Native Idaho Shark Takes a Bite of the Idaho Museum of Natural History

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Updated: 6/19/2013 9:18 am
A new, deep sea monster is coming to the Idaho Museum of Natural History at Idaho State University and on Tuesday they started unpacking this native Idaho creature and getting it ready for the upcoming exhibit.

"The sharks of Idaho have arrived," said Ray Troll, a featured artist from Alaska. 

Currently the Idaho Museum of Natural History team is busy painting, hanging, and doing some construction work to bring to life the Whorl Tooth Shark.

"The crews have been great here and it's just a wonderful museum. This is really something especially for people from Idaho because its a hole new chapter. Idaho just got even cooler because of sharks," said Troll.

Researchers say this shark existed in Idaho over 200 million years ago. It could reach up to 25 feet in length and could have over 100 sharp and deadly teeth. 

"Turns out we have over half of the world's fossils of this kind come right from our ground in Idaho. They are found worldwide, but this is the best place. It's about time we think that we celebrate crazy looking shark that is our very own and we should be proud of it," said Leif Tapanila, a Research Curator for Idaho Museum of Natural History.

This exhibit will have some jaw dropping features, like documentaries, hands on activities for kids, plus beautiful artwork showing off the Whorl Tooth Shark.

"This art means a lot to me because it represents 20 years of my life. I have been obsessed with this shark since 1973 and I'm an artist who likes to bring these things to life," added Troll.     

This will be the largest collection of fossils, photos, and data of this animal.

"We have an animatronic jaw that moves so you can see how this ancient animal that used to live here how it works, you can push the button and see the jaw actually open and close," added Tapanila.

Museum officials add that they hope this event will bring the community together and educate them about an unexpected creature found in their hometown.

"This is the perfect activity for the summer. Get out of the heat and come cool down with a very interest show about sharks in their backyards," said Tapanila. 

The Idaho Museum of Natural History will open their doors for a grand opening this Saturday, June 22, and the exhibit will last through 2013 opened Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It cost $5 dollars for adults and $1 for kids.

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