Meet the Author: Susan Ewing
Don't miss an en evening with local author Susan Ewing! Her fascinating new book, Resurrecting the Shark, tells the story of a prehistoric mystery centered around a fossil so mesmerizing that it boggled the minds of scientists for more than a century—until a motley crew of modern-day shark fanatics decided to try to bring this monster shark back to life.
In 1993, Alaskan artist and paleo-fish freak Ray Troll stumbled upon the weirdest fossil he had ever seen—a platter-sized spiral of tightly wound shark teeth. This chance encounter in the basement of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County sparked Troll’s obsession with Helicoprion, a mysterious monster shark from deep in time.
In 2010, tattooed amateur strongman and returning Iraq War veteran Jesse Pruitt was also severely smitten with a Helicoprion fossil in a museum basement in Idaho. These two bizarre-shark disciples found each other, and an unconventional band of collaborators grew serendipitously around them, determined to solve the puzzle of the tooth whorl once and for all.
Helicoprion was a Paleozoic chondrichthyan about the size of a modern great white shark, with a circular saw of teeth centered in its lower jaw—a feature unseen in the shark world before or since. For eight million years, long before the Age of Dinosaurs, Helicoprion species patrolled shallow seas around the supercontinent Pangea.
Imagination, passion, scientific process, and state-of-the-art technology merged into an unstoppable force working to recreate what this remarkable creature looked like and how it functioned. The work culminated in the reveal of an ancient predator pulled into the spotlight of the modern world, dazzling and awe-inspiring.