(NEW YORK) — A teacher and fossil enthusiast found a giant set of prehistoric shark teeth estimated to be about 25 million years old at a beach in Australia.
Philip Mullaly found the set of shark teeth in Jan Juc, a renowned fossil site along Victoria’s Surf Coast.
“I was walking along the beach looking for fossils, turned and saw this shining glint in a boulder and saw a quarter of the tooth exposed,” the citizen scientist said in a press release by the Museums Victoria where the teeth are now on display. “I was immediately excited, it was just perfect and I knew it was an important find that needed to be shared with people,” Mullaly said.
The nearly three-inch-long teeth belonged to a now-extinct ferocious shark, aptly named the great jagged narrow-toothed shark, which is a smaller cousin of the famous megalodon shark, the subject of the new movie Meg.
“I couldn’t believe it. These things are really rare,” Mullaly told Good Morning America.
Mullaly called to tell the paleontologists at Museums Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, about his discovery and the museum assembled a team to handle the excavation.
In total, Mulally said the team took “40 teeth out of that boulder, which is just extraordinary.”
According to the museum, these teeth provide evidence that a shark which would have grown to more than 30-feet in length, nearly double the size of a great white, “once stalked Australia’s ancient oceans” approximately 25 million years ago.
The teeth fossils are now on exhibit at Museums Victoria.
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