Jacques Westerveen made this video in Groningen, the Netherlands.
20-Foot Monster Shark Once Trolled Mesozoic Seas
by Tia Ghose, Senior Writer
June 03, 2015 02:01pm ET
A giant shark the size of a two-story building prowled the shallow seas 100 million years ago, new fossils reveal.
The massive fish, Leptostyrax macrorhiza, would have been one of the largest predators of its day, and may push back scientists’ estimates of when such gigantic predatory sharks evolved, said study co-author Joseph Frederickson, a doctoral candidate in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Oklahoma.
The ancient sea monster was discovered by accident. Frederickson, who was then an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, had started an amateur paleontology club to study novel fossil deposits. In 2009, the club took a trip to the Duck Creek Formation, just outside Fort Worth, Texas, which contains myriad marine invertebrate fossils, such as the extinct squidlike creatures known as ammonites. About 100 million years ago the area was part of a shallow sea known as the Western Interior Seaway that split North America in two and spanned from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic, Frederickson said.
While walking in the formation, Frederickson’s then-girlfriend (now wife), University of Oklahoma anthropology doctoral candidate Janessa Doucette-Frederickson, tripped over a boulder and noticed a large vertebra sticking out of the ground. Eventually, the team dug out three large vertebrae, each about 4.5 inches (11.4 centimeters) in diameter. [See Images of Ancient Monsters of the Sea]
“You can hold one in your hand,” but then nothing else will fit, Frederickson told Live Science.
The vertebrae had stacks of lines called lamellae around the outside, suggesting the bones once belonged to a broad scientific classification of sharks called lamniformes that includes sand tiger sharks, great white sharks, goblin sharks and others, Frederickson said.
After poring over the literature, Frederickson found a description of a similar shark vertebra that was unearthed in 1997 in the Kiowa Shale in Kansas, which also dates to about 100 million years ago. That vertebra came from a shark that was up to 32 feet (9.8 meters) long.
By comparing the new vertebra with the one from Kansas, the team concluded the Texas shark was likely the same species as the Kansas specimen. The Texan could have been at least 20.3 feet (6.2 m) long, though that is a conservative estimate, Frederickson said. (Still, the Texas shark would have been no match for the biggest shark that ever lived, the 60-foot-long, or 18 m, Megalodon.)
By analyzing similar ecosystems from the Mesozoic Era, the team concluded the sharks in both Texas and Kansas were probably Leptostyrax macrorhiza. Previously, the only fossils from Leptostyrax that paleontologists had found were teeth, making it hard to gauge the shark’s true size. The new study, which was published today (June 3) in the journal PLOS ONE, suggests this creature was much bigger than previously thought, Frederickson said.
Still, it’s not certain the new vertebrae belonged to Leptostyrax, said Kenshu Shimada, a paleobiologist at DePaul University in Chicago, who unearthed the 1997 shark vertebra.
“It is also entirely possible that they may belong to an extinct shark with very small teeth so far not recognized in the present fossil record,” Shimada, who was not involved in the current study, told Live Science. “For example, some of the largest modern-day sharks are plankton-feeding forms with minute teeth, such as the whale shark, basking shark and megamouth shark.”
Either way, the new finds change the picture of the Early Cretaceous seas.
Previously, researchers thought the only truly massive predators of the day were the fearsome pliosaurs, long-necked, long-snouted relatives to modern-day lizards that could grow to nearly 40 feet (12 m) in length. Now, it seems the oceans were teeming with enough life to support at least two top predators, Frederickson said.
As for the ancient shark’s feeding habits, they might resemble those of modern great white sharks, who “eat whatever fits in their mouth,” Frederickson said. If these ancient sea monsters were similar, they might have fed on large fish, baby pliosaurs, marine reptiles and even full-grown pliosaurs that they scavenged, Frederickson said.
