Specimen of the Month from the KGS collection: Megalodon teeth fossils

(A monthly feature about rock, fossil, meteorite, and other specimens in KGS collections)

Among the KGS specimen collections is a group of fossilized teeth from ancient sharks, known as megalodons, who inhabited ancient seas between 1.6 million years ago (Plio-Pleistocene Period) and 16 million years ago (mid-Miocene). Estimates of megalodon sizes ranged up to 50 feet in length, and the largest of them may have weighted more than 52 tons. Think of a hefty great white shark on steroids!

As with contemporary sharks, ancient ones had skeletons made from cartilage, which does not easily fossilize. So fossils left behind by sharks are generally limited to teeth, large fin spines, and tooth-like scales. Information about fossils of sharks and shark-like fish found in Kentucky can be found on the KGS website.

These specimens were donated to KGS by Mary Ann Russell, who also gave the Survey her late husband Bill’s extensive meteorite collection.

These two megalodon teeth measure between 4 and 5 inches at their widest part. They were found at St. Mary's River in Georgia. Some fossil teeth from other specimens of this ancient sea creature are more than 7 inches wide.

 

This smaller specimen, still embedded in the rock in which it was found, came from Charleston, S.C.

 

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