Carcharocles megalodon Age: Miocene- Pliocene (somewhere between 8 million and 35 million years ago) Location: South Carolina, USA.
Megaladon were the largest sharks which have ever existed. They were apex predators. They were once considered to be related to the modern great white, but are now believed to be direct ancestors of a genus of shark called Otodus. Megalodon became extinct about 2.6 million yeas ago at the start of the Pleistocene (the Ice Age) and their demise is probably due to the global cooling which started at that time.
Like all sharks, Megaladon have several series of teeth, which act like a conveyor belt. They constantly shed teeth as the teeth in the series behind moves forward in thee mouth. As such shark teeth are common fossils, there were a great number to be preserved. While all fossils are fascinating, these have also lost context -- they are found by divers who travel to the bottom of river beds to find them. The fast moving waters churn material around and carry it from other sites. Material found in this way is not in situ and has lost clues about its date and paleo environment.
Tooth dimensions 9cm x 5cm. Weight, 130g.This is a partial tooth and is missing the bottom left corner of the root and part of the distal crown.