Large shark's tooth found on a Massachusetts beach.

 

Recent Tooth or Fossil?  You Decide

 

Megalodon tooth fossils are relatively common in some parts of the country but their fossils are only rarely found on Massachusetts’ beaches.  The monster-sized shark that produced these teeth disappeared from the water’s off of Massachusetts over nearly three million years ago and there are only a few locations that have the geology that would have preserved Megalodon teeth.   

 

However, given the recent sightings we know that Great White sharks still roam the waters off Cape Cod and the Islands but their teeth seldom appear on Massachusetts’ beaches.

 

Our best guess is that the tooth in the image above is from a Great White shark and the tooth was lost by the shark long before it washed ashore sometime in 2014.

 

 

Massachussets Sharks:

 

Our research indicates that shark related injuries have been extremely rare in Massachusetts’ coastal waters going back over 200 years.

While much media attention has been focused on the recent Great White sightings and the potential threat they pose to swimmers and kayakers, large sharks remain much more threatened by human activities. 

Fossil evidence from Florida to Cape Cod also indicates that large sharks have inhabited the relatively shallow waters off the coast for millions of years.

So the next time you're walking along a New England beach remember that humans are new to this environment at best humans have swam in these waters for thousands of years while the sharks have been here for tens of millions of years.

 

 

 

Useful Links:

 

Carcharodon carcharias

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcharias

 

Megaladon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megalodon

 

Local Shark Research

http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dmf/programs-and-projects/shark-research.html

 

Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institute

http://www.whoi.edu/