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SYLLY: Shark Week 31 Night 1: Win some, lose some

Just keep swimming.

Shark Week likes to take a big bite for opening night! Celebrities and excitement are the usual fare. We started off with Expedition Unknown: Megalodon then moved on to Shark Trip: Eat Prey Chum.

Lets dive in.

Expedition Unknown: Megalodon

Expedition Unknown is a show that has been on the Travel Channel and Discovery Channel. Hosted by Archaeologist Josh Gates. This show takes Mr. Gates around the world investigating iconic unsolved events. This time he is trying to solve what drove Megalodon to extinction.

Josh Gates is joined by Paleontologist: Dr. Boessenecker, shark behavioral ecologist: Tristan Guttridge, shark experts: Allison Towner, Jacopo Brunetti, James Ketchum, and Enrico Gennari. They explore locations in Mexico and South Africa for fossilized teeth of the Megalodon. Teeth are the only things left because they were the only bone on the meg.

Megalodon existed for approximately 17 million years. They grew to be 60 feet long and 12 feet high. They were the size of Humpback whales. Scientists believe they went extinct about 2 million years ago due to an ice age and/or a supernova. The teeth that remain however, are all older than 3.5 million years old, so that doesn’t apply.

The hypothesis is that competition for food with smaller but faster sharks is what made Megalodon go extinct. In this show they experimented with mako sharks, blue sharks, hammerhead sharks, and Great white sharks. While size was absolutely no match for the Megalodon the smaller sharks are much more agile and some were four times as fast as the meg at 15 mph.

Time will tell if this hypothesis turns out to be true but the time and thought put into this episode was completely worth the watch. The information given about existing sharks was interesting and I loved that they didn’t try to make you believe Megalodon was still out there in the world somewhere. And I recommend Expedition Unknown even when they don’t have sharks.

Shark Trip: Eat Prey Chum

First and foremost I hate celebrity shark dives. Now that that is out of the way…
Shark Week 2019’s host Rob Riggle pretends to trick his celebrity friends Anthony Anderson, Adam Devine, Joel McHale, and Damon Wayans Jr. into going on a shark dive. Mr. Riggle resumed his persona from last year’s Shark Week of goofy moron who believes himself a shark expert. He and his friends were joined by Paul DeGelder a shark expert and shark attack survivor. Dr. Tristan Guttridge a shark behavioral ecologist. And Marine Biologists: Dr. Austin Gallagher, and Sarah Luongo.

I know celebrity shark dives spread conservation awareness by having famous people use their influence and social media presence to help sharks. I also understand there are people who genuinely like these episodes. I’m just not one of them. It’s all fluff. Between screams and protests the four men did dive with actual sharks like the Caribbean reef shark. Hammerhead shark, zebra shark, nurse shark, tiger shark, and even some sawfish and a manta ray. 15 minutes before the two hour episode finally ended they tagged a couple tiger sharks…. The host must have his episode!

Shark After Dark
As I said last year, this is a talk show setting where you watch the people you just watch talk about the things you just watched them do. It is a complete waste of time and I most likely will not mention it again unless they do something interesting. The celebrities have to be able to plug their other projects and Shark Week has Twitter stuff going on. And Bob the shark.

Night 1 is done and it started on an excellent note. The celebrities are trying to help sharks and I appreciate that and any attention brought to the sharks is good attention. I would like to see the actual shark programming get the two hour spot though not the stooges. I hope you enjoyed night 1!

Tonight’s programming begins at 8 p.m. with Sharks of the Badlands. Legend of Deep Blue. The Sharks of Headstone Hell.

Sylvia Papineau is an Arcade resident and self-proclaimed Shark Week 'finatic.' Watch All WNY News all week for her take on Shark Week 2019 specials. 

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