A Maryland girl finds her “only” megalodon shark tooth

One little girl in Maryland got a big surprise for Christmas, but not under her tree – it was an ancient fossil hidden underwater.

Alicia Bruce Sampson wrote on Facebook that her daughters Molly and Natalie requested insulated waders for Christmas so they could “hunt shark teeth like the pros”. And as soon as they got their waders, that’s what they did.

Molly ended up with a huge and ancient surprise – a megalodon tooth the size of her hand.

“I’m pretty sure Molly feels like this is the best Christmas ever,” her mom wrote on Facebook. “…This tooth was in the water, so she got the best part of her gift with the waders!”

The family took the tooth to the Calvert Marine Museum, which confirmed the fossil’s identity and shared the exciting news of the “future paleontologist” on Facebook. According to the museum, Molly took her find to the paleontology department, but she can still keep it for herself.

In an interview with Newsweek, Sampson said the tooth was five inches long and that her 9-year-old daughter found it on Calvert Beach, which is on the Chesapeake Bay.

Stephen Godfrey, curator of paleontology at the Calvert Marine Museum, told CBS News that the tooth belonged to Megalodon Otodus, a now-extinct species of shark that was “one of the largest, if not the largest marine macropredators the world has ever known.” “

Specifically, the tooth is on the left side of the shark’s upper jaw, Godfrey said, which is known for the width of the tooth’s root. Godfrey said a shark that had a tooth would probably be 45 to 50 feet long.

“A massive root would have anchored this tooth firmly in the jaw, allowing the megalodon to bite any whale or dolphin it could catch,” Godfrey said. “We know it was an active predator because we occasionally find fossilized whale and dolphin bones that have preserved megalodon tooth marks.”

According to the Australian Museum, this species lived from 23 to 3.6 million years ago. According to the museum, they were known to grow to over 66 feet in length – about three times the size of a great white shark.

Last year, scientists managed to create the first three-dimensional model of a huge shark. Using it, the researchers found that the megalodon was able to “fly at a higher absolute speed than any other shark species today and fully devour prey the size of modern apex predators.” The shark, they said, was a “transoceanic super predator.”

Godfrey said Molly’s discovery was “a once in a lifetime find”.

“People shouldn’t get the impression that teeth like this are common along the Calvert Cliffs,” he said, adding that Molly found the tooth on a private beach. “…And she didn’t have to dig in the cliffs to find the tooth (which can be dangerous), it was in the water. Her find is great as she has an interest in paleontology and this will drive her and others of her age to explore the sciences!”

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