Paleontologists are amazed to discover an ancient fossil embedded in the wall of a Kentucky cave, but researchers are baffled. They became particularly interested in one set of remains. When they found out what it was, everyone was amazed. Are you ready to update your dinosaur knowledge?  

What do Paleontologists do?

Paleontologists study the recordings of life on earth left as fossils. This includes the relationship between extinct plants and animals and their living relatives.  

I always wanted to be a Paleontologist.

As a kid, my go-to careers were paleontologist or a ballerina. I think I only had one ballet lesson before I decided it wasn’t for me. However, dinosaurs never get old. Well…  

1. Did you know...

Dinosaurs had giant fleas with beaks the size of modern syringe needles.  

2. Did you know this?

Only 59% of U.S. adults know humans and dinosaurs did not coexist.

3. Why would you do this?

Hans Larsson is a scientist who is trying to reactivate dinosaur traits that exist in birds. So far, he has managed to create chicken embryos that have teeth and long reptilian tails. Nightmare material right there.

4. It'd certainly break me.

Prison officials have used the children’s song “I Love You” by Barney the Purple Dinosaur as a form of torture in Guantanamo Bay.

5. Well, that's a niche I've never heard of.

There is a Civil War/Dinosaur-themed amusement park in Natural Bridge, VA which features statues of Dinosaurs fighting Civil War Soldiers.

6. That's terrifying.

The first dinosaur bone described in scientific literature was thought to be the femur of a giant human.

7. I wasn't expecting that.

The chicken is the closest known modern relative to the T. Rex.

8. Poor guy.

Although everyone makes fun of the T.Rex, it’s actually the Canotaurus that has the smallest known arms of any dinosaur.

9. That's a lot of elephants.

The largest known herbivore dinosaur; Argentinosaurus, is said to have grown 115 feet in length, and weigh more than a dozen elephants.

10. Most powerful bite.

The Megaladon may have had the most powerful bite of all time, with a mouth stretching nearly 10 feet wide.

Speaking of sharks...

Paleontologists have discovered a shark head in the wall of a Kentucky cave.

The fossil was found last year.

The fossil was discovered by cave specialists Rick Olson and Rick Toomey, who came across the strange fossil while exploring and mapping Mammoth Cave National Park.

Researchers didn't know what it was.

They sent photos to Vincent Santucci, the senior paleontologist for the National Park Service, everyone hoped he could find the answers.

They brought in the big guns.

Paleontologist John-Paul Hodnett was sent in to get a closer look at the fossil. He became interested in a particular set of remains.

The paleontologists discussed the findings.

When discussing the find they said: “One set of photos showed a number of shark teeth associated with large sections of fossilized cartilage, suggesting there might be a shark skeleton preserved in the cave.”

The findings were intriguing.

Cartilage doesn’t usually survive fossilization, so the fact that a shark skeleton was found was rare, as they are composed mostly of cartilage. Their teeth, however, are made of bone and enamel, which means they preserve well.

Hodnett was amazed at the discovery.

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Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the cave… A field team from Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s Dinosaur Park made some amazing discoveries of Late Mississippian shark fossils inside Mammoth Cave! The Mammoth Cave National Park Fossil Shark Research Project has already documented over 100 individual specimens of sharks from inside the cave system! Their findings even included parts of a large shark head. Based on what they see exposed in the cave wall there is a lower jaw, indeterminate cranial cartilages, and several teeth to a shark approximately the size of a living Great White Shark. Shark teeth are made of bone and enamel which does preserve well, but shark skeletons are extremely rare because cartilage doesn't always preserve in the fossil record. The preservation of these shark fossils is superb. Because the cave is not exposed to external elements such as rain, snow, and wind, the rate of erosion of the limestone in the cave is slow so fossils tend to be very detailed and mostly intact. Mammoth Cave National Park proudly protects and preserves important and fragile non-renewable resources such as these shark fossils for the benefit of science and public education. For more information about the NPS Fossil and Paleontology program visit the park service website: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/index.htm #Findyourpark #sharkfossil

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“I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to see in the cave during my trip in November. When we got to our target specimen my mind was blown.”

The fossil was made up of the shark's lower jaw, skull, and teeth.

They are believed to have belonged to a creature roughly the size of a Great White Shark.

"It’s like finding a missing puzzle piece to a very big picture," said Hodnett.

The shark comes from a species called ‘Saivodus striatus’, which dates back to around 330 to 340 million years ago.

The researchers have uncovered more than 100 individual specimens.

“Most significantly, the majority of the shark fossils we discovered come from a layer of rock that extends from Missouri to Virginia but never documented the presence of sharks, until now.” Said Hodnett. He believes they have “just scratched the surface” in terms of uncovering fossils in Mammoth Cave. I can’t tell if that’s good or bad.

Pets are the most wonderful thing...

But in many instances, they most certainly aren’t the most photogenic.

Us pet owners love nothing more than taking endless pictures of our furry friends...

And sometimes, things don’t exactly go to plan behind the camera lens.

Thanks to optical illusions...

Our pets sometimes are left looking completely unrecognizable. Keep scrolling to see a few bizarre examples…

Take this dog, for example...

Or these 2 dogs…?

Here's a couple of very cute dogs...

Even though we aren’t entirely sure exactly where their heads start!

An unfortunate looking feline...

This cat has certainly seen better days.

Now, just look at the perfect timing of this one!

A light afternoon snack?

A dog or a stag?

My Patronus charm just couldn’t decide!

A young boy with a dog's head?

Or just a young boy taking a nap with his best friend?

Here's a cat sneezing...

Don’t worry, it’s not contagious!

This is something you won't be unseeing for a while...

This would be a great idea for some doggy fancy-dress!

This user's sister has become a female Centaur!

But in reality, her huge dog is just stood behind her.

What's going on here?

Does that dog have any legs or…?

These golden retrievers appear to have merged into one...

Best friends forever?

Now, this is just way too adorable...

Nothing like giving a giant dog a big cuddle, right?

Here's a dog casually fishing...

Now, that’s something you don’t see every day!

This one really puzzled us...

Can you see it yet?

Is this a crow?

Or a cat?

Here's a dog running into the ocean...

About to take flight…?

Look at this good boy giving his owner a ride!

But in reality, this is just an incredibly timed photo.

Can you find the sleeping cat?

This might take you a few minutes… or a few hours…

Just a good boy waiting for his bus...

Or is it?

Have you ever seen a more graceful dog...?

Who also does ballet?!

As if by magic...

This dog has somehow changed its colors behind the tree!

Feeling hungry?

There must be some catnip in there…

Now, this one has really confused us.

Can anyone figure it out?

A man and his feathered friend...

This picture was taken at the best moment possible.

This is one of our personal favorites...

Looks like this little pupper got himself stuck in a bubble!

But there is one optical illusion that has really been confusing the hell out of the internet recently...

And it is this bizarre little thing. People were leaving comments of horror, such as, “My first thought was, ‘why is there a meat sack with legs and how is it alive’,” and, “I didn’t even understand what’s going on with the dog.”

It turns out that it is simply just a 3-legged dog cleaning itself.

Simple! Make sure to keep scrolling to check out the optical illusion on Twitter that has people mistaking a car door for a beach…
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