Fossil White Shark Tooth
Fossil White Shark Tooth
Limited Availability: This specimen is exceedingly rare. When they are gone, it is unlikely this item will return.
The Great White Shark: an apex predator known around the world that dominates the ocean with its ferocity. This species has existed for millions of years and evolved into a deadly hunter as it spread through the global seas. It is though, still only an animal, not a monster like blockbuster movies might make some believe. The shark does not hunt with malice, but that doesn’t make its methods any less brutal.
Recovered from Miocene epoch deposits in Peru, this specimen comes from an ancestor species of today’s great white shark. C. hastalis and C. hubbelli had similar tooth shapes with varying degrees of serrations suggesting a clear evolutionary path from early mako sharks. The estimated age is 5-8 million years old.
Above: A Large tooth in hand.
The specimen comes in a classic, glass-topped riker box case measuring 4 1/2" x 3 1/2". A small information card is included, which also serves as the certificate of authenticity.
Extinct White Shark Tooth Sizes
- Small - 0.5 to 1"
- Medium - 1" to 1.5"
- Large - 1.5" Plus
Above: Large and Medium Teeth showing a range of shapes and colors.
Please note: Tooth shapes and colors vary widely with this specimen. To protect the specimen during transit every tooth is individually wrapped. On receipt, simply open the top of the case and unwrap the tooth and then arrange the tooth inside the case as pictured here on the site. We also recommend placing the bubble wrap under the soft, white lining of the case. This extra padding will keep the tooth snug in the case after the lid is secured.
Above: Clockwise from the bottom: Small, Medium, and Large Teeth displayed with the Specimen Card.
More About White Sharks
"You’re gonna need a bigger boat." ~ Chief Brody, Jaws (1975)
Above: "Hello!" (Source: Mini Museum)
The great white, or Carcharodon carcharias, appears in all major oceans around the world. Some specimens have been recorded to grow up to 20 feet long and weigh over 5,000 pounds. Such a creature requires constant feeding and a large hunting ground, which has made study of the species difficult and long-term capture impossible.
Very few creatures can outmatch the great white in the open ocean. The shark feeds primarily on dolphins, seals, and turtles, but some have been known to go after fish and birds as well. As it approaches prey, the shark can use a special electroreception sense to feel electric fields given off by creatures. This amazing ability helps them determine the precise locations of their target before they strike.
Above: A White Shark Jumping with Prey at Sunset (Source: Mini Museum)
A seal unfortunate enough to find itself in the eyes of a hungry great white is in for a prolonged and brutal struggle. The shark lurks beneath its prey, preparing for the perfect moment to launch itself upwards. It snatches the seal, breaking the surface for a moment with the momentum of its attack, and clamps down with a bite force of 18,000 newtons. The shark wrestles the seal beneath the waves, using its rows of serrated teeth to saw back and forth into the animal’s flesh. This continues as the seal attempts to escape and the shark drags it back down. The profuse bleeding eventually exsanguinates the seal and the shark’s meal is secured.
Above: Large, Medium, and Small examples together and in-hand.
For a long time, the common scientific consensus was that the Carcharodons descended from the ancient megatoothed sharks, Megalodon. This was based on their similar body shape and ecological roles. However, recent studies of the teeth of great whites have changed this opinion. A new species of ancient shark, Carcharodon hastalis and later C. hubbelli, was discovered with a similar tooth shape, albeit lacking the great white’s serrations. Over millions of years, new fossils show this species’ teeth gaining the jagged edge we see in shark teeth today, suggesting an evolution from mako sharks rather than megatoothed sharks. This would be consistent with the change in diet from primarily fish to marine mammals.
Above: Modern Great White Jumping in South Africa
You might think of great whites as bloodthirsty monsters that attack any humans they come across. Movies and television like Jaws have done much to emphasize this view, though it actually has little basis in reality. While it’s true that attacks do occur from great whites, they are actually rather rare; as of 2020, there are only around 60 recorded attacks per year, a smaller percent of which are fatal. Many of these encounters play out with the shark biting down to exsanguinate the human like it does with most prey, but then releasing and disappearing. It’s thought that great whites actually dislike the taste of human, preferring the fattier oceanic mammals over us.
Above: Back of the Specimen Card