A fossil hunter in California recently discovered an ancient Megalodon tooth, an extraordinary find that was revealed by recent storms in the region, and may be up to 10 million years old.
Giancarlo Thomae stumbled upon the Megalodon tooth while searching for fossils in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California on Thursday, according to the New York Daily News. Considered an archaeological treasure by scientists, the Megalodon tooth was uncovered by storms that battered the Pacific coast recently, creating the perfect conditions for fossil hunters.
“I was ecstatic when I found it,” Thomae related.
“I’ve been fossil hunting at least twice a month for the past 20 years and this is one of the only three Megalodon teeth I’ve ever found. I’ll be lucky to find another. But will I go fossil hunting again in the near future? You bet.”
awesome! RT @StrangeWorId: This is what it would look like if megalodon sharks were around today. pic.twitter.com/DBKrGonwIE
— The Stig (@Okeke__) December 15, 2014
Shortly before Thomae discovered the Megalodon fossil, he stumbled upon a great white shark tooth that is estimated to be at least four million years old. He also recently discovered an ice age bison tooth and a Steller sea cow rib, amid storms that have created highly optimized conditions for fossil hunters. Heavy rains have eroded coastal bluffs and mountain gullies, bringing hidden fossils like the Megalodon tooth into the open, according to SFGate.
“In the coastal hills, floodwaters can carry the fossils down creeks and into the ocean,” Thomae noted.
“The hydraulic action of the surf zone then digs them up and then, in a high tide, deposits them on the beach. That’s one way it can work.”
“@StrangeWorId: The Megalodon. pic.twitter.com/E0GoNeanSk”@PersuAsian12 thanks for the tooth
— Drew Moore (@DrewMoore99) December 21, 2014
Megalodon sharks lived during the Cenozoic Era, from 15.9 million to 2.6 million years ago. As the Inquisitr previously reported, rumors persist that a remnant population of Megalodon may still exist in the deepest reaches of the ocean, though marine biologists and paleontologists agree that it is highly unlikely.
They point to recent television specials which aired on Discovery, Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives and Megalodon: The New Evidence, which purported to depict evidence that the species might still exist. The programs relied on fabricated evidence and actors portraying scientists, and researchers have condemned them as misleading to the general public.
Thomae said that his colleagues were excited about his discovery, pointing out that there are only a few locations in which it was even possible to uncover a fossil such as his Megalodon tooth.
[Image: Giancarlo Thomae Photography via the New York Daily News]