About the Book

A prehistoric mystery. 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 the monster-predator back to life.

In 1993, Alaskan artist and paleo-shark enthusiast 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 from deep time.

In 2010, tattooed undergraduate student and returning Iraq War veteran Jesse Pruitt became seriously 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 mysterious 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 some ten million years, long before the Age of Dinosaurs, Helicoprion patrolled the shallow seas around the supercontinent Pangaea as the apex predator of its time.

Just a few tumultuous years after Pruitt and Troll met, imagination, passion, scientific process, and state-of-the-art technology merged into an unstoppable force that reanimated the remarkable creature -- and made important new discoveries.

In this groundbreaking book, Susan Ewing reveals these revolutionary insights into what Helicoprion looked like and how the tooth whorl functioned -- pushing this dazzling and awe-inspiring beast into the spotlight of modern science.

24 pages of color illustrations

About the Author

Susan Ewing

Susan Ewing has been in love with the quirky side of nature from the day she discovered doodlebugs as a little girl. When she came across the story of the prehistoric buzz-saw shark named Helicoprion, she was captivated by its weirdness, dazzled by its extraordinary evolutionary experiment, and smitten by the stories of all the people who helped puzzle out its paleontology. Succumbing to the lure of an unusual tale waiting to be told, Ewing dug in. Her new book, RESURRECTING THE SHARK, traces the story of Helicoprion and opens a portal into the murky, little known world of Paleozoic chondrichthyans. For this shark story, you don't even have to go near the water. . .

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