Man Finds Rare Teeth Of Prehistoric Giant Shark

Posted: Aug 12 2018, 3:35am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Man Finds Rare Teeth of Prehistoric Giant Shark
Credit: Museums Victoria

Teeth from ancient mega-shark are almost twice the size of the modern great white shark's.

An amateur fossil enthusiast has found a rare set of fossilized shark teeth on a beach in South Australia. Philip Mullaly was strolling along a renowned fossil site at Jan Juc, on Great Ocean Road, when he spotted a shark tooth sticking out of a rock.

“I was walking along the beach looking for fossils, turned and saw this shining glint in a boulder and saw a quarter of the tooth exposed," said Mullaly. "I was immediately excited, it was just perfect and I knew it was an important find that needed to be shared with people."

The teeth belong to an extinct species of mega-shark called the great jagged narrow-toothed shark or Carcharocles angustidens that dominated the Australian oceans around 25 million years ago. The ancient shark could grow up to 30 feet long, almost twice the length of today's great white shark. The teeth from the shark are 2.7 inches long, which makes them twice the size of the great white shark’s.

Mullaly contacted paleontologists at the Museums Victoria in Melbourne after the remarkable discovery. Earlier this year, a team revisited the site and collected more than 40 teeth during recent excavations.

Almost all shark fossils worldwide involve just single teeth. Finding a set of shark teeth is extremely rare. More importantly, most come from one individual shark.

"These teeth are of international significance, as they represent one of just three associated groupings of Carcharocles angustidens teeth in the world, and the very first set to ever be discovered in Australia.” Erich Fitzgerald, a senior curator of vertebrate paleontology at Museums Victoria said in a statement.

Sharks have a unique ability to develop and regenerate their teeth throughout their lifetime and can lose up to a tooth a day. And that’s why paleontologists are able to find multiple shark teeth across the globe.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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