Man finds 25-million-year-old shark teeth

James Marshall
August 12, 2018

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.

Known also as the Great Jagged Narrow-Toothed Shark, this prehistoric creature traveled the oceans 25 million years ago and probably measured over 30 feet. That's nearly twice the size of the great white.

What started as a regular day at the beach for Philip Mullaly ended with a key scientific discovery. The teeth discovered on the beach were around 7 cm (2.75 inches) in length. "I was immediately excited, it was just flawless and I knew it was an important find that needed to be shared with people", Mullaly said.

One man found a pair of fossilized teeth from the great jagged-narrow toothed shark on a beach south of Melbourne. So, they organized two expeditions to excavate the site, where they were able to collect more than 40 shark teeth. This great predator was twice as big as the great white shark, being nine meters long, and was mostly eating small whales and penguins.

This exciting discovery is extremely significant in multiple respects.

The species, still alive today, likely fed on the remains of the megatooth shark after it died. This makes the new find the very first evidence that Carcharocles angustidens once populated Australian waters, notes Cosmos Magazine.

Dr. Erich Fitzgerald at the Jan Juc site where the fossil was found
Fossilized teeth of the Sixgill shark. Dr. Erich Fitzgerald at the Jan Juc site where the fossil was found

Philip Mullaly found the set of shark teeth in Jan Juc, a renowned fossil site along Victoria's Surf Coast.

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.

As he explained, sharks have quickly regenerating teeth, which regularly replace older ones. That cartilage does not easily decompose, which is why individual shark tooth fossils are somewhat common.

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

So with a team of paleontologists, Fitzgerald and Mullaly returned to the beach past year, which was south of Melbourne.

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

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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