This is your opportunity to own an authentic fossil shark tooth. Imagine holding this tooth in your hand. Envision the power of the living animal that once had this tooth. Feel the serrated edges that cut through flesh and bone. Imagine the bone crushing force of its bite. Hold this tooth in your hand and know the terror its prey must have felt millions of years ago.
Sharks continually produce teeth throughout their entire lives. Depending on what they eat, sharks lose a set of teeth every one to two weeks, getting through up to 40,000 teeth in their lifetime. This means that shark teeth are continuously raining down onto the ocean floor, increasing the chance that they will get fossilized.
This tooth is Early Miocene to Pliocene 23 to 3.6 million years ago.
This tooth was collected by scuba divers off the east coast of the USA
The front and back of the tooth is shown in the photos.
CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE IMAGES
MEGALODON SHARKS WERE THE LARGEST PREDATOR THAT EVER LIVED.
Reaching lengths of up to 60-70 feet and an estimated maximum weight of over 60 tons, the Megalodon is the largest known predator in Earth’s history. The modern Sperm Whale is longer, but probably not as heavy as the Megalodon. To compare this size, the largest modern Great White sharks max out around 23 feet and 3 ½ tons. This makes the Megalodon nearly 3 times as long, and 20 times and heavy as the Great White Shark. The Megalodon’s massive size also dwarfs that of the large, extinct marine reptiles like the Mosasaurus, Tylosaurus and Liopleurodon on a weight basis. Because shark skeletons are made of cartilage that doesn’t fossilized easily, scientists just have the teeth to go on when estimating maximum size. This has caused a wide range of maximum sizes to be proposed over the years, depending on the methodology used, but most scientifically accepted maximum sizes fall in the 50-60 foot range.
MEGALODON'S TEETH COULD REACH SIZES OVER 7 INCHES
While most adult Megalodon teeth fall into the 4-5” size range, a few massive, fossil teeth have been found in excess of 7” The largest verifiable Megalodon tooth is a 7.48” tooth found near Ocucaje, Peru. Compare that to the Great White shark whose teeth reached a maximum size of under 3 inches in the largest individuals. Reconstructions of the Megalodon’s jaw suggest they may have been up to 7 feet across.
MEGALODON IS NOT CLOSELY RELATED TO THE GREAT WHITE SHARK
Contrary to popular belief, fossil evidence shows that the Megalodon is NOT in fact closely related to the Great White Shark. When the Megalodon was first described based on fossil teeth in 1843, it was put in the same genus as the Great White shark, Carcharodon . They both had big, serrated teeth and were the marine apex predators of their time. So they must be related, right? But, as our understanding of shark taxonomy has grown and new fossil discoveries have filled gaps in the fossil record, it’s become apparent this assumption was not correct and a new Carcharocles genus was created. The Megalodon likely represented the end-point in a chronospecies, or a single evolutionary line that can be traced back nearly 60 million years to the Otodus shark. At the same time research has shown that the Mako Shark and Great White Shark are closely related. Fossils show that they both likely evolved from the extinct Broad Tooth Mako (Isurus hastalis), branching off about 5 million years ago. So, while popular media often represents that the Megalodon and Great White are closely related, that statement doesn't match the fossil evidence or the consensus view among researchers.
MEGALODON ATE WHALES FOR BREAKFAST
This gigantic shark obviously required a massive amount of food and it’s been estimated an adult Megalodon may have had to consume over a ton of food per day to sustain itself. Fossil evidence points to the Megalodon preying on whales and other large marine mammals such as Sea Cows and Sea Lions. Many fossil whale bones have been found with clear signs of large, bite marks made by teeth matching the Megalodon’s. Other excavations have found Megalodon teeth lying next to the chewed remains of whales.
MEGALODON TEETH ARE RELATIVELY COMMON FOSSILS
Surprising to some, fossil Megalodon teeth are relatively common fossils in many areas of the world. Like other sharks the Megalodon lost its teeth as it grew, they became worn or broken. Their teeth also were very solid and fossilized quite easily. While Megalodon teeth in general can be quite common, large or exceptionally well preserved specimens can be very rare, and can fetch big bucks from collectors. For example, 7” Megalodon teeth are so rare, the last one sold for nearly $50,000, while small or broken teeth can be quite inexpensive.
MEGALODON HAD A COSMOPOLITAN OR WORLD-WIDE DISTRIBUTION
Fossil teeth of the Megalodon have been found worldwide from regions including North and South America, Europe, Africa, as well as Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, the Canary Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malta, Grenadines and India. It appears to have lived anywhere the ocean was warm enough and food sources plentiful enough to sustain it.
MEGALODON WENT EXTINCT AROUND 2.6 MILLION YEARS AGO
Megalodon lived during the Early Miocene to Pliocene 23 to 2.6 million years ago. Unless you believe a bunch of CGI, made up “evidence” and actors masquerading as scientists on the Discovery channel the Megalodon shark became extinct around 2.6 million years ago. During this time, the Earth underwent significant climate changes which would have put significant pressures on the Megalodon. The Oceans cooled and sea levels dropped, and many large marine mammals which the Megalodon relied on for food disappeared during this approximate time.
MEGALODON HAD THE MOST POWERFUL BITE OF ANY KNOWN ANIMAL
The Megalodon is believed to have had the most powerful bite of any animal, and it’s not even close. Computer models estimate the Megalodon’s bite force between 24,000 to 40,000 pounds (10,900 to 18,100 kilograms) per square inch. This is 6-10 times that of the Great White shark and modern crocodiles, This is also 2-3 times that of the estimated bite force of 12,800 pounds for T-Rex and the large Mosasaurs. This enormous bite force could literally bite a small whale in half.
SEVERAL MEGALODON NURSERY AREAS HAVE BEEN DISCOVERED
The Megalodon gave birth to it’s young in shallow water environments. Several suspected nursery areas have been identified based on the high concentrations of small Megalodon teeth, many only about 1 ½ inches in length. These suspected nursery areas include the Bone Valley Region of Florida, the Calvert Cliffs in Maryland and the recently described nursery in the Gatum Formation of Panama.
MEGALODON HAD ABOUT 276 TEETH IN 5 ROWS
Like modern sharks, the Megalodon discarded it’s teeth frequently as they became worn. It likely had 5 rows of teeth, which acted like a conveyer belt, so that lost teeth could be replaced rapidly, likely within 24-48 hours. While tooth loss rates are poorly understood even in modern-day sharks, it’s likely that a Megalodon went through thousands of teeth during its lifetime. The vast majority of fossil Megalodon teeth that are collected show significant feeding wear to the tip, some with the tips completely sheared off due to hitting bone or other teeth during feeding.
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