Man finds massive teeth from extinct megashark dating back 25 million years

Man finds massive teeth from extinct megashark dating back 25 million years

A teacher and fossil enthusiast found a giant set of prehistoric shark teeth estimated to be about 25 million years old at a beach in Australia.

The teeth, which are nearly three inches in length, belong to the Great Jagged Narrow-Toothed Shark, an extinct mega-shark species that stalked the Australian seas some 25 million years ago and subsisted on a diet of whales, the public museum organization said.

The about 3-inch teeth belonged to one of the most significant predators that ever lived in the world's oceans, the Great Jagged Narrow-Toothed shark.

"These teeth are of worldwide significance, as they represent one of just three associated groupings of Carcharocles angustidens teeth in the world", Fitzgerald explained.

Together with scientists and volunteers at the museum, Fitzgerald and Mullaly went back to the beach and excavated the site on two separate expeditions.

That was just one of multiple teeth Mullaly found that day in 2015. They'll be on display until October 7. Their efforts yielded an impressive fossil find of 40 teeth, unearthed in late 2017.

The species, still alive today, likely fed on the remains of the megatooth shark after it died.

Fossilized teeth of the Sixgill shark
Fossilized teeth of the Sixgill shark

Secondly, these rare fossils are among a handful of ancient shark teeth to have been found as a set. Although the team found evidence that there was only one megashark there, they found indications that there were several different sixgill sharks on the scene. At the same time, ancient teeth are seldom preserved, because the cartilage in their make-up doesn't fossilize easily.

"Angustidens was a bloody big shark, we're talking more than 30 feet long", Fitzgerald said.

This makes the newfound fossils all the more extraordinary, as multiple shark teeth coming from the same specimen are notoriously hard to find.

"The teeth of the sixgill shark work like a crosscut saw, and tore into the Carcharocles angustidens like loggers felling a tree".

"The stench of blood and decaying flesh would have drawn scavengers from far around", he said.

Fitzgerald said he believes there may be even more shark teeth at Jan Juc and even parts of a spinal column lodged in the cliff, based on what he saw during the excavation.

"This find suggests they have performed that lifestyle here for tens of millions of years", Museums Victoria paleontologist Tim Ziegler said.

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