Divers find Me­ga­lodon teeth and other fos­sils off Caroli­nas

The Sun News - - Local - BY CHARLES DUN­CAN cdun­can@mcclatchy.com Charles Dun­can: 843-626-0301, @dun­can­re­port­ing

When­ever they take a group down to the spot about 108 feet un­der­wa­ter, they come back with gi­ant me­ga­lodon teeth up to 6 inches long and mil­lions of years old.

Some­times there are huge teeth and fos­sils sit­ting right on top of the seabed at the spot off the North Carolina coast near Bald Head Is­land, and other times divers have to pick around in the sand, said dive op­er­a­tions man­ager Cameron Se­bas­tian with Coastal Scuba out of North Myr­tle Beach.

The site is off Fry­ing Pan Shoals, about 56 miles from Coastal Scuba’s dock, Se­bas­tian said.

“It’s in­cred­i­ble,” he said. They al­ways find me­ga­lodon teeth, “all kinds of whale bones” and other fos­sils, Se­bas­tian said.

“We an­chor up in the fos­sil bed, go down and some­times they’re sit­ting right on top,” he said. “Ev­ery­body comes back with some fos­sils.”

Me­ga­lodon sharks lived from about 15.9 mil­lion years ago un­til 2.6 mil­lion years ago, ac­cord­ing to the Smith­so­nian Mag­a­zine. The gi­ants could grow to 60 feet long and weigh more than 50 tons, ac­cord­ing to the mag­a­zine.

“Me­ga­lodon teeth have in­formed much of what sci­en­tists know of the crea­ture, par­tially out of sheer abun­dance. Un­like hu­mans, sharks cy­cle through teeth con­tin­u­ously, shed­ding 20,000 or more into sur­round­ing wa­ters in the course of a life­time,” the Smith­so­nian said and that might ex­plain why divers keep find­ing so many.

Se­bas­tian said he’s heard var­i­ous the­o­ries about why the fos­sil de­posit is off the coast from Wilm­ing­ton, North Carolina. It could have been the mouth of an an­cient river or some kind of a de­posit from a glacier, he said.

Div­ing for the fos­sils is not for be­gin­ners, Se­bas­tian said. It re­quires an ad­vanced cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for the dive.

Pho­tos Pro­vided By Coastal Scuba

Scuba divers can find a trove of me­ga­lodon teeth off the North Carolina coast.

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