From the Langhian (16-14 million years ago), the 4-inch Carcharocles megalodon with a dark grey colour, the serrated edges clearly defined.
4 x 31⁄4 x 11⁄4in. (10 x 8 x 3cm.)
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Megalodon – literally “Large Tooth” – is a name befitting of the gargantuan prehistoric marine predator. Estimated to have grown to as long as 18 metres (over three times that of the average modern Great White Shark), the Megalodon was the largest shark to have ever existed. It is thought to have had a more stunted jaw and deeper-set eyes than a Great White, with long pectoral fins to offset its bulk. Despite their purported size, no complete fossil skeleton of this extinct species has yet been discovered. Rather, the primary source of information comes from the survival of their fossilized teeth. A fully-grown adult would have had over 250 such teeth at any one time.
The tooth of a Megalodon is immediately identifiable by its broad triangular shape with serrated edges, running atop a thick bifurcated root. Particularly fine specimens such as the present selection have been discovered at the bottom of saltwater creeks across North America. Elsewhere, teeth or dental fragments have been found lodged within fossilized whale bones together with vicious bite marks; a lasting testament to the deadly capability of the Megalodon even against the largest of prey.
Contrary to the popular conception of the Megalodon as a deep-sea monster, their evolution was actually developed to survive and thrive best in warmer, subtropical waters. For approximately 20 million years the Megalodon roamed the waters of every continent except for Antarctica. This reign finally came to end around 3.6 million years ago, with the period global cooling experienced during the Pilocene era. As a result, much of their habitat was lost to dangerously low temperatures, which in turn led to insufficient fish in the food chain below.
With the species now extinct and skeletal remains exceptionally rare or undiscovered altogether, the present group of Megalodon teeth are highly decorative reminders of one of the largest and most dangerous marine creatures ever to have lived.
Nyberg, K.G., Ciampaglio, C.N. & Wray, G.A., ‘Tracing the Ancestry of the Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias, Using Morphometric Analyses of Fossil Teeth’, in Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Vol.26, No.4 (2006) pp.806-814
Post Lot Text
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