Don’t boop the snoot: an interview with the creators of the “life of sharks” webcomic

Christian and Sophie

The “life of sharks” webcomic, which features real facts about sharks along with clever humor, is taking the internet by storm! Creators Christian Talbot (writer) and Sophie Hodge (Illustrator) were kind enough to answer some of my questions about their comic and where they get their ideas. Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and check out their online store. Responses are lightly edited for length and clarity. 

David: Tell me about your comic. Why sharks? 

Sophie: Mostly the comic is about the minutiae of everyday life, relationships and emotions. That’s kind of funny when you put it into the mouths of fish that are perceived to be cold hearted killers.

Christian: They can be about anything, really. I just like the way we can anthropomorphize the sharks. Sharks just seemed like the funniest animal to try and give human emotions to and put into relationships because they’re seen as being cold, solitary, killing machines. Plus sharks are just cool. Also, sharks can’t claim royalties.

https://www.facebook.com/LifeofSharks/photos/a.849154768625597/973874562820283/?type=3&theater

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Cleaning beaches and saving right whales: Thursday Afternoon Dredging, September 13, 2018

Cuttings (short and sweet):

Spoils (long reads and deep dives):

SCALLOPPPPPPPPPPPP WARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR (An update on the brewing BREXIT-related war over scallop fishing rights between the UK and the EU): 

Please add your own cuttings and spoils in the comments!

If you appreciate my shark research and conservation outreach, please consider supporting me on Patreon! Any amount is appreciated, and supporters get exclusive rewards!

We Robot, a horrible hagfish massacre, deep, delicious sandwiches, fish slime harvests, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: September 10, 2018.

Foghorn (a call to action)

The U.S. is turning a significant portion of Micronesia into live fire and bombing ranges to train Marines. It has plans to completely take over one island for this purpose and has control of two-thirds of another island.

If people in the U.S. mainland understood the military’s plan for Micronesia they might be alarmed. But this is really happening to U.S. citizens living in America’s territories.

(source)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

The Levee (news from LUMCON)

LUMCON’s DeFelice Marine Center, flooded, as seen from a dormitory balcony. (Photo: Courtesy of LUMCON)

LUMCON’s DeFelice Marine Center, flooded, as seen from a dormitory balcony. (Photo: Courtesy of LUMCON)

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Scallops, barnacles, and oysters- oh my! Thursday Afternoon Dredging, September 6th, 2018

Cuttings (short and sweet):

Spoils (long reads and deep dives):

Please add your own cuttings and spoils in the comments!

If you appreciate my shark research and conservation outreach, please consider supporting me on Patreon! Any amount is appreciated, and supporters get exclusive rewards!

The real deep reefs of South Carolina, dolphin chatter, autonomous starfish killing robots, an exciting submarine discovery, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: September 3, 2018

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

The Gam (conversations from the ocean-podcasting world)

Speak Up for the Blue with two great recent episodes.

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Red tide, whale poop, and vanishing puffins: Thursday Afternoon Dredging, August 30th, 2018

Cuttings (short and sweet):

Spoils (long reads and deep dives):

 

Please add your own cuttings and spoils in the comments!

If you appreciate my shark research and conservation outreach, please consider supporting me on Patreon! Any amount is appreciated, and supporters get exclusive rewards!

Saving the Great Barrier Reef, bolt cutters, bulk cutters, beak scars, and more! Monday Morning Salvage, August 27, 2018.

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Out of the Blue Box is a global search for new ideas to strengthen the recovery of our iconic Great Barrier Reef. We are calling for solutions to the challenges facing the Great Barrier Reef, and reefs all over the world, to fast-track projects that will have an immediate and lasting impact.

source

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

L. MARSH, V. HUVENNE AND D. JONES/ROY. SOC. OPEN SCIENCE 2018

L. MARSH, V. HUVENNE AND D. JONES/ROY. SOC. OPEN SCIENCE 2018

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Lost shipwrecks, weaponized hagfish, plastivorous worms, deep-sea mining, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: August 20, 2018.

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Dr. Amon shows off a deep-sea dropcam. Courtesy OpenExplorer.

Dr. Amon shows off a deep-sea dropcam. Courtesy OpenExplorer.

Members of the expedition take time to examine a Japanese mini submarine that remains in the historic sub pens on Kiska Island. Image courtesy of Kiska: Alaska's Underwater Battlefield expedition.

Members of the expedition take time to examine a Japanese mini submarine that remains in the historic sub pens on Kiska Island. Image courtesy of Kiska: Alaska’s Underwater Battlefield expedition.

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5 things to know about spotted eagle ray tooth plates, August’s 3D printed reward!

I recently unveiled a new tier of Patreon rewards: 3D printed shark and ray models!For $17 per month, you will get a monthly 3D printed educational model of different shark or ray parts in the mail, and you’ll be supporting my efforts to provide these models to schools for free.

August’s reward is a row from the tooth plate of a spotted eagle ray, Aetobatus narinari! The original specimen is housed at the University of Tennessee fossil collection, and the 3D scan was shared online as part of the FOSSIL project.

I asked University of Florida/Florida Museum Ph.D. student Jeanette Pirlo about the FOSSIL project:

” The FOSSIL Project is an NSF funded project, based out of the University of Florida and the Florida Museum, devoted to cultivating a networked community of practice in which fossil club members and professional paleontologists collaborate in learning the practice of science and outreach. The myFOSSIL.org website is the platform from which our members can collaborate by sharing their fossil finds, curate their personal collections, and participate in ongoing paleontological research” – Jeanette Pirlo

A full set of Spotted Eagle Ray Jaws showing multiple tooth rows fused into a plate, photo by Cathleen Bester courtesy Jeanette Pirlo at the Florida Museum. The specific individual tooth row that was scanned here, photo by Maggie Limbeck, University of Tennessee Masters Candidate. And the 3D printed version

 

Learn more about the spotted eagle ray and it’s teeth below!

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Plastic Eating Worms and Scientists Running for Office: Thursday Afternoon Dredging, August 16th, 2018

Cuttings (short and sweet): 

Spoils (long reads and deep dives):

Plumbing the depths (discussion):

Please add your own cuttings and spoils in the comments!

If you appreciate my shark research and conservation outreach, please consider supporting me on Patreon! Any amount is appreciated, and supporters get exclusive rewards!