Teeth Belonging to Prehistoric Mega-Shark Uncovered in Australia

Science

Even more exciting, the teeth are still largely intact, despite being 25 million years old.

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.

Though people have found single shark teeth belonging to the megatoothed shark before, Mullaly's find was the first time a set had been discovered in Australia, and only the third time a set of teeth belonging to the same individual Carcharocles angustidens had been found in the world. This shark grew up to 30 feet (9 m) in length, was the top predator and would have preyed on small whales.

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.

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

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The species, still alive today, likely fed on the remains of the megatooth shark after it died.

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

Meanwhile, the sixgill shark teeth uncovered along with the Carcharocles angustidens fossils appear to belong to several individuals, which probably scavenged on the dead mega-shark and lost their teeth in the process. "The stench of blood and decaying flesh would have drawn scavengers from far around", Museums Victoria palaeontologist Tim Ziegler said in a statement.

Mullaly ended up leading scientists from the museum to the site and they were able to extract more than 40 teeth. This means that the sixgill shark's behavior has not changed much for tens of millions of years.

"If we can find out any more clues about the lifestyle (and) the ecology of this extinct species, that might shed light as to what led to its extinction", he said. The theory is that the other sharks came to feast on the carcass of the dead mega shark and lost teeth during the feast. "We'll be waiting and ready for the next expedition down to salvage a giant prehistoric shark".

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