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Shark Tooth in Matrix Replica measures 7.3 inches. The Shark Tooth in Matrix Replica is Museum quality replica is cast in Polyurethane resins. Made in USA. California Miocene. Carcharocles megalodon. Miocene. California’s Shark’s Tooth Hill. Buena Vista MNH.
Megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon), meaning “big tooth”, is an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago, during the Early Miocene to the Pliocene. It was formerly thought to be a member of the family Lamnidae, and a close relative of the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). However, presently there is near unanimous consensus that it belongs to the extinct family Otodontidae, which diverged from the ancestry of the great white shark during the Early Cretaceous. Its genus placement is still debated, authors placing it in either Carcharocles, Megaselachus, Otodus, or Procarcharodon. This is because transitional fossils have been found showing that Megalodon is the final chronospecies of a lineage of giant sharks originally of the genus Otodus which evolved during the Paleocene.
While regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators to have ever lived, megalodon is known from fragmentary remains and its appearance and maximum size are uncertain. Scientists differ on whether it would have more closely resembled a stockier version of the great white shark, the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) or the sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus). Most estimates of megalodon’s size extrapolate from teeth; with maximum length estimates up to 59 feet and average length estimates of 34 feet. Estimates suggest their large jaws could exert a bite force of up to 25,000 to 40,000 lbs. Their teeth were thick and robust, built for grabbing prey and breaking bone.
The most common fossils of megalodon are its teeth. Diagnostic characteristics include a triangular shape, robust structure, large size, fine serrations, a lack of lateral denticles, and a visible V-shaped neck (where the root meets the crown). The tooth met the jaw at a steep angle, similar to the great white shark. The tooth was anchored by connective tissue fibers, and the roughness of the base may have added to mechanical strength. The lingual side of the tooth, the part facing the tongue, was convex; and the labial side, the other side of the tooth, was slightly convex or flat. The anterior teeth were almost perpendicular to the jaw and symmetrical, whereas the posterior teeth were slanted and asymmetrical.
Megalodon teeth can measure over 7.1 in. in slant height (diagonal length) and are the largest of any known shark species. In 1989, a nearly complete set of megalodon teeth was discovered in Saitama, Japan. Another nearly complete associated megalodon dentition was excavated from the Yorktown Formations in the United States, and served as the basis of a jaw reconstruction of megalodon at the National Museum of Natural History. Based on these discoveries, an artificial dental formula was put together for megalodon in 1996.
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