Megalodon History

The History

10 Million years ago, monsters swam the ocean. One of its top predators was Otodus megalodon.  This species swam around feeding on Whales and other large sea creatures.

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The Megaladon and their Teeth

Megaladon Sharks grew to be up to 60 feet long, and incredibly most of what we have learned about them we have gathered from their teeth.  While their cartilage and major organs rot away very quickly, the teeth have a good chance of becoming fossilized to allow for rediscovery millions of years down the line. This has allowed humans to recreate a full Megaladon jaw, and from that jaw make scientific estimations about the storied history that these sharks had. Sharks can grow 100s of thousands of teeth in their life (and replace them quickly).

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Megaladon’s use those massive teeth to eat all sorts of large pray. They fed on  whales, dolphins, sea lions, and dugongs, among other large marine animals. How do we know this? Scientisits have found tooth marks in the fossilized bones of these animals which match the signature of a large meg.

The Extinction

Why did Megaladon’s go extinct? Scientists have a few ideas. See below for some thoughts from paleontologist Dr. Hastings.

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Megs fell victim to changing environmental conditions. Unlike what we are seeing today with warming waters, Meg Shark likely became extinct due to the start of an ice age which cooled waters. This affected their stability in many ways. It may have scared away their pray or caused it to go extinct

The Fossils

What exactly is a megaladon fossil?  How does it appear so preserved for millions of years?  Well, in fact, a Megaladon fossil is not the exact atoms of the teeth.  In fact, it is a result of a million-year process of mineral replacement, where the tooth are kept safe in a blanket of sediment.  

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The first discovery of Megaladon’s didn’t come until the 1990’s, with Vito Bertucci. 

Nowadays, Megaladon’s are found by folks all around the world. A niche group of divers make it their lifes work to dive into low visibility water and find these teeth hidden in the mud.  Finding a small tooth in the mud? Not a problem. Finding a big one that is museum quality with pristine features? Nearly impossible.  

On the other side of the world in West Java, Indonesia: treasure hunters dig through limestone trying to find rare specimens. This is where The Genesis Collection was found.  When a specimen is found, it is painstakingly removed from the limestone with great care to avoid damaging it. These fossils are fragile. A drop could break it in half, and would certainly chip it.  After the tooth is removed from the ‘Matrix’ it is polished and cleaned, and offered for sale. The tragedy of this process is that many of these beautiful teeth are hidden in private collections around the world unable for the world to see. They fall into a black hole of a fossil market which is only shown to a small group of people. Immortal aspires to correct this problem and show this beauty to the world. Part of this beauty rests in the form- but the rest lies in the Mineral content and color.

The Colors

The colors in the teeth are part of what make them not just fascinating and beautiful, but also valuable for scientific research. See below for what Dr. Hastings, an expert scientist and the Science Museum has to say about the research potential and how the colors tie in to it.  

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That’s right. The colors follow the nutritional pathways in the shark tooth and allow scientists to learn more about tooth growth in these ancient species. In addition, the varying colors can help the Scientists learn about the geological environment that held these teeth for the last millions of years.  By investing in The Genesis Collection you can help uncover the mysteries held in the spiderweb of colors contained within each tooth. 

Other Interesting Meg Facts!

  • Sharks can grow 100s of thousands of teeth in their life (and replace them quickly). One of the reasons why they are researched is because scientists would like to figure out how humans can regenerate more than two pairs 🙂 
  • Teeth are believed to have originally evolved from fish scales
  • Megaladons grew to be 60ft long and went extinct millions of years ago, likely due to changing conditions in the climate
  • Teeth are the only biological remains of sharks that can survive/become fossilized for this long.  
  • Although the side with the bourlette (the brilliant triangular section in the middle of each tooth) looks like the front of the tooth, on an actual megalodon that side actually would face ‘back’ towards the throat of the shark

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