Megalodon fossil shark tooth found in South Africa

Megalodon, great white shark, and diver

From The Independent in South Africa:

In a recent find of great significance, an American Fulbright scholar attached to the Zululand University Science Centre in Richards Bay has evidence that a giant prehistoric shark called the megalodon lived in the ocean off the Zululand coast.

Environmental geologist Terry Hutter shared details of the discovery with school children attending a National Marine Week Port Open Day at Richards Bay.

In a series of lectures to hundreds of pupils from rural areas throughout Zululand, Hutter showed his intrigued young audiences a giant tooth, found just outside the harbour, that belonged to a fish of a species that, millions of years ago, grew to the size of a bus, weighed 48 tons and fed on whales.

Similar teeth had been found in Australia, New Zealand, Chile and North and South America, but there were no official reports from South Africa of megalodons having existed here, Hutter said.

He said the fossil was a large section of what was undoubtedly the posterior tooth of a megalodon shark – the same genus as the great white – and about 15-million years old.

Hutter, who has been actively involved with the Zululand University Science Centre for four years, said a local resident had brought the fossil to the centre’s offices earlier this week. This had been in response to a local newspaper report quoting Hutter as saying there was “overwhelming evidence” that the megalodon existed off the Zululand coast, and this had paved the way for further paleontological and other scientific research in the area.

Megalodon video: here.

  • The Megalodon
  • 22 thoughts on “Megalodon fossil shark tooth found in South Africa

    1. Hi Pauli Ojala, thanks for commenting. However, that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time would only be proved if fossils of both would be found in the same geological layers. So far, there is a gap of about 65 million years between them. So far, humans and dinosaurs are only together in the Flintstone comics. As for dragon legends, they may originate in finds of dinosaur (or mammoth etc.) fossils.


    2. Mar 28, 2008, 5:32 PM EDT

      Snorkeling Teen Finds Shark Tooth

      PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — David Wentz was snorkeling off Marysville Beach in the St. Clair River last August when what he thought was an odd-looking rock caught his eye. “I didn’t know what to think,” the 16-year-old Port Huron resident said.

      His father, Craig, said he knew right away what it was due to hours of watching the Discovery Channel.

      “It’s a shark tooth,” Craig Wentz said. “It’s petrified. It’s rock.”

      Michigan State University paleontologist Michael Gottfried told the Times Herald of Port Huron that the 3-inch long tooth comes from an extinct species called Carcharodon megalodon, or the “megatooth” shark.

      The megalodon, which went extinct 2 million years ago, was larger than any building in Port Huron, reaching lengths of more than 60 feet. By comparison, Great White sharks generally are about 20 feet long.

      The megatooth shark ate about 1,500 pounds of food a day, mostly feeding on whales and other large marine creatures.

      Gottfried doesn’t think the tooth is from a shark that may have been in the Great Lakes region during two different prehistoric eras, dating back from a half-million years to 300 to 400 million years ago, when it was a “shallow marine environment” filled with sharks, whales and other aquatic life.

      “I suspect that it was probably carried and dropped by a human inhabitant of the region, either in recent historical times, or perhaps by earlier native people in this area,” he said.

      “I can’t say just how it came to be in the St. Clair River, but I can assure you that there aren’t any sharks with 3-inch teeth living there now.”

      Information from: Times Herald,

      © 2008 The Associated Press.


    3. Sorry if this is off topic but I’m thinking of buying this book. Curious if anyone’s has checked out the new book “Hell’s Aquarium” by Steve Alten? I know he’s been a best selling author before, but wanted to see if anyone had read this book first? It’s about the ancient prehistoric shark Megalodon, which makes the current Great White Shark look like a gold fish. Check out the trailer below, pretty awesome:


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