Teeth From Giant Prehistoric Shark Found On Australian Beach Prove The Land Down Under Has Always Been Deadly

Thursday, 09 August 2018 - 12:31PM
Weird Science
Thursday, 09 August 2018 - 12:31PM
Teeth From Giant Prehistoric Shark Found On Australian Beach Prove The Land Down Under Has Always Been Deadly
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Cover Image: Steve Baxer/Public Domain

The world (or the portion of it that loves Jason Statham and scary fish) is looking forward to the release of summer blockbuster about a giant prehistoric shark that is somehow alive and hungry in present day. The odds of a Megalodon attacking beach goers in the 21st century are slim, but if you're lucky you can still find evidence of other terrifying apex predators that once ruled the deep. According to reports, an amateur fossil enthusiast named Philip Mullaly recently found teeth that belonged to a Carcharocles angustidens, a shark that lived between 33 to 22 million years ago, and was twice the size of a modern great white.

Mullaly told the press that he was out hunting for fossils in Australia when he noticed something promising. "I was walking along the beach looking for fossils, turned and saw this shining glint in a boulder and saw a quarter of the tooth exposed," he said. "I was immediately excited, it was just perfect and I knew it was an important find that needed to be shared with people." Erich Fitzgerald of Museums Victoria confirmed the species for Mullaly and explained just how special of a find they are. "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."

He added that it is extremely rare to find multiple teeth from the same shark at one time, and hypothesized that more fossils from the shark could be inside the same boulder. When Fitzgerald and a team went to investigate, they found around 40 more teeth, including a few from a genus (Hexanchus) that is still alive today. The theory is that the other sharks came to feast on the carcass of the dead mega shark and lost teeth during the feast. 

So the best news is that the Carcharocles angustidens is not going to kill us, or Jason Statham. 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.




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