Ancient seas, ca. 2 million years ago. Five gorgeous fossilized examples of a Megalodon tooth with varied colors of fossilized stone, displayed together as a group on a custom stand. Megalodon (Carcharodon megalodon, literally "big tooth"), thought to have become extinct 1.6 million years ago, is the largest known member of the shark family. Fossil reconstructions suggest Megalodon reached lengths up to 54 feet, three times larger than Great Whites. Megalodons seem to have preferred shallow, coastal waters, which would have been full of prey, and their teeth are often found along coastlines in those areas. Size of largest (all are roughly the same size): 4.3" W x 5.4" H (10.9 cm x 13.7 cm); size on stand: 18.5" W x 9.5" H (47 cm x 24.1 cm)
Prior to 1666, when naturalist Nicolaus Steno studied shark teeth and realized the error, people believed that these teeth were moon rocks or dragon's tongues. Teeth are all that remain of these ancient creatures, whose skeletal structures - like those of all sharks - were made of cartilage and did not fossilize. A megalodon's age at death can be determined by the growth rings radiating from the centra of the tooth.
Provenance: private Illinois, USA collection
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