Offbeat New Ancient Shark Species Discovered in Alabama

18:56  10 january  2018
18:56  10 january  2018 Source:   newsweek.com

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A megaoldon tooth (center) and three Bryant shark teeth (right.)© Provided by IBT Media A megaoldon tooth (center) and three Bryant shark teeth (right.) Imagine a great white shark as long as a bowling lane, with teeth that could grow up to the size of your hand. Does this sound like the monster in a B-movie? Well, yes, megalodon is the star of several low-budget thrillers, but it was also a real animal. From 23 million to 2.6 million years ago, the largest shark that ever lived ruled the warm waters of the world.

Now, scientists have discovered a dinosaur-era shark may have been an even earlier ancestor of megalodon, illustrating the evolution of one of the most fearsome creatures to swim the earth.

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New Shark Species Discovered in Galapagos | WIRED - www.wired.com. Scientists conducting deep-sea dives around the Galapagos Islands have identified a new species of shark . Ancient shark teeth in Alabama creeks point to a past ruled by - blog. al .com.

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Paleontologists have been collecting fossilized ancient shark teeth in Alabama for decades. After nearly 50 years, the collection was large enough to enable paleontologists to name and describe a new species: Cretalamna bryanti, or the Bryant shark.

Researchers from the University of Alabama and the McWane Science Center, also in Alabama, identified 33 teeth belonging to this species. The teeth described in their study and formal description of the animal, published in the journal PeerJ , were found between 1980 and 2011 in the Black Belt region of Alabama. This 240-mile region reaches from the northwest corner of the state into the center and provides a snapshot of the Upper Cretaceous period, which stretched from 100.5 to 66 million years ago, that is "nearly perfect," the study authors write. C. bryanti lived about 83 million years ago and gave rise to a variety of ancient shark species, including megalodon.

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Now, scientists have discovered a dinosaur-era shark that may have been an even earlier ancestor of Paleontologists have been collecting fossilized ancient shark teeth in Alabama for decades. to enable paleontologists to name and describe a new species : Cretalamna bryanti, or the bryant shark .

05:09 18 january 2018 Source: gizmodo.com.au. New Ancient Shark Species Discovered in Alabama . 80-million-year-old teeth rewrite what we know about shark evolution.Now, scientists have discovered a dinosaur-era shark may have been an even earlier ancestor of megalodon

Paleontologists almost never find shark fossils that represent anything other than the teeth of the animals. That’s because sharks have bones only in their mouths; their “skeletons” are made of cartilage, a soft tissue that rarely leaves fossil remains. Modern sharks give us the best clues about how their extinct ancestors may have looked, which is why artists and filmmakers often portray megalodon as a great white shark, but scaled up.

The Bryant shark was an early member of a group of “mega-tooth” sharks, most of which went extinct at the same time as the non-bird dinosaurs 66 million years ago. The teeth on this shark were much smaller than those of megalodon; the biggest Bryant shark tooth discovered so far is only an inch long. That also means that its body probably was about 15 feet long.

Over time, study co-author Jun Ebersole, director of collections at McWane Science Center, told LiveScience, sharks in the megalodon line, "grow to enormous sizes." This new study adds to our understanding of the ancient, giant creatures that once swam the saltwater seas of what is now Alabama.

The researchers named the shark after football player Paul "Bear" Bryant, who coached the University of Alabama's football team for 25 years.

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