Giant Shark Jaws – Up for Auction
The giant prehistoric shark, Megalodon (Carcharodon megalodon) may well have been one of the largest marine predators of all time. This huge fish, conservatively estimated to have reached lengths in excess of fifteen metres lived during the Miocene and Pliocene Epochs. Very few fossilised remains of its body have been discovered, with a body supported by cartilage (like all sharks and rays), only under special conditions can cartilage be preserved. However, the teeth, made of enamel, the same as our teeth, are a different story. It is mainly from the many thousands of fossil teeth that have been found that scientists have pieced together what we know about this enormous hunter of whales and other sea creatures.
Now the biggest set of Megalodon jaws ever constructed is being auctioned in the USA. If you wanted the set of jaws, which stand nearly nine feet tall, they would probably set you back a jaw dropping £500,000. Fossil hunter Vito Bertucci took almost twenty years to construct the huge jaws, the largest ever assembled and which measure over 3.2 metres in diameter. Indeed Megalodon is believed to have been so big, that it could swallow an adult Great White Shark whole. The teeth were retrieved from rivers in South Carolina, where the robust, tough fossils get washed into as they are eroded out of sediments by the action of the water.
The set of jaws consist of 182 beautifully preserved fossil teeth, some of which are over twenty centimetres in length. They are going under the hammer at Heritage Auctions (Dallas, Texas) on June 12th and experts expect this lot to sell for in excess of $700,000 USD.
David Herskowitz, Director of Natural History Auctions at Heritage Auctions commented:
“Megalodon ruled the temperate and warm waters of all the oceans between 25 million and 1.5 million years ago. It was a shark that grew to the length of two city buses and preyed on whales and other sharks. With jaws that size, and a hugely voracious appetite, you or I would be no more than an hors d’oeuvre for this monster.”
A Close up of the Teeth in the Jaws of the Megalodon
Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur
Vito Bertucci died in 2004 in Georgia whilst diving for prehistoric shark’s teeth. It is his brother Joey Bertucci who is auctioning the jaws. Joey stated:
“This was something he [Vito] had a vision to do, it took him a lifetime of collecting to be able to build it.”
Megalodon may have been the largest shark of all time, although due to the nature of its cartilage skeleton the maximum size of this fish is difficult to determine. Indeed, the extant Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) a filter feeder may prove to be the largest shark known to science. However, we at Everything Dinosaur do sell a lot of Megalodon models on line.
To view a number of prehistoric animal monster toys, a “Megalodon shark model”, take a look at the CollectA range of prehistoric animal models: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Life Models.
Please note the scientific name for this shark is now widely accepted to be Otodus megalodon.