A man who is an enthusiast when it comes to discovering weird treasures was walking on an Australian beach. Soon after sharing the discovery with paleontologists, he would find out that those teeth belonged to a huge prehistoric shark.
Philip Mullaly was taking a stroll on the beach in Victoria Australia:
“I turned and saw this shining glint in a boulder and saw a quarter of the tooth exposed. I was immediately excited, it was just perfect and I knew it was an important find that needed to be shared with people.”
The Giant Shark From Oligocene Epoch Was Feeding on Whales
It turns out the fossilized tooth belong to a shark that was double the size of a Great White – almost nine meters long.
Paleontologists came to the site and discovered an entire set of teeth from this species called the Great Jagged Narrow-Toothed Shark (Carcharocles angustidens). This shark swam the oceans close to Australia 25 million years ago.
According to Erich Fitzgerald, who is a senior curator of vertebrate paleontology at Museums Victoria, explains why this discovery is important:
“These teeth are of international significance, as they represent one of just three associated groupings of Carcharocles angustidens teeth in the world, and the very first set to ever be discovered in Australia.”
Thinking that the tooth came from a rock, he took Mullaly and a team of paleontologists and volunteers back to the beach to find more teeth. After two expeditions, the team found over 40 teeth – the majority belonged to the mega-shark, and the others belonged to the sixgill shark (Hexanchus), which still roams the water today.
The Great Jagged Narrow-Toothed Shark was a predator that ate small whales and lived during the Oligocene epoch. Visitors can go to the Melbourne Museum to see the teeth today (9 August) – the museum will be part of National Science Week.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere