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.

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.

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