Ancient predators off Exmouth

Alexander ScottPilbara News
A 14cm megalodon tooth
Camera IconA 14cm megalodon tooth

A national park near the coastal town of Exmouth was once a feeding ground for some of the largest prehistoric predators ever to live in the earth’s oceans, a team of leading scientists has found.

WA Museum experts last week announced they had uncovered 38 teeth from Carcharocles Megalodonmid-last year at the Cape Range National Park, 50km west of Exmouth, and were in the process of removing them from the site.

The team of scientists was at the park to survey the six to 10 million-year-old rocks for remains of prehistoric sharks, bony fish, and marine mammals that lived during about 5.3 million to 23 million years ago. The best-preserved 11 teeth of the megalodon, as well as teeth from other species of sharks, were cut from hard limestone rock inside the park.

The scientists and volunteers were led by WA Museum head of earth and planetary sciences Dr Mikael Siversson, who said they were stunned by the abundance of megalodonteeth.

“Equally, we were also surprised we didn’t really find any teeth of early forms of the white shark lineage, which are commonly found in marine rocks of this age,” he said.

Dr Siversson said the sizes of the teeth indicated the elevated Cape Range National Park area was once a submerged prehistoric feeding ground rather than a nursery, as most teeth would have come from huge sharks measuring 10m-15m long.

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