Fossil Teeth

The reason we love to go to the natural history museum to look at fossils is that it is really easy to use your imagination when you see the massive leg bone or rib of a dinosaur to imagine the entire creature standing before you. But the fossil that sets off the imagination like none other is a fossilized tooth of one of these huge beasts preserved in a display case at a museum. When you see a tooth that was once in the mouth of a giant dinosaur, that tooth alone might be as big as your arm. Then when you imagine the mouth that held that tooth and the frightening face that would bear those fangs as it hunted prey, it can give you goose bumps.

Some of the most common teeth of great dinosaurs from primitive times come from an ancestor of the great white shark known as the megalodon. This massive shark makes the biggest shark we know of look like a minnow. Based on the size of fossilized bones including teeth from this huge fish, the megalodon sometimes got large as a whale weighing in at 30-40 tons and so huge it would stand four stories tall if stood up on end.

Megalodon teeth have been found in many exotic locations and finding one has always been a treasure hunters dream. One reason that scientists are eager to have more fossils of the megalodon is that the reason that this fierce sea dinosaur went extinct has not been discovered. Unlike land roving dinosaurs, if there were a great comet or a glacier that drove the dinosaurs into extinction, a sea creature would not necessarily be subject to that danger.

The megalodon was clearly an impressive killing machine. Scientists speculate that it was so ravenous that it posed a danger to other sharks and whales who may also have become part of its diet when it needed a meal. Jaws of megalodon fossils have been discovered and put on display so you can go to a natural history museum to get a look first hand at the fearsome jaws of this ancient shark. When shown open, those jaws are so huge that your whole family could stand straight up inside those jaws. That means the megalodon could have eaten your whole family in one bite if you were a caveman family that became his meal.

Some scientists speculate that the megalodon never did go extinct and that it might still prowl the oceans in the deep areas of the seas that we have not been able to explore. That is a thought that can give you a chill the next time you go out on a whale watching tour. For most of us, just learning about this huge sea dinosaur by looking at its fossilized teeth is plenty.