This video from the USA says about itself:
Brothers Save Hammerhead Shark. Destin, Florida 2015
21 July 2015
Me and my brother fight to save an injured hammerhead shark on the Destin, FL shoreline and bravely took it to safety away from the public. My brother, once realizing it was injured, swam out to bring it to shore away from people still in the water. I filmed this heroic display as he dragged the injured 10 ft. hammerhead to shore. The shark was pulled to shore and we realized it had several deep sea fishing hooks in its mouth as well as steel fishing line tangled in and around its head. My brother, along with help from bystanders worked to get the hooks out and save the dying shark. My brother was able to pull the shark into deeper water until it was able to swim away safely in an attempt to avoid further injuring itself or the public.
All of the distress and yelling heard in the background were caused by a natural fear from certain individuals and lack of understanding the situation as well as the behaviors of hammerhead sharks. Once bystanders realized we were trying to help the shark they quickly did what they could to help
From WJHG.com in Florida in the USA:
Visitors Help Hammerhead Shark
Tue 9:51 PM, July 21, 2015
By: Zak Dahlheimer
DESTIN– UPDATE: 7/21/15 6:24 P.M.
Marcus and Logan Lakos try to make it down to the Panhandle for the summer every year.
But this year’s visit they say came with a catch.
Marcus captured his younger brother Logan pulling an injured hammerhead shark to shore at Henderson Beach State Park Monday, where they eventually removed two hooks and a lure from its mouth.
And now with battle scars after pulling the shark to shore, Logan says it was a wave of adrenaline that came over him, looking out for his mother also in the water.
“I started pulling it in and it was kind of scary, but hammerhead sharks aren’t really that dangerous to humans,” said Logan. “Knowing that, I pulled it in. Everyone else was freaking out so it was hard to bring him in. But once people started realizing we were trying to help it, some of the other guys around were all crowding around it and trying to help it.”
When he saw his brother going to save the shark, Marcus says his first instinct was to get this on video.
“I’m just like, ‘I’m going to grab my camera,'” said Marcus. “Because Logan, he’s the brave one. He’s swimming out trying to help grab it, so I wanted to grab whatever I can on film since I’m the film person. I’m sitting there, and out of nowhere, he’s dragging this thing onto shore.”
After originally pulling it onshore, both brothers say the shark ended up swimming back out into the water. After that they say they went about 50 to 100 feet down the beach, where they ended up pulling the two hooks and lure out of the shark’s mouth.
Both brothers say they’ve received praise from people who witnessed the event.
But Logan says it was really about grabbing life by the tail.
“If you see a shark out in the water, it’s not always a bad thing to grab your camera and enjoy one of nature’s greatest creatures,” said Logan.
Logan says the shark did not appear to have any other injuries after the hooks are lure were removed.
Marcus Lakos and his brother, Logan, were visiting Destin from Texas when they saw a hammerhead shark swimming near the beach.
They say Logan noticed something hanging out from the shark’s mouth and pulled it by its tail to the shore.
With the help of a few bystanders, Logan took out what appears to be a steel hook from a deep sea fishing line that was caught in the shark’s mouth.
Both brothers say they know something about sharks, Logan is an avid fisherman, and say they had an idea the shark would not hurt them.
From Science, Space & Robots:
New Goby Fish Found in Southern Caribbean
Scientists from the Smithsonian Institution have discovered a previously unknown species of goby fish in the southern Caribbean. The small goby fish has different colors than its relatives. It is also located at greater depths and was found using the Curasub submersible.
The new species was found at a depth of 70 to 80 meters. The 33 mm (1.3 inch) long goby species has been named Coryphopterus curasub after the submersible used to discover it. The goby fish was found by Drs. Carole Baldwin and Ross Robertson.
The scientists say much less is known about ocean life at depths just below those accessible with conventional SCUBA gear. New discoveries like this goby fish are being made thanks to the availability of submersibles.
Dr. Baldwin says in a statement, “This is the fourth new deep-reef fish species described in two years from Curasub diving off Curacao. Many more new deep-reef fish species have already been discovered and await description, and even more await discovery.”
July 22, 2015
This video about Alaska is called The Land of Giant Bears | Full Documentary.
From eNature.com in the USA in July 2015:
Explore.org has a number of webcams on the scene and you can almost always observe a bear or two (or three or four!) in action.