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Posted: August 10, 2018

Man finds tooth from 25-million-year-old mega shark twice the size of great white in Australia

A man discovered teeth from a 25-million-year-old mega shark along the coast of Australia. (Photo: Museums Victoria)
A man discovered teeth from a 25-million-year-old mega shark along the coast of Australia. (Photo: Museums Victoria)

By Jared Leone, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

A shark twice the size of a great white once fed off the waters of Australia. 

Amateur fossil hunter Philip Mullaly was walking along the coast in Jan Juc in 2015 when he noticed something shimmering in a boulder.

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He uncovered three nearly three-inch-long teeth. Recognizing the significance of the find, he contacted Dr. Erich Fitzgerald, curator of vertebrate paleontology at Museums Victoria.

Fitzgerald determined they were from a nearly 30-foot great jagged narrow toothed shark, confirming the apex predator roamed the coast of Australia 25 million years ago feeding off ancient whales, according to Museums Victoria. It is only the third discovery of the species in the world. The others were in New Zealand and Belgium.

"If you think about how long we've been looking for fossils around the world as a civilization -- which is maybe 200 years -- in (that time) we have found just three (sets of) fossils of this kind on the entire planet, and this most recent find from Australia is one of those three," Fitzgerald told CNN.

The species, carcharocles angustidens, is an ancient cousin to megalodon, thought to be the largest shark at an estimated 60 feet which became extinct about 2.6 million years ago, the Australian Associated Press reported.

Fitzgerald, noting the teeth were from the same species, led teams to further excavate the area in 2017 and January 2018 where they discovered more than 40 more teeth and part of a vertebra. Most belonged to the narrow-toothed shark, however many more smaller teeth, from the sixgill shark were found, suggesting they fed on the larger predator after it died. 

An illustration of a great jagged narrow toothed shark being eaten by sixgill sharks. (Photo: Museums Victoria)

“Sixgill sharks still live off the Victorian coast today, where they live off the remains of whales and other animals,” Fitzgerald said in a statement. “This find suggests they have performed that lifestyle here for tens of millions of years.”

Mullaly donated the teeth to the museum where they are on display for the next six months.


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Rabid beaver attacks father, daughter on kayak trip

A father and his daughter were attacked Sunday by a rabid beaver while they were kayaking along a creek in Pennsylvania, officials said.

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Dan Wherley, his 7-year-old daughter, Layla, and their dog, Ellie May, were on Conewago Creek kayaking when he saw a beaver next to his kayak, WPMT reported.

"I looked, and it was a beaver scratching at it, and I thought, 'Wow, that's pretty cool -- a beaver came up to us,” Wherley told WPMT. “It wouldn't stop, so I used my paddle tried to hit it to get it away, and it just wouldn't stop, wouldn't stop. I hit him with (the paddle) a lot, but once I knew he wasn't stopping, I pulled it in half and was holding it like this and hitting him with the metal part. I figured that would do more.”

The beaver gave up and started after the kayak Layla was paddling. Wherley jumped out of his vessel and got to his daughter’s kayak at the same time as the crazed beaver. 

“I had to punch it to get it off because I didn’t have anything with me,” Wherley told WPMT.

Eventually, Wherley got to shore and killed the beaver, which Pennsylvania Game Commission officials said Thursday was rabid after conducting tests on it. 

No one was bitten but Wherley is getting rabies shots as a precaution. Although frightened, Layla told WPMT she may one day go kayaking again. 

During the fight, Ellie May sat in the bushes hiding.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

5-foot iguana on the loose in Milwaukee neighborhood

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Zach Hauser moved from California to Wisconsin with Nail, which he has had for nine years, WDJT reported. The 25-pound iguana was in its cage above “The Turning Page” comic book store when it escaped, WITI reported.

After residents spotted it last week he is warning people not to approach it but is offering $100 to trappers for its capture, WDJT reported

"There's not really any danger unless you try to catch him and then things get severely damaged by claws and teeth and his tail, mostly teeth, and claws," Hauser told WDJT

Bernadette Gerdeen was startled when she saw the reptile walking along her roof recently and believes it is living in a nearby tree, she told WITI

Hauser said the largest trap he could find in the area is too small to snare the iguana. Animal control said they only catch dogs and cats, WDJT reported.

"He's on the trip of his life right now and hopefully he can survive it," Hauser told WITI.

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