Megalodon Tooth - 6.0" - "JAW-SOME"
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The Megalodon shark dominated the oceans of the world for over 20 million years. Reaching sizes upwards of 18m (59ft) in length, the largest Megalodon jaw reconstruction measures 3.3m (11ft) across and 2.7m (9ft) tall.
This specimen is a beautiful and massive Megalodon tooth that we call JAW-SOME 🦈
Above: JAW-SOME... Calling it big almost seems like an insult.
At its maximum length, this tooth measures 6.0". The maximum width is 4.2".
Above: JAW-SOME (top) with other Beyond-XL sized teeth. Comparing it with other, smaller teeth hardly seemed fair.
Finding Megalodon teeth at 6" is beyond rare these days, and this one is a beautiful specimen.
Above: Close-Up of Serrations of JAW-SOME
As you'll notice here, there are only a few spots where the serrations are missing and the enamel is not quite complete on top. This is not unusual for a tooth this size.
But at 6.0" inches, there are very few teeth that come even close to this beautiful beast.
Above: Jamie holding JAW-SOME.
More about Megalodon
Above: A partial Megalodon tooth close up. This specimen measured over 5" and was used in the creation of the Third Edition of the Mini Museum.
Computer models suggest that a full-grown Megalodon had the most powerful bite of any known animal in the fossil record, somewhere between 11 and 18 tonnes or 25,000-40,000 pounds. This epic jaw was also lined with enormous teeth - 46 in the front row, to be exact, with 5 more rows waiting behind.
Above: Rows of Megalodon teeth set into a reconstructed jaw.
The fossil record suggests that Megalodon fed on a wide variety of prey. Smaller marine mammals, like dolphins, seals, and manatees were obvious targets, but even the largest early whales were not safe from this enormous apex predator. Analysis suggests that Megalodon was likely a very intelligent hunter, disabling large whales by crushing flippers or piercing internal organs. Recent studies of developing populations of predatory whales also suggest that pack hunting behavior may have developed as a competitive response to Megalodon's dominance.
Above: The first reconstructed Megalodon jaw housed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. (Picture dated 1909)
Finding a home for Megalodon in the hierarchy of sharks has been an interesting task for science. For years two competing branches of the shark family laid claim to this monster, the Carcharodon or the white-shark line, and the now extinct line of "megatooth" sharks of Otodus (formerly members of Carcharocles).
Above: Serrations on Small and Medium teeth.
These two branches of the shark family had radically different feeding patterns. The megatooth sharks specialized in hunting whales and sirenians (manatees) in warmer waters, while the white-shark line focused on colder climate hunting, a practice that continues today as young great white sharks switch from fish to seals as they mature.
The debate is still ongoing but most scientists have settled on the megatooth-line based on the feeding pattern of Megalodon. Not surprisingly, the extinction of the Megalodon roughly three million years ago is tied directly to the mega-sizing of modern baleen whales.
Above: Back of the Specimen Card