You may have watched Shark Week on Discovery last week and felt a little deprived. In a landlocked state, seeing the ocean on your television makes you feel like you need a vacation. Maybe to see some of these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. This year's Shark Week featured documentaries like "Island of Walking Sharks," "Pig vs. Shark," "Mega Predators of Oz," and even "Great White Serial Killer: Fatal Christmas."
All are exciting documentaries but would also make for good horror movie titles. None of them make you scared to get in the water in McCall or Coeur d'Alene, but before heading into the deep water, you should know that there are sharks in Idaho.
There is a kids baseball team in Coeur d'Alene called the North Idaho Sharks, but the rest of the sharks you'll find in Idaho are currently in captivity. There are three species of sharks at the Aquarium of Boise. They have a Black Fin Reef Shark, a White Spotted Bamboo Shark, and an Arabian Carpet Shark. The East Idaho Aquarium in Idaho Falls has some small sharks as well.
The most impressive shark in the state can be found in Pocatello. It lives at the Idaho Museum of Natural History because it died about 250 million years ago. The Helicoprion, also known as the Buzzsaw Shark, once swam in what is now Eastern Idaho. In 1950, miners working in Soda Springs came across fossils of this shark's teeth, jaw, and even an impression of its skin. This was the best look anyone had ever had of the strange shark. It got its name from the buzzsaw-like teeth that sit on its tongue.
Since then, Idaho has become the best place in the world to find fossils of the Helicoprion. The Idaho Museum of Natural History is home to more fossils of the 20-30 foot fish than anywhere else. As more research has been done on the fossils found in Idaho, scientists now believe that the Helicoprion isn't a shark but a relative of the Rat Fish.
So don't feel left out during the next Shark Week. Idaho definitely has its place in the world of scary fish!