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SHARK!
1/19/2011
Location: 13810 Waterfront Drive, Pineland, FL 33945

Shark! : A Presentation by Charles O’Connor
January 19, 2011, 6:30 to 8:00 PM
The Classroom, Calusa Heritage Trail, Pineland

Admission $5 per person. PROCEEDS BENEFIT THE RANDELL RESEARCH CENTER.

“Shark!” will explore the natural history of sharks, human and shark interactions, and fossilized teeth, with a special focus on (Carcharocles) Megalodon sharks. Diet, dimensions, tooth structure, evolution, and demise will be explored in this lively and colorful presentation.

Megalodon was arguably the formidable carnivore ever to have existed. It was a super-predator and probably reached lengths of 70 feet, with teeth that surpassed 7 inches in length. It indisputably had the greatest bite force of any known animal, up to 18 tons.

Megalodon was most likely homoeothermic (erroneously termed “warm blooded”), preyed on other large fish and marine mammals, and populated ancient oceans across the globe. The shallow seas covering prehistoric Florida most likely provided a birthing / nursery area, because mostly small- to medium-sized teeth are discovered here. Larger teeth are found on the coastlines of the Carolinas and Georgia and elsewhere in the world. A nutrient-rich upwelling ocean current may have nourished the dense prey food web needed to support Megalodon’s dietary needs.

Dr. Charles O’Connor is a native Floridian, an amateur paleontologist, and was an assistant in the Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, one of the nation’s premier Pleistocene fossil collections. He received the Southwest Florida Audubon Educator of the Year award, was a Golden Apple Teaching Award finalist, 2009 Environmental Teacher of the Year, and has presented hundreds of fossil talks to schools, fossil clubs, and community groups for over 13 years. He is currently vice president of the Southwest Florida Fossil Club and Education Chair for the Friends of Six Mile Slough Preserve.

 

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