Boy finds prehistoric Megaladon shark tooth while looking for shells

Schoolboy, six, finds three million-year-old Megaladon shark tooth while looking for shells on Suffolk beach

  • Sammy Shelton, 6, found the three million-year-old megalodon tooth at a beach
  • He was looking for shells when he happened upon his ‘once in a lifetime’ find 
  • Four-inch tooth belonged to largest shark who killed whales in prehistoric age

A six-year-old schoolboy has found a three million-year-old megalodon shark tooth while looking for shells on a British beach. 

Sammy Shelton found the tooth that belongs to the prehistoric shark which specialised in killing whales while on a trip with his father to Bawdsey Beach in Suffolk. 

His classmates were blown away when he took the ancient fossil, belonging to the largest shark to ever exist, in for a show and tell presentation. 

And Sammy is now sleeping with the four-inch tooth next to his bed after making the ‘once in a lifetime’ discovery that is only made a handful of times in Britain every year. 

The extinct megalodon – meaning ‘big tooth’ – roamed the seas approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago. 

Sammy Shelton, six, pictured after he found the three million-year-old megalodon tooth at Bawdsey Beach in Suffolk last Saturday


The four-inch tooth (right) belonged to the terrifying 60-foot-long megalodon shark (pictured left, 3D illustration) – a prehistoric predator specialising in killing whales. Sammy is now sleeping with the fossil next to his bed after making the ‘once in a lifetime’ discovery

The schoolboy found the three million-year-old megalodon tooth while looking for shells on Bawdsey Beach in Suffolk, which is close to Ipswich, Felixstowe and Harwich. The teeth have been found on every continent except Antarctica 

O. megalodon was not only the biggest shark in the world, but one of the largest fish ever to exist. 

Estimates suggest it grew to between 49 feet and 59 feet (15 and 18 metres) in length, three times longer than the largest recorded great white shark. 

Without a complete megalodon skeleton, these figures are based on the size of the animal’s teeth, which can reach seven inches long. 

Most reconstructions show megalodon looking like an enormous great white shark, but this is now believed to be incorrect. 

Read more: Megalodon: the truth about the largest shark that ever lived 

His dad Peter Shelton, 60, a retired GP from Bradwell, Norfolk said: ‘People have said it’s a once-in-a-lifetime discovery.

‘Really we were looking for interesting shells on the beach but instead we got this megalodon tooth.

‘It was huge and very heavy. I knew what it was but it wasn’t until I took it to others looking on the beach that I realised the significance.

‘There was one guy down there who’s been looking all his life for a megalodon tooth and never found anything of this size.’

Evolutionary biologist Ben Garrod, who works at the University of East Anglia, checked pictures of the tooth and said it was once of just a handful found in Britain each year.

Mr Garrod told the Great Yarmouth Mercury:  ‘I have looked for one since I was Sammy’s age and never found one.

‘This little boy is the first person to touch this in nearly three million years.

‘He is handling the tooth of the largest ever predatory shark and one that will be of interest to the whole palaeontology community.’

Sammy has earned an ‘explorer’ badge from his local Beavers group since finding the tooth.

He’s now keen to get back down to the beach to dig up more potential fossils.

Mr Shelton added: ‘At the moment he’s keeping it by his bedside.

‘He’s taken it into school and to Beavers to show his friends. Sammy wants to go back again. He likes being outside.’

The 60ft Megalodon dwarfs the other sharks, even the Great White that stands a puny 15ft 

The Megalodon could grow up to 67-foot long and had 250 thick teeth that were designed to grab prey and break bones


Sammy, on left, has earned an ‘explorer’ badge from his local Beavers group since finding the tooth, right. The extinct megalodon – meaning ‘big tooth’ – roamed the seas approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago

Otodus megalodon was not only the biggest shark in the world, but one of the largest fish ever to exist. Pictured: The tooth

The megalodon could grow up to 67-foot long and had 250 thick teeth that were designed to grab prey and break bones.

Otodus megalodon was not only the biggest shark in the world, but one of the largest fish ever to exist, according to the British Museum. 

Estimates suggest it grew to between 49 feet and 59 feet (15 and 18 metres) in length, three times longer than the largest recorded great white shark.

Without a complete megalodon skeleton, these figures are based on the size of the animal’s teeth, which can reach seven inches long.

The one Sammy found was four inches long and so would have been half the size of many others, around 30ft

But still would have made the shark dwarf the Great Whites at 15ft and humans.  

An army of ‘megalodon believers’ have come out in full force on social media after the release of The Meg (pictured, a scene from the film)

MEGALODON SHARKS WERE BIGGER THAN EXPERTS THOUGHT 

They ruled the seas for millions of years as one of the most fearsome predators on Earth.

But new estimates suggest gigantic megalodon sharks were actually even bigger than previously thought – measuring up to 65ft (19.8 metres) in length rather than 50ft (15.2 metres). 

Growing to the size of a cricket pitch, it was the most massive shark species to have ever lived and was three times the size of today’s largest great whites. 

Read more: Megalodon sharks were BIGGER than we thought at ‘up to 65ft’ 

Finding a megalodon tooth can be quite common as sharks can lose a set of teeth every one to two weeks, getting through up to 40,000 teeth in their lifetime. 

This sharks’ teeth have been found on every continent except Antarctica. 

In 2018, the movie The Meg, starring Jason Statham had a lot of people believing that the megalodon could still be lurking in the murky depths under the sea. 

Mr Statham, who grew up in Great Yarmoth, Norfolk, a county over far from Bawdsey Beach, plays a rescue diver who discovers the 75-foot-long shark along with a group of scientists while making a rescue mission at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. 

But the Natural History Museum has dismissed any theories that art could imitate life. 

The researchers say that at the end of the Pliocene (2.6 million years ago), the planet entered a phase of global cooling, and the shark went extinct and could not survive in the cold depths of the ocean. 

Emma Bernard, who curates the Museum’s fossil fish collection (including fossil sharks), said: ‘No. It’s definitely not alive in the deep oceans, despite what the Discovery Channel has said in the past. 

‘If an animal as big as megalodon still lived in the oceans we would know about it.’ 

Source: Read Full Article