9-year-old girl finds 15-million year tooth the size of her hand - guess the creature it belonged to
Megalodon is an extinct species of mackerel shark that lived approximately 3 million to 20 million years ago.
As scientists have only studied it from fragmentary remains, the size and appearance of the creature have always remained uncertain.
But they've been regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators to have ever lived.
Megalodon was formerly thought to be a member of the family Lamnidae and a close relative of the great white shark. Later, it was classified into the extinct family Otodontidae.
Finding any remains of the ancient shark is either a matter of sheer luck or the outcome of some in-depth research that can only be done by experts.
Well. we can put the latter half of the previous sentence to rest because a 9-year-old girl from the US recently found a Megalodon tooth which is approximately 15 million years old.
But it wasn't all blind luck for Molly Sampson. She was actually out searching for shark teeth on Calvert County Cliffs on Christmas Day when she stumbled upon the megalodon tooth, the size of her hand.
Experts at the Calvert Marine Museum confirmed it was indeed an ancient megalodon tooth.
"I couldn't believe it, it was so exciting. I usually find little ones, I never thought I would find a big one like that," Molly told WJLA-TV.
She hopes to become a paleontologist in the future.
Molly isn't the only lucky youngster when it comes to Megalodon remains.
A 6-year-old boy discovered a megalodon shark tooth dating back millions of years while searching for seashells on a UK beach in May 2022.
Sammy Shelton was having a regular day at Bawdsey Beach with his family when he spotted a four-inch canine from a megalodon.
It is reported that only a handful of teeth from the giant creatures, who were roughly three times the size of great white sharks, are found in the UK every year.