Programs & Services

Whorl-Tooth Sharks swim into Albuquerque May 14th

(Albuquerque, NM – May 6, 2016) --- Get ready for another terrific exhibition experience when the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (NMMNHS) welcomes The Buzzsaw Sharks of Long Ago beginning Saturday, May 14 running through September 5, 2016. This major new exhibit is based on the giant prehistoric shark found in the phosphate mines of Idaho.

This unique exhibition blends science, art and humor and tracks how scientists have begun to understand the story of the big, bizarre prehistoric whorl-toothed shark (Helicoprion) through the sketches and musings of Alaskan artist Ray Troll.

The exhibit features a wide array of fossils of the 270-million-year-old shark, along with Troll’s original artworks, life-sized sculptures of the shark bursting through the museum walls by sculptor Gary Staab, original music, a short documentary and much more.  There are children’s activities too, so it promises to be fun for the whole family.

The fossils are spiraling coils of razor-sharp shark teeth.  Recently, here in New Mexico, a NMMNHS volunteer found part of a tooth whorl of a buzz saw shark east of Socorro in rocks of Pennsylvanian age (about 310 million years old). The partial whorl has five large, serrated teeth, and is the most complete fossil of a buzz saw shark found in NM (previously, only fragments of teeth had been collected). It belongs to the genus Campyloprion, also known from the American Midwest and Russia.

At the Museum on Opening Day, May 14th, visitors will be treated to a presentation by Ray Troll at 10AM, immediately followed by a book signing in the gift shop.

This exhibition is brought to NMMNHS by the Idaho Museum of Natural History. 


  • Thursday, May 12, 2pm – Artist & Scientist Discussion: Ray Troll and Dr. Spencer Lucas, NMMNHS Chief Paleontologist – discuss the art/science connection at Ponderosa Brewing Company at 761 Bellamah Ave NW.

    Ponderosa Brewing is creating a specialty brew called Shark Bite Red Rye Lager in honor of the Buzzsaw Sharks of Long Ago exhibit. Shark Bite Red Rye Lager is on tap at Ponderosa Brewing at 1761 Bellamah Ave NW (north of the Museum) from May 14th - through September 5, the duration of the Sharks exhibit run.
  • Friday, May 13, 7pm – Free Lecture, Kimo Theatre - Swimming with the Big Fish: How to Market Your Art Globally  
  • Saturday, May 14, 10am – Ray Troll family presentation immediately followed by book-signing in Museum gift shop.


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