JAN JUC, AUSTRALIA — It's not quite the megalodon, but a jawful of sharp, serrated teeth provides rare evidence of a similarly ferocious mega-shark that once stalked the ancient waters down under.
According to a press release from Museums Victoria, amateur fossil enthusiast Philip Mullaly discovered a set of sharp teeth sticking out of a boulder on Australia's Jan Juc coast. He contacted Museums Victoria, and further exploration revealed several more.
The teeth belonged to the Great Narrow Jagged-Toothed Shark, which grew to over nine meters long — twice the size of a Great White.
The prehistoric predator lived approximately 25 million years ago and are believed to have preyed on small whales and penguins.
Shark skeletons are mostly made of cartilage, which doesn't fossilize well. Only single teeth and bits of vertebra are usually found, so multiple sets from a single shark is a rare find.
Apart from the mega-shark, teeth from several Sixgill sharks were also uncovered, leading the team to believe a school of the bottom-feeding Sixgills may have feasted on the mega-shark's carcass.
The fossilized teeth collection is with Museums Victoria, and will be on public display for six months.