Kearney art studio recreates Megalodon, a 52-foot prehistoric shark, for the Smithsonian

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KEARNEY, Mo. — Inside Staab Studios in Kearney, there’s a perfect blend of art and science.

“They’re usually two things you don’t think of going together very well, right?” Staab Studios owner Gary Staab said.

Staab creates models for natural history museums and publications for a living.

His work, along with the other sculptors’ pieces, can be found in the Denver, Carnegie and Smithsonian museums — just to name a few.

“Not every occupation lets you be a part of something so big that affects many people,” Staab Studios sculptor Eric Carver said.

This past spring, the studio recreated the Megalodon for a new exhibit at the Smithsonian. The Megalodon is a 52-foot prehistoric shark that used to roam near the Chesapeake Bay.

“As a kid I never thought when I was putting together car models in my bedroom that I`d be putting together a lifesize Megalodon in a museum,” Carver said.

Just like any other project, putting this together took a lot of planning.

“A lot of the models are based on fossils. So we look at fossils, put the flesh and skin on those fossils to create sculptures like this, that eventually go on display,” Staab said.

The Megalodon was so massive, they had to make it in sections before reassembling in D.C. Now, it hangs more than 80 feet in the air.

“I’ve done a lot of work for the Smithsonian. But that particular animal, I don’t think anyone’s ever made for them,” Staab said.

From the small town of Kearney to the nation’s Capital, Staab Studios proves meaningful art science pieces can be created anywhere.

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