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8/16/2012
11:26 AM
Michael Endler
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The Jaw-some Tech Behind Shark Week

As Shark Week celebrates its 25th year with jaw-filled images, a slew of new technologies drive both content production and distribution.
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For "Sharkzilla," which aired on Monday, researchers built a full-size animatronic version of the prehistoric Megaladon, the largest shark yet discovered. Because sharks' bodies are almost entirely cartilage, however, the design had to be reverse-engineered from fossilized teeth--the only traces of the ancient animals that still remain.

The living animal was up to 60 feet long and weighed at least 50 tons. Its jaws measured six feet wide and eight feet tall. Brooke Runnette, Shark Week's executive producer, said the animatronic model's foundation was composed of hydraulic jaws built around a steel frame. Inflatable material was used to fill out the rest of the body, which included a seven-foot dorsal fin. The final product was approximately the size of a city bus.

"CGI is never as cool," claimed Runnette in explaining the decision to reincarnate the creature through a physical, rather than digital, approach.

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PJS880
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PJS880,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/17/2012 | 7:58:31 PM
re: The Jaw-some Tech Behind Shark Week
I will have to say that the technology that is used to capture and study sharks has grown immensely anyone can see that when they watch the latest shark week. They have all the close ups of the shark and most of the time inside the sharks mouth. All these advances make for a way more interesting shark footage. I dig the creativity put into the punch bug shaped shark cage, and the message in the mirror. How many people watch or tape shark week on a yearly basis and look forward to it much like the Superbowl is anticipated?

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