Fossil Information Sheet F002
Fossilised Shark's Teeth
There are a variety of fossilised shark's teeth. The most well known are those of the Megalodon, but it is worth remembering that a lot of fossilised shark's teeth are not from the Megalodon. These sharks, including the Megalodon, lived between 2-16 million years ago and sadly not a great deal is known about them other than the legacy of their fossilised teeth which can, in some cases, be up to 7 inches long.
The reason why sharks teeth in general survive so well compared to the rest of the creature is because the rest of the sharks skeleton is made from cartilage very much like the structure of our ears for example. As such this does not fossilize at all well.
The sharks teeth on display are approx 20 million years old and from Morocco.
The Megalodon, which is most often linked to fossilised shark's teeth, is compared to today's great white shark, only it was a great deal larger. Initial estmates of this enormous giant shark were in the region of 80-100 feet long, but more recently the figures were adjusted down to 40-50 feet with a weight in the region of of 40 tonnes - still huge! Next to the sperm whale it was probably the World's largest predator (bigger than T Rex).
This image compares a Great White Shark (green) with a Whale Shark (blue) and two estimates of the size of the Megalodon - conservative (red) and maximum (grey) - with Homo Sapiens shown for scale