Guy Stumbles on Evidence of Mega-Shark That Ate Whales
Imagine strolling down the beach and discovering a razor-sharp tooth from a shark twice the size of a Great White. Well, meet Philip Mullaly: "It was an awesome creature, it would have been terrifying to come across," the amateur fossil hunter and schoolteacher tells the New York Times of his 2015 discovery on a beach in Victoria, Australia.
After prying the nearly 3-inch tooth loose from a boulder, he came back and found more teeth. "It dawned on me when I found the second, third and fourth tooth that this was a really big deal." So he showed them to paleontologist Erich Fitzgerald, who went back with Mullaly and a team of experts to find over 40 more teeth and some vertebrae of the awesome Carcharocles angustidens.
Known also as the Great Jagged Narrow-Toothed Shark, this prehistoric creature traveled the oceans 25 million years ago and probably measured over 30 feet. "They preyed upon and ate small whales," as CNET puts it.
"Whales." The find, announced Thursday, marks only the third set of Carcharocles angustidens teeth in the world and the first ever in Australia. Fitzgerald's team also came across the teeth of a sixgill shark—a creature that swims around Australia to this day—and concluded that a school of sixgills had fed on the massive Carcharocles angustidens on the sea floor.
"It's shark eating shark," says Fitzgerald. Mullaly donated the find to the Melbourne Museum for future scientific research and education, per a press release.
This article originally appeared on Newser: Guy Stumbles on Evidence of Mega-Shark That Ate Whales