MAKO AT THE MUSEUM: An 11-foot fiberglass shark donated from Jacksonville, Fla., is the latest addition to the Aurora Fossil Museum. The shark hangs above displays at the museum, which features a wide variety of exhibits ranging from a Pleistocene Age mastodon tusk to casts of an associated set of Parotodus benedini shark’s teeth which were found in the area.

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A show of teeth: Shark raving mad in Aurora

Published 9:29pm Saturday, February 2, 2013

AURORA — The Aurora Fossil Museum added a new display this week. A fiberglass model of a shortfin mako shark now hangs in the Main Street museum.
Andrea Stilley, executive director of the museum, said the museum could not have afforded a display of this caliber had it not been donated by a Jacksonville, Fla., friend of the museum.
“Dr. Cliff Jeremiah donated it to us,” she said. “All I had to do was go get it. I rented a U-Haul van and brought him back.”
Stilley returned with the shark last Sunday, and had it up for display the following day. She hung it at an angle so that visitors could see the shark from every angle.
Jeremiah and his friend fabricated the 11.7-foot-long mako shark. Stilley said the mako was a wonderful replica.
“Oh, yeah. It’s very accurate,” Stilley said. “It was actually modeled against a shark that is deceased.”
A mold was made of the shark and filled with fiberglass. Details were then sculpted to the fiberglass piece.
Stilley was all smiles as she looked at the shark.
“It’s just something new for the children to see,” she said. “We’re very proud of her.”
Makos earned the nicknames “bullet” and “torpedo” because they are the fastest sharks in the water, Stilley said.
The female shark displayed at Aurora will not go by either nickname. Stilley plans to solicit schools in neighboring counties for name suggestions.
“I called her Jezebel when I went to pick her up,” laughed Stilley.
The Aurora Fossil Museum, located at 400 Main St., Aurora, is open Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Starting March 1, the museum will be open Sundays, too (from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Admission is free. For more information, call 322-4238.

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