Rare teeth from ancient mega-shark found on Australia beach
Rare teeth from ancient mega-shark found on Australia beach
These gigantic shark teeth belonged to the megalodon's cousin
12 August, 2018, 16:56
Fossilized teeth from an ancient mega-shark, considered a close cousin to the megalodon, have been discovered on an Australian beach and are set to be unveiled Thursday, Museums Victoria announced.
He added that it is extremely rare to find multiple teeth from the same shark at one time, and hypothesized that more fossils from the shark could be inside the same boulder.
"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", Mullaly said in a statement.
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The almost three-inch-long teeth belonged to a now-extinct ferocious shark, aptly named the great jagged narrow-toothed shark, which is a smaller cousin of the famous megalodon shark, the subject of the new movie. The teeth are the first of their kind found in Australia and one of only three discoveries in the world. So, they organized two expeditions to excavate the site, where they were able to collect more than 40 shark teeth.
"It dawned on me when I found the second, third and fourth tooth that this was a really big deal", Mullaly said. They'll be on display until October 7.
The recently found fossilized mega-shark teeth were dated 25-million-year-old and are now on display at the Melbourne Museum until October 7th.
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Fitzgerald suspected they came from one individual shark and there might be more entombed in the rock. At the same time, ancient teeth are seldom preserved, because the cartilage in their make-up doesn't fossilize easily.
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.
In the video below, Fitzgerald comments on the importance of this discovery and the contribution that citizen scientists like Mullaly bring to paleontology. Fitzgerald's team also came across the teeth of a sixgill shark-a creature that swims around Australia to this day-and concluded that a school of sixgills had fed on the massive Carcharocles angustidens on the sea floor.
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"Sixgill sharks still exist off the Victorian coast today, where they live off the remains of whales and other animals. This find suggests they have performed that lifestyle here for tens of millions of years".
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