A Great white shark swims above, close to the surface of the water. Image Credit: Elias Levy / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0).
A Great white shark swims above, close to the surface of the water. Image Credit: Elias Levy / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0).

Cosmic Queries – Sharks

Great white shark. Image Credit: Elias Levy / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0).
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About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Jordan Klepper are together again to answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about sharks. Since both Neil and Jordan are self-proclaimed non-experts on sharks, they’re joined by shark scientist Jasmin Graham. Jasmin is also a project coordinator at the Marine Science Laboratory Alliance Center of Excellence and a co-founder of Minorities in Shark Science. 

You’ll learn how climate change impacts sharks. Jasmin explains how different species will have to deal with different issues that arise from climate change. Discover more about the size of sharks and why most sharks aren’t the size of the great white sharks you see in popular culture. We investigate the megalodon. Could there still be megalodons roaming the ocean deep? Jasmin helps us poke holes in all megalodon theories. You’ll hear how the evolution of whales helps us understand the extinction of the megalodon. 

Discover more about sharks’ intelligence. Have they reached a plateau? Will they be able to adapt to climate change? We dive into the “science” of the Sharknado film series. Neil reminisces on his star turn in The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time. 

You’ll find out what innovations we can originally stemmed from shark research. Jasmin explains how sharks have influenced skin care products and the engineering of underwater vehicles. You’ll also find out what we’re doing for shark conservation. And, Jasmin enlightens us on the similarities between dolphins and sharks, even though they seem wildly different in the public eye. 

Discover more about baby sharks and the absence of parental care. You’ll hear how noise pollution has influenced shark behavior. We also look at how the moon influences shark behavior. Lastly, we explore the phrase, “sharks can smell blood in the water.” All that, plus, Jasmin tells us if Greenland sharks really live to be 500 years old. 

Thanks to our Patrons Yakov Goldberg, Sebastian Roser, Tomasz Lubomirski, Gilz Taboada, Britney Dejesus, Jeff Haynes, Tony Biell, and Stacy Brown for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

In This Episode

  • Host

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Neil deGrasse Tyson
    Astrophysicist
  • Co-Host

    Jordan Klepper

    Jordan Klepper
    Comedian
  • Guest

    Jasmin Graham

    Jasmin Graham
    Shark Scientist, Project Coordinator at the Marine Science Laboratory Alliance Center of Excellence, Co-founder of Minorities in Shark Science

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