Tag Archives: SHARK

PREHISTORIC SHARKS

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One of the most famous success stories of evolution are sharks. They have inhabited the Earth’s oceans for four hundred million years, long before the dinosaurs. The key to their success is the simplicity of both their biology and lifestyle. The story of evolution is survival of the fittest and the simplest life form is often the strongest. Their bodies are very streamlined and ideal for swimming and their teeth and jaws are ideal for tackling all kinds of prey. Their lifestyle is so simple that all they do throughout their lifetimes is swim, eat, and reproduce and that’s it! Their success is what has allowed sharks to survive one mass extinction level event after another. It is very likely that sharks will continue to exist long after humanity has gone extinct. Fishermen can try to overfish and exterminate sharks, but the sharks will ultimately outlast mankind just as they did the dinosaurs. I will be featuring a reverse engineered shark in my dinosaur book and I will be drawing inspiration from a prehistoric species of shark called Hybodus, which means “humped tooth”. Hybodus was able to survive the Jurassic oceans for two reasons. First, the spikes on its fins gave it protection against large predators like pliosaurs. Second, Hybodus had two different kinds of teeth; sharp teeth for slicing through fish and squid and another set that was flat for crushing shellfish and crustaceans. This allowed Hybodus to thrive on a wide variety of prey in the competitive sea. I will also be drawing inspiration from other sharks I have learned about on Shark Week. I should give you a heads up that I will not be including a Megalodon-like shark in my dinosaur book since not even the scientists in the story will go that far.

MEGALODON MOMENT

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When I saw the shark in The Meg trailer, I had a Percy Shelley moment. Percy Shelley famously wrote, “I am Ozymandias, king of kings! Look upon my works ye mighty and despair!” With Megalodon, I went, “I am Megalodon, shark of sharks! Look upon my works ye mighty and despair!” Megalodon was truly the shark of sharks and I think this remade quote from Percy Shelley fits it like a slipper.

INSPIRATION: BULL SHARKS

Sharks have always served as antagonists in several works of fiction. One of the most dangerous sharks in the world is the bull shark, which is responsible for more shark attack fatalities than any other shark (even the great white shark). When I was in Hawaii last year, my family and I participated in a kayaking adventure down a river that was connected to the ocean. Bull sharks are notorious about being able to swim in murky, brackish water (fresh and salt water) and there had been sightings of bull sharks in the area over the years. With that in mind, there was a strong possibility that there were bull sharks underneath my kayak and I did not know. I had watched the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week so I knew what these sharks were capable of and the thought of a bull shark jumping out of the water and onto my kayak gave me chills. On the upside, I had gained inspiration from the experience for a possible supervillain in my sequel trilogy, someone who is just as savage and bloodthirsty as a bull shark. I suppose one can acquire inspiration from the most unlikely events.