We study marine diversity through time.
Our research aims to better understand the extinction mechanisms of marine life, especially sharks, and to assess the impacts of species loss on functional diversity. Our ultimate goal is to use this information to provide insights into conservation. To reach our research objectives, we integrate large sets of paleontological and neontological data and apply methods in ecology, evolution, phylogenetics and biogeography.
New paper on a 3D, full-body reconstruction of the Megalodon
Our new paper has been published in Science Advances. Based on an exceptionally preserved specimen, we reconstructed the entire body shape of the extinct giant shark, the Megalodon. Our model further allowed us to infer movement and feeding ecology, revealing unprecedented swimming & prey intake abilities.
Check our cool animated video summarising our study on our YouTube channel!
We are a global research group
Our team members are based at the Paleontology Institute and Museum in the University of Zurich (Switzerland), at the Biosciences Department in Swansea University (United Kingdom) and at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama).
Pimiento C, Bacon CD, Silvestro D, Hendy A, Jaramillo C, Zizka A, Meyer X, Antonelli A. 2020 Selective extinction against redundant species buffers functional diversity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 287: 20201162. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.1162.
Villafaña JA, Hernandez S, Alvarado A, Shimada K, Pimiento C, Rivadeneira MM, Kriwet J. (2020). First evidence of a palaeo-nursery area of the great white shark. Scientific Reports 10, 8502 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-65101-1.
Pimiento C, Leprieur F, Silvestro D, Lefcheck J, Albouy C, Rasher DB, Davis M, Svenning JC, Griffin JN. (2020) Functional diversity and the fate of marine megafauna in the Anthropocene. Science Advances 6, eaay7650 doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aay7650.
Cooper, J.A., Pimiento, C., Ferrón, H.G., Benton M. (2020) Body dimensions of the extinct giant shark Otodus megalodon: a 2D reconstruction. Scientific Reports 10, 14596. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-71387-y (Student-led paper).
Pimiento C. & Pyenson N. (2021). Perspective: When sharks nearly disappeared. Science 372, 1036-1037 https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abj2088
Cooper JA, Hutchinson JR, Bernvi DC, Cliff, G, Wilson RW, Dicken ML, Menzel, J, Wroe, S, Pirlo, J and Pimiento, C. (2022) The extinct shark Otodus megalodon was a transoceanic super-predator: inferences from 3D modelling. Science Advances abm9424, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abm9424
We are passionate about our work.
We are committed to high quality science.
We promote diversity in our team.
We are open with our data, manuscripts and ideas.
We are conscious about our impact on the planet and try to reduce or carbon footprint