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DinoFest 2023 Bones to Beasts

DinoFest 2023 DinoBite Speaker: Dr. Leif Tapanila

DinoBite Talk

Date and Time: Saturday, January 28, 1:30 p.m.–1:55 p.m.

Title of Lecture: Fishing for the Giant Buzzsaw Shark

Lecture Description: The largest predator of its time, the buzzsaw shark swam along the coast of Utah and Idaho nearly 280 million years ago. But its fossil - a tight spiral of more than 125 teeth - mystified paleontologists for over a century. Thanks to advances in CT-imaging we are able to see the jaws of the animal for the first time, and show how this marvelous beast chomped its way to the top of the food chain! Get ready to see the weirdest shark in history.

Leif Whorl seated beside a fossil
Bio: Dr. Leif Tapanila is a Professor of Geosciences and Director of the Idaho Museum of Natural History at Idaho State University. His research spans a wide range of topics, from investigating the aftermath of meteor impacts to creating a 3D digital zoo of the world’s largest animals. As a paleontologist, he’s interested in how life adapts to an ever-changing world, and he really loves the creative process in solving a challenging question.