Saturday, September 19, 2020

Big Meg

Environmentlal & Science Education, STEM, Earth Science, Paleontology, Biodiversity, Biological Evolution, Nature of Science

An extinct giant shark Otodus megalodon (aka Meg) was indeed big--dorsal fin 1.6 m (~5'), the height of its tail almost 4 m (~13') and its total length 16 m (~52').

How these measurements were made when what has been found of this shark so far is isolataed teeth, is the subject of a column in The Guardian. It is also a story about the excitement of one of the scientists involved, Jack Cooper, who, when he was a boy was "mad about sharks" with sharks and who hoped to study them. Cooper "described the study aas his 'dream project'." I also like that the column describes how scientists work and use data and reason, every bit that they can get their hands on.

It is a short read, too. There is a link to the original paper--hard-nosed science--where you can learn more and I include a link to a figure from the scientific report of silhouette models visualizine body dimensions of "Meg" with a human diver and, of course, the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), that denizen of sea and imagination. Click here.

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