Tuesday, April 16, 2013

This Tooth Only Looks Sharp

You might remember from my last post that I picked up a couple of Megalodon teeth at a local fossil/gem/mineral show.

The one on the left will be opened by my Dad later today as a birthday gift.  Ever since watching Discovery Channel's Shark Week, featuring Megalodon sharks years ago, we have both been fascinated by these massive creatures.

This gigantic shark lived for around 15 million years, before disappearing (one could hope) around 1 million years ago.  It has been classified as either Carcharodon megalodon, which would put Megalodon in the same family as the modern day Great White shark or Carcharocles megalodon, which is an extinct family of sharks.  Prehistoric-wildlife.com has a great amount of information on the Megalodon shark, as well as plenty of other fascinating creatures!

The teeth are the only part of the skeleton of a shark that we can find, since the rest is cartilage.  You will also notice that fossilized teeth come in a rainbow of colors...this is due to the type of soil sediment the tooth lands in when it is either shed or the animal dies.

I saw one tooth at the gem show that had a lot of rust colors, streaked with black.  I asked the finder if he had located it in an area with iron and sure enough, he found it in soil that was rich with iron oxide.

Here is the smaller tooth that I wire-wrapped this weekend.  I think I might embellish a little bit with a dangling Swarovski crystal or two...but I like the beauty of the piece itself to stand on it's own.  Who would have ever thought a tooth could be so fascinating?