force that reanimated the remarkable creature and made important new discoveries.In this groundbreaking book, Susan Ewing reveals these revolutionary insights into what Helicoprion looked like and how the tooth whorl functioned pushing this dazzling and awe inspiring beast into the spotlight of modern science.
    Resurrecting the Shark: A Scientific Obsession and the Mavericks Who Solved the Mystery of a 270-Million-Year-Old Fossil By Susan Ewing,
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      153 Susan Ewing
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    About "Susan Ewing"

    1. Susan Ewing

      My two greatest joys as a kid were riding my bike and reading books Both offered escape and adventure my bike took me flying out into the physical world, while books were the bridge to an inner world of emotion and ideas I came to writing as way to hold the physical world like a bird in my hands, so I could see clearly, feel deeply, and understand completely And because in those moments when writing works, it s magic I was born and raised in Kentucky, but wandered west soon after graduating high school I lived in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest for many years, rotating through a variety of jobs, like working as a bull cook in the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay, commercial salmon fishing in Southeast Alaska, staking mining claims for a geophysical company in the Brooks Range, working in a print shop, and waitressing Then I got a job as an wildlife information officer, and started writing as part of the job Something clicked I loved it Soon after that I wrote my first book, Going Wild in Washington and Oregon I was the kid on the bike thrilled and committed to the ride Somewhere in all that I finished my much interrupted education and graduated with a BA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks In 1991, I moved to the Gallatin Valley of Montana, which felt like home as soon as I saw the Bridger Mountains on the horizon My life is at its sweetest equilibrium when I m out hiking in those mountains with my husband and my dog.

    401 thoughts on “Resurrecting the Shark: A Scientific Obsession and the Mavericks Who Solved the Mystery of a 270-Million-Year-Old Fossil”

    1. This was a well written and engaging popular science book on what might seem a fairly obscure topic Paleozoic sharks Or rather, a particular genus of Paleozoic sharks that lived into the middle Permian period, the genus Helicoprion Not only did the author s enthusiasm and skill at presenting complex topics to a general audience make the book very readable, but the human saga around the discovery and study of the fossil and as well as the strangeness of the animal itself made this a fast read Som [...]


    2. It s so incredibly hard to find quality popular science literature on palaeontology but paleoichthyology forget about it Books on ancient fish are harder to find than a fossilised shark skeleton That s why I was incredibly excited about finding this gem not just a book about Paleozoic sharks, but one that specifically focuses on the mysterious helicoprion, whose teeth formed a strange whorl formation, puzzling scientists for over a hundred years While I applaud the author on taking a noble task [...]


    3. Resurrecting the Shark opens with just the facts, in true science fashion Scientists estimate that 99.9 percent of all species ever to slink, swim, fly, fight, wail, or warble on this earth are now extinct The number of extinct species is thought to be somewhere between five and fifty billion Billion Species Extinct But Susan Ewing s astonishment and excitement enliven those bare facts, and the telling of this extraordinary science detective story, propelling readers onward through history, tang [...]


    4. Helicoprion was an unusual looking Paleozoic shark type creature, with a circular saw of teeth centered in its lower jaw a feature unseen in the shark world before or since For about ten million years this creature swam the shallow seas around the supercontinent Pangaea as the apex predator of its time Susan Ewing describes the journey of discovery of this fascinating creature, from the first fossil finds to the revolutionary insights into the appearance and eating habits of Helicoprion and how [...]


    5. As part of Science Channel or Animal Planet s Monster Week last year, River Monsters ran a special on prehistoric river monsters and covered The Buzz Saw Killer as a runner up for the most dangerous river monster of all time Much like the scientists and artists in this book, I was hooked from the first moment I was introduced to Helicoprion This ancient shark ancestor had an inset tooth whorl that took up almost all of the lower jaw and presumably devoured ammonites and squid throughout the worl [...]


    6. Really good explanations of all the scientific jargon that would otherwise have made the book unintelligible for someone not in the science field That said, I still didn t follow every term, especially the Latin ones since some of them were quite similar Ewing is also prone to really drawn out analogies that, for me, didn t really elucidate anything That aside, it was a really interesting book I love everything to do with sharks, but I only knew the mare minimum about Helicoprion I didn t realiz [...]


    7. I was looking for non fiction books about modern sharks and their eating habits when I stumbled across this book This book is about a prehistoric shark like creature, the Helicoprion so it isn t exactly the type of book I was seeking Nevertheless, this book is interesting and the Helicoprion s story is so fascinating that I ended up reading it in its entirety.I would recommend it for people who like to read about prehistoric animals and who are interested in how scientists discover, study, decip [...]


    8. An excellent, informative, and entertaining book, Resurrecting the Shark takes a look at the tale of discovery and research behind one very charismatic fossil shark Helicoprion This very odd creature, which lived in the latter part of the Permian, had a very unusual dental set up, to put it mildly.Author Susan Ewing does a masterful job taking us from the very first discovery in Western Australia in the 1880s through further finds and the theories of the people who have over the decades tried to [...]


    9. This book does a great job of detailing the current knowledge of fossil chondricthians It also works hard to go into detail on how we required this information and much of the book is spent on the researchers who dedicated themselves to Helicoprion Unfortnately, this is also where the book loses itself It felt like Ewing got too close to the current Helicoprion researchers to write about them objectively As a result she goes beyond simply describing the rigors of modern paleontology and gets bog [...]


    10. In my opinion sharks are one of earths most fascinating creatures As an avid scuba diver, I have always been amazed by their presence I was looking forward to learning about the creation of these creatures, and the Helicoprion shark in particular Therefore it was quite a surprise to find this book a bit of a challenge to get through Perhaps the author should have had personal experience with these creatures themselves before taking on this topic All the personalities and science is presented b [...]


    11. An amazing story of amazing science told amazingly well I have always been interested in geology and in fossils, but all of the strange names like Devonian and Jurassic and Permian were unmemorable to me This book explains how the geologic eras and layers got their names and how they relate to the story that she is telling How mining activity underlies our pursuit of geologic knowledge, and how the science of geology has grown Ewing tells this story in language that everyone can understand with [...]


    12. Some say the the meek will inherit the earth, but really, it s the curious It s yours for the asking This is the last line of this book and it is exactly the reason I kept reading I am so curious about sharks and I have been my entire life, naming up to 30 different shark species at 6 years old.Shark paleontology caught my interest what I first heard about megaladon but I hadn t explored beyond that until I read this.Read this book and stick with it if you have any interest in paleontology, shar [...]


    13. An interesting book about a beastly shark like fish called Helicoprion, which was about 30 feet long and is now extinct The animal s most beastly aspect was a whorl of teeth that served as an appendage on the lower jaw It basically had a moveable buzz saw in it s mouth That being said, it was a very good book about the fossils of that fish An aspect that I really enjoyed was the backstory that the writer provided about the paleontologists and artists who were involved in the research It was per [...]


    14. Science books can be a chore to read but the clever and witty style made this a breeze The topic would make a fascinating program for Discovery Channel s Shark Week and a welcome relief from the barrage of white shark videos they trot out every year My only criticism of the book is that it could have used some illustrations near the end when the team is figuring out how to reconstruct the creature from the various fossil, jaw, and cartilage impressions The energy is there, but prose is an awkwar [...]


    15. I enjoyed this book I am particularly thankful for the glimpses of the actual people behind scientific discoveries, their joys and interests and obsessions and quirks I now have a new appreciation for the people who do science for the sake of Science It was also fun to imagine all these crazy ancient sharks I only wish there had been even illustrations as well as closer pictures of the actual fossils.



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