Sunday, April 3, 2011

Largest prehistoric Megalodon shark jaw ever assembled up for auction

It makes the Great White shark in Jaws look like a goldfish.

But this giant prehistoric shark jaw comes from the largest predator ever to have existed on Earth.

The 16-metre long Megalodon shark, which died out 1.5million years ago, was once the true king of the ocean, weighing an awesome 100 tons.

It took famed fossil hunter Vito 'Megalodon' Bertucci almost 20 years to reconstruct the jaw, the largest ever assembled and which measures 11ft across and is almost 9ft tall.

The late Mr Bertucci found fragments of the ferocious species in the rivers of South Carolina.

The jaw set is composed of 182 fossil teeth, some over seven inches long and is expected to sell for $700,000 (£436,000) at a sale by Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas, on 12 June.

Megalodon ruled the temperate and warm waters of all the oceans between 25million and 1.5million years ago.

David Herskowitz, Director of Natural History Auctions at Heritage Auctions, said: 'The Megalodon was a shark that grew to the length of two city buses and preyed on whales and other sharks.

'With jaws that size, and a hugely voracious appetite, you or I would be no more than an hors d'oeuvre for this monster.'

Vito Bertucci died in 2004 in Georgia while diving for prehistoric shark's teeth.

His brother Joey Bertucci, who is auctioning the jaws, said: 'This was Vito's legacy. He loved it. He dragged it around everywhere.

'This was something he just had a vision to do, and it took him a lifetime of collecting to be able to build it.'

The maximum size of the Megalodon has been of much debate - cartilage rarely fossilises and therefore no complete shark has ever been found.

However, near-complete sets of dentitions have been found, which allows for accurate reconstruction.

The Megalodon's colossal mouth would have produced a but force of 10.8 to 18.2 tons.

1 comment:

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