Saturday, January 21, 2006

Megalodon now in museum!

They’re among the most feared animals, but today’s shark is nothing compared to its predecessor. The Museum of Natural History is proving that with an impressive new display.The Great White shark can grow to be 12 to 15 feet, and are at the top of the food chain. Now imagine one three times the size – that’s what you’ll find at the San Diego Natural History Museum’s new Fossil Mysteries exhibit.“

This exhibit is specifically about our region – there’s nothing like it in the world right now,” Jessica Chatigny of the San Diego Natural History Museum said. “It’s the last 75 million years of San Diego… [Megalodon] lived here about 5 to 7 million years ago.” Megalodon is a full scale replica based off of fossilized teeth from sharks that swam off our coast 3 to 7 years ago.“We had a full set of casts made from a full set of fossil teeth from one individual Megalodon found in one location,” Jim Melli said.

Sharks have changed very little since Megalodon was around, which has made them very efficient eating machines. These ancient sharks ate the same prey as sharks of today, just their size is bigger.“They reach lengths as large as 40 feet or more,” Melli said “Our individual is about a 34-foot individual, and they were probably the top predator.”The exhibit opens in July. The Megalodon will be installed this week in the museum.


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