Prehistoric giant shark teeth found on Australian beach

Prehistoric giant shark teeth found on Australian beach

Fossilized teeth from an ancient mega-shark, considered a close cousin to the megalodon, have been discovered on an Australian beach and are set to be unveiled Thursday, Museums Victoria announced.

The pair of fossilized teeth are from a prehistoric great jagged narrow-toothed shark nearly twice the length of today's great white.

It's rare to find more than one matching shark tooth at a time because sharks naturally lose their teeth one at a time throughout their lives, so finding such a large number in the same place was unexpected.

Museums Victoria was his next call; it eventually sent out a team to excavate the area, and several more 3-inch (9cm) teeth showed up right in the same spot, indicating the shark had died right there, 25 million years ago.

Dr Erich Fitzgerald, the museum's senior curator of vertebrate palaeontology, organised his team to undertake a dig at the site in past year and uncovered more than 40 teeth and part of the shark's backbone.

Well, meet Philip Mullaly: "It was an awesome creature, it would have been terrifying to come across", the amateur fossil hunter and schoolteacher tells the New York Times of his 2015 discovery on a beach in Victoria, Australia. This shark grew up to 30 feet (9 m) in length, was the top predator and would have preyed on small whales.

"Think a steak knife".

Mullaly, a school teacher from Geelong, was "blown away" when he found the first few teeth in pristine condition.

"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.

In all, 40 teeth were found there, several of them from the species of shark known as the sixgill shark, or Hexanchus. Found along the Surf Coast in Victoria by a fossil enthusiast named Phillip Mullaly, the teeth measure a stunning 2.7 inches long, and are evidence that the megalodon wasn't the only big shark prowling around our ancient waters.

The collection of teeth will go on public display for six months at Museums Victoria, Melbourne.

"They're really lovely objects".

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