WEST WINDSOR –Giant sharks that would dwarf the modern-day great whites is the topic of the lecture "The Rise and Fall of the Neogene Giant Sharks," part of Mercer County Community College’s Distinguished Lecture Series, on Wednesday, Oct. 9, from noon to 1 p.m.
The lecture is free and open to the public and will be held in the Communications Building, Room 107, on the college’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.
Dr. Bretton W. Kent, Director of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Maryland, will deliver the lecture. For more than 30 years, Kent has studied the giant sharks of the Miocene, the first geological epoch of the Neogene Period, which occurred from 5.3 million to 23 million years ago.
Today, there are only four species of giant sharks capable of attacking large prey – the great white being the largest and most well-known species. But during the Miocene, eleven giant shark species co-existed, with the great white being only the third or fourth largest. Kent will discuss the conditions that allowed these sharks to evolve, how different species of giant sharks may have lived, and the likely reasons most of these sharks went extinct.
Kent received his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Maryland in 1981, and taught high school biology and chemistry for eight years before returning to the university as a full-time instructor. He moved from the Zoology Department in 1997 to be the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Entomology.
Dr. Bretton Kent of the University of Maryland will give a presentation on "The Rise and Fall of the Neogene Giant Sharks" as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series at MCCC on Oct. 9.