Megalodon Tooth - 5.18" Polished
Megalodon Tooth - 5.18" Polished
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 item is a complete POLISHED Megalodon tooth. The tooth measures 5.18" on the longest edge, and the surface has been hand polished to enhance the natural structure of the fossil. The tooth ships in a sturdy carton and includes a small information card that also serves as the certificate of authenticity.
Please Note: Each tooth is absolutely unique and will vary in color and texture. Teeth may also show marks of life wear and indentations common with concretions built up over millions of years.
TEMPORAL RANGE: 23,000,000–2,600,000 years ago
BIGGER THAN BIG
"You're gonna need a bigger boat." ~ Roy Scheider as Police Chief Martin Brody, Jaws (1975)
As pictured here, 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.
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.
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 Carcharocles. 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 two million years ago is tied directly to the mega-sizing of modern baleen whales.
BEFORE & AFTER: Two partial Megalodon teeth illustrating concretions found on typical specimens before preparation.
Most commercial Megalodon teeth (including those we offer) come from the coastal rivers of South Carolina. However, Megalodon teeth are found in several regions of the world, primarily areas which would harbor the warmer seas of their preferred prey. The coloring of the fossils reflects the different minerals present in the sediment when the teeth were deposited.
Front of the Specimen Card
Note: Illustration may vary as we do change them from time to time.
Back of the Specimen Card
Cajus, G. "Evolution of White and Megatooth Sharks, and Evidence for Early Predation on Seals, Sirenians, and Whales." Natural Science 2013 (2013).
Eilperin, Juliet. Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks. Anchor, 2012.
Pimiento, Catalina, and Christopher F. Clements. "When did Carcharocles Megalodon Become Extinct? A New Analysis of the Fossil Record." PloS one 9.10 (2014): e111086.