25-million-year-old shark teeth found on Australian beach

Carcharocles angustidens

Philip Mullaly found a set of shark teeth in Jan Juc along Victoria's Surf Coast where a team of paleontologists at Museums Victoria excavated the fossils.

According to reports, an amateur fossil enthusiast named Philip Mullaly recently found teeth that belonged to a Carcharocles angustidens, a shark that lived between 33 to 22 million years ago, and was twice the size of a modern great white.

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.

Senior curator of vertebrate paleontology of the Museum Victoria Erich Fitzgerald confirmed that inches the teeth belong to the extinct predator known as the ' great escosura toothed shark (angustidens Carcharocle).

Speaking after he made the discovery, Mr. Mullaly said: "I was immediately excited, it was just ideal and I knew it was an important find that needed to be shared with people".

Shark teeth 25 million years old were found on an Australian beach by an amateur searcher, scientists said of the rare find on Thursday.

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They could grow more than nine metres long. The teeth are the first of their kind found in Australia and one of only three discoveries in the world. That cartilage does not easily decompose, which is why individual shark tooth fossils are somewhat common. Immediately after he saw the tooth, he contacted Museums Victoria to let them know about the finding.

This makes the newfound fossils all the more extraordinary, as multiple shark teeth coming from the same specimen are notoriously hard to find.

Fitzgerald suspected they came from one individual shark and there might be more entombed in the rock.

So with a team of paleontologists, Fitzgerald and Mullaly returned to the beach a year ago, which was south of Melbourne. Fitzgerald's team also came across the teeth of a sixgill shark-a creature that swims around Australia to this day-and concluded that a school of sixgills had fed on the massive Carcharocles angustidens on the sea floor.

"Sixgill sharks still live off the Victorian coast today, where they live off the remains of whales and other animals".

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