Man finds 25-million-year-old shark teeth

Amateur fossil hunter stumbles upon rare teeth from ancient mega-shark

Amateur fossil hunter stumbles upon rare teeth from ancient mega-shark

Fossil enthusiast Philip Mullaly holds a giant shark tooth-evidence that a shark almost twice the size of a great white once stalked Australia's ancient oceans-at the Melbourne Museum on August 9, 2018.

Carcharocle angustidens inhabited the oceans of Australia about 25 million years ago, feeding on small whales and penguins.

Fitzgerald said he was first contacted by Mullaly a year ago about a different discovery, during which he briefly mentioned the find at Jan Juc, but it wasn't until the amateur fossil hunter brought the teeth into the museum that Fitzgerald realized how significant the discovery was. "These teeth are of global 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". During two expeditions taking place last December and January, Fitzgerald led a team of experts to the location where Mullaly found the teeth to excavate.

That was just one of multiple teeth Mullaly found that day in 2015.

The teeth went on public display Thursday and will remain available to public view until October.

The teeth fossils are now on exhibit at Museums Victoria.

Erich Fitzgerald of Museums Victoria confirmed the species for Mullaly and explained just how special of a find they are.

Fitzgerald suspected they came from one individual shark and there might be more entombed in the rock. That cartilage does not easily decompose, which is why individual shark tooth fossils are somewhat common. First of all, this is the first time that fossilized teeth belonging to this mega-shark species have turned up in Australia.

He explained that nearly all fossils of sharks worldwide were just single teeth, and it was extremely rare to find multiple associated teeth from the same shark. The theory is that the other sharks came to feast on the carcass of the dead mega shark and lost teeth during the feast. "The stench of blood and decaying flesh would have drawn scavengers from far around", Museums Victoria palaeontologist Tim Ziegler said in a statement. "This find suggests they have performed that lifestyle here for tens of millions of years".

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