Palm-sized Megalodon tooth plucked from North Carolina beach made the finder feel like a lottery winner and paleontologists marvel at the trove of fossilized shark teeth unearthed recently.
Due to a mix of high tides and the recently occurring storms, a large number of fossilized shark teeth have been dug up from their sandy confinements. To the excitement of Denny Blend going for a relaxed day at the North Topsail Beach in North Carolina, he found one of them. A real treasure, the palm-sized Megalodon tooth went to the Aurora Fossil Museum, also in North Carolina.
“Oh my God, like I said I felt like I was a lottery winner or something. It’s like I’m the first one to touch that since it fell out of its mouth back in the day”.
The palm-sized tooth plucked from North Carolina beach is an impressive six inches long, with all striations perfectly preserved and fossilized. The Megalodon, a real monster roaming ancient oceans would have grown to as much as 60 feet long.
During the Miocene-Pliocene era, estimated from 15 million years back to 5 million years back, the Megalodon would have been the most fierce predator in the ancient oceans. Although it’s unclear what hastened the shark ancestor’s extinction, researchers have pinpointed this time at approximately 2.6 million years ago.
Compared to one of the most feared marine predator of present days, the great white shark, the Megalodon would be three times bigger. With a jaw three times stronger that of another massive predator, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Megalodon ruled its environment. At least to the best of knowledge based on fossil studies.
According to Cynthia Crane with the Aurora Fossil Museum, the palm-sized Megalodon tooth is one of the largest ever found. Along with this fossils, other brought by the people who find them help expand the paleontology picture of North Carolina. Every contribution is welcome.
So many unearthed Megalodon teeth have helped scientists to establish a ratio growth. For each inch of the ancient shark’s tooth, the shark would have been ten feet longer. The analysis was made in comparison with the great white shark.
Although the Megalodon continue to evolve and grow over 14 million years of evolution, it might be its size that actually brought its demise. More prone to climate changes and the way it affected prey as well, it went extinct 2.6 million years ago.
Photo Credits: Flickr
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