Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Great White shark evolution debate involves WSU Lake Campus geology professor

27.04.2005


A significant debate is currently underway in the scientific community over the evolution of the Great White shark, and Chuck Ciampaglio, Ph.D., an assistant professor of geology at the Wright State University Lake Campus, is right in the middle of it.

The issue is if the Great White, one of the most feared predators of the sea, evolved from the huge prehistoric megladon shark or if its ancestry rests with the mako shark. “Most scientists would probably say the Great Whites evolved from the megladon line, which existed from two million to twenty million years ago. They were huge sharks, approximately the length of a Greyhound bus and possessing teeth that were up to six inches long,” explains Ciampaglio. “However, our research, which is based on analyzing fossils of several hundred shark teeth, shows that the Great White shares more similarities with the mako shark.” He added that because sharks regularly replace their teeth, it is relatively easy to obtain tooth samples through fossil field work along the Atlantic seaboard.

Ciampaglio acknowledges that people seem to have a fascination with sharks. “The general public seems to like sharks, and maybe this is because they bring out the fears of our childhood, when they were perceived as scary monsters,” he explained.



His interest in sharks is apparent when entering his office. The door and walls have pictures of shark teeth, and there are posted references to fossils and a geological time table.

The research scientist makes imprints of the teeth, then digitizes the picture to establish grids of different combinations that are analyzed by a sophisticated computer program. He even uses an electron microscope to view different serration designs of shark teeth. “Our analysis of their teeth shows that Great White and mako sharks have very similar tooth growth trajectories, while those of the great white and megladon are not similar. Analysis of both the root and entire tooth also shows a remarkable similarity in all four tooth positions under study for both the Great White and mako shark. Serration densities possess a strong similarity between the Great White and makos, where the serration densities between the Great White and megladon exhibit sharp differences. In summary, our morphological (form and structure) evidence strongly supports the theory that the Great White is descended from the prehistoric mako group.”

Ciampaglio said the Great White sharks, which can reach a size of nearly 25 feet and possess two-inch teeth, have been a major research subject of his for the past four years. He holds a doctorate from Duke in paleontology, the study of prehistoric life forms. His academic background also includes master’s degrees in zoology and geology and a bachelor’s degree in physics and chemistry. “My work looks at large scale changes of life over time and how things like mass extinction affect the course of life,” he said.

Ciampaglio discussed his shark research findings at recent Geological Society of America meetings in Mississippi and Colorado. A scholarly journal article on the subject is pending.

The geologist joined the Lake Campus faculty two years ago, and one of the reasons he selected Wright State was the extensive opportunity for fossil research in this region of Ohio.

Communications & Marketing
Open Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
106 Allyn Hall
Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy.
Dayton, OH 45435-0001
(937) 775-3232
Fax: (937) 775-3235
Com_Marketing@wright.edu

Chuck Ciampaglio | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wright.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht 127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>