Wicked Teeth

As recently as 15 million years ago this 50-foot shark swam the California coastline. Did I say 50 feet? That’s a shark the size of an adult gray whale.

There is no reason for their extinction. Are they out there? Da don da don . . .

Sharks have no swim bladder. The swim bladder fills with gas when death occurs, floating the animal to the surface. Sharks, having no swim bladder, just sink to the ocean floor, leaving no record of their existence.

The teeth were this big.
Click to enlarge photo

The teeth were this big.

So far, only fossils of this behemoth have been found. These teeth were collected in what is now Bakersfield, California. Fifteen million years ago the entire San Joaquin Valley was a tropical inlet bay.

Sharks loose eight to ten teeth during feeding, leaving a good fossil record of their existence.

This reconstruction of the jaw will be on display this weekend on Stearns Wharf, at Nature’s Own, the source for natural history specimens in Santa Barbara since 1975.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Pini Forks Over $1.6 Million to Set Repairs in Motion

Santa Barbara landlord funds code violation fixes on two of eight properties after 10 months' stalemate.

Solar Wing’ Builders’ Building Changes Hands

Landlords swap around for Goleta Old Town company on Mars InSight mission.

Work on Carpinteria Section to Close 101

Wednesday and Thursday overnight closures will alternate in both directions.

Pledge of Allegiance Is Back at SBCC Board Meetings

Unruly City College meeting raises unaddressed racial tensions.

Women’s March Organizes Against Emergency Declaration

Grass-roots groups to hold protests on Presidents' Day.