Why Megalodon (Definitely) Went Extinct

About 8 million years ago, a little baleen whale was swimming in the warm coastal waters of Peru. It was only about 3 or 4 meters long, about the size of a Beluga whale, and while it filtered mouthfuls of plankton-rich water, it was unaware that just below it swam a predator. Like the great […]

When Fish First Breathed Air

385 million years ago, the land was all but empty. The continents were home to only some sparse plants and fungi, and a few pioneering arthropods. Life in the oceans, however, was booming. The waters teemed with squid, bony fish, and sea scorpions. But there was one group of fish that was about to go […]

Shark Weapons

Here’s a question for you: if we have no written record to where a species may have been found over time, what sort of evidence can we look for in order to determine where it may have once lived? I bet “weaponry” wasn’t the first thing that came to mind, but, sure enough, that’s exactly […]

When Sharks Swam the Great Plains

If you’ve ever been to, or lived in, or even flown over the central swath of North America, then you’ve seen the remnant of what was a uniquely fascinating environment. It’s all prairies and cities now, but long ago, it was rife with exotic, aquatic life. It was full of ammonites, colossal clams, and toothy […]

Shark Fin CSI

In 2012, Illinois became the first non-coastal state to ban the distribution, sale, and trade of shark fins like this one. At first glance this may seem odd considering there’s no ocean anywhere in sight, but not when you acknowledge that many inland states contribute to the decline of shark populations by importing shark fins […]

Fossil Sharks

– The fossil sharks are hiding today. – But look! A fossil shark clue! – This is the tooth of the Carcharocles megalodon, or better known as the Megalodon shark. These unfathomably large predatory giants swam in our oceans from about 52 million to 2 million years ago. Based off of the large size of […]

An Electric Eel and a Caiman

:introduction jingle: :sloshing water and bird sounds as gentle orchestra music plays in the background: So, we’re out here with Maria and Isabel. And, they’re Icthyologists, and we’re going to go fishing. They have this net. Where they sweep the net through the deeper parts of the water. And, try to get the fish to […]

Fossil Fish, PT. III: The Preparation

Hey, we’re here back at The Field Museum with Akiko, who is the Fossil Preparator. – Yep! – And we are going to be working on some of the fish that we excavated from Wyoming. What’s next? So what kind of tools and things are necessary to prepare a fossil? – Well, you’re holding the […]

Healthy Oceans: Sustainable Seafood | California Academy of Sciences

♪ (intro music) ♪ Are you ready to order yet? No, I know I want seafood, but I want to make sure my order is sustainable, and I hear eating too much of some fish can be bad for me. I never thought about that before, I just thought fish was fish. Some are seriously […]