Australian teacher finds prehistoric shark teeth

12 August, 2018, 16:55 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Amateur fossil hunter stumbles upon rare teeth from ancient mega-shark

Turns out he found out a rare set of teeth of a giant ancient mega-shark which weighted twice the size of the great white.

The shark could be found in Australia's oceans 25 million years ago, and survived by eating small whales and penguins.

In 2015 Philip Mullaly was strolling along a beach in Victoria, Australia, when he spotted what looked like a shining serrated blade stuck in a boulder. As it was confirmed by Erich Fitzgerald, a senior curator of vertebrate paleontology, the seven-centimeter-long teeth belong to a long extinct species called the great jagged narrow-toothed shark (Carcharocles angustidens). The find, announced Thursday, marks only the third set of Carcharocles angustidens teeth in the world and the first ever in Australia. So, they organized two expeditions to excavate the site, where they were able to collect more than 40 shark teeth. The teeth discovered on the beach were around 7 cm (2.75 inches) in length. The next time you're on a beach, pay closer attention to the rocks - maybe you'll get lucky and find a prehistoric fossil of your own.

"These smaller teeth came from several different individuals and would have become dislodged from their jaws as they fed on the huge carcass of Carcharocles angustidens", said Museums Victoria paleontologist Tim Ziegler.

Paleontologist-a lover Philip Mullaly came across a unique artifact when walking through the countryside, Jan-JUC, located about 100 kilometers from Melbourne.


Carcharocles angustidens being feasted upon by several sixgill sharks. That cartilage does not easily decompose, which is why individual shark tooth fossils are somewhat common.

The shark, which stalked Australia's oceans around 25 million years ago, feasting on small whales and penguins, could grow more than nine metres long, nearly twice the length of today's great white shark.

This makes the newfound fossils all the more extraordinary, as multiple shark teeth coming from the same specimen are notoriously hard to find. "The stench of blood and decaying flesh would have drawn scavengers from far around".

"Sixgill sharks still exist off the Victorian coast today, where they live off the remains of whales and other animals".

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