Teeth of a giant prehistoric shark, buried on the ocean floor for millions of years, have been washing up on a beach in the United States.
Rain and high tides in North Carolina, associated with Hurricane Joaquin, have unearthed the massive shark teeth that once belonged to an 18-metre-long megalodon, an ancestor of the much smaller Great White Shark.
Fairfax media quoted Cynthia Crane, director of the Aurora Fossils Museum in North Carolina:
“Megalodon was this large, humungous shark that roamed the ancient seaways during the Miocene-Pliocene time — mainly mid Miocene to Pliocene — which was about 15 million to 5 million years ago.”
The megaladon was the largest shark that ever lived. It was cruising the oceansfrom some 15 million years ago to about 2 million years ago.
Scientists are not sure why the animal became extinct, although one hypothesis is that megalodon, which thrived when the Earth’s oceans were much warmer, was unable to adapt to changing conditions.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.