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

Long before nature writer Susan Ewing (Going Wild in Washington and Oregon) mentions Indiana Jones in Resurrecting the Shark, readers are ensnared in a quest for a 270 million-year-old fish fossil that feels like riding shotgun with Indy. Paleozoic shark Helicoprion ("spiral saw") is the stuff of movie legend. If the thought of a great white doesn't get the blood pumping, imagine a shark with a two-foot-tall whorl of teeth--like a circular saw--sitting midline in its lower jaw.

Meticulously researched and spanning numerous disciplines, along with a "rockin' lot" of evolution, Resurrecting the Shark is the compelling saga of how an ancient ocean oddity became a global passion project. First stumbled upon by an Australian looking for gold under blackbutt trees in the 1880s, Helicoprion fossils were later discovered in Russia and the United States--each find sparking new fervor, doubt and debate.

An astonishing amount of information is shared, but just the right sense of cheeky humor and an enthusiastic writing style keep the facts from becoming overwhelming. By fleshing out theories and arguments spanning more than a century, Ewing treats readers to the culmination of the Helicoprion adventure: what it looked like, where it ranged, and how and what it ate.

From unknown specimen to gallery and museum exhibit, Helicoprion's journey was a labor of love. Geology enthusiasts, taxonomy nerds, paleontology buffs, shark devotees and artisans alike will rejoice in this recounting of how a multitude of people brought the mystery to life. --Lauren O'Brien of Malcolm Avenue Review

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