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Megalodon skeleton from Peru


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21 hours ago, WhodamanHD said:

No problem. Know that’s a larger example. They range from around four inches up to that. Here’s one from the CMM

 

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DC3FBE6C-3780-4D54-8FD2-A909E0832F56.jpeg

 

 

At first glance I thought that centrum was from Carcharodon hastalis.  How was it identified as megalodon?

 

Jess

 

 

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On 11/27/2019 at 9:49 PM, Abstraktum said:

 

Even though we get a little off Topic, this is something I always wondered: How does a Megalodon vert look like? I have never seen one. Not for sale, not on pictures, not in museums.

 

And as a follow up: Why do we have shark verts in the first place? I have seen several shark verts at Museums / online shops and so on, but I never understood why? Aren't teeth the only parts of sharks that remain? So why do we have them? :) 

 

 

The sharks orders represented today all date back to at least the Late Cretaceous.  They all bear centra (plural of centrum) that are calcified (one indicator of common ancestry?) so they have a better chance of fossilization than the cartilaginous parts of the skeleton.  I have read that the oldest order, the Hexanchiformes, have centra with the least level of calcification - so low that they barely form an image in an x-ray.  

 

Fossil shark vertebral centra are uncommon.  Although they are calcified, they aren't has resistant to erosion as bone.  If you've ever found fossil shark vertebral centra, you'd notice that they are rather fragile.  They have a porcelain quality in that they're easily chipped or broken and tend to be found that way even in a deposit that allowed for preservation of fragile things like Hexanchus teeth.

 

You might think the centra of a shark as large as megalodon would mean that they would be perhaps better mineralized and therefore more sturdy and more likely to be found in identifiable condition.  Sadly, this is not the case.  Their centra are rare - rarer than those of other sharks in the same deposit.  I've seen thousands of shark teeth from the Sharktooth Hill Bonebed but I've seen just one shark centrum that could have come only from megalodon.

 

 

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7 hours ago, siteseer said:

 

 

At first glance I thought that centrum was from Carcharodon hastalis.  How was it identified as megalodon?

 

Jess

 

 

After looking a bit closer I agree. I couldn’t find a picture of a normal sized one (which is in between that and the hubbell). I’ll ask the curator or collections manager next time I’m there if identifying characteristics other than size exist, perhaps they know something I don’t. 

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On 28/11/2019 at 5:06 AM, WhodamanHD said:

Strange this thread has been revived. This is definitely fake, I’ve since learned what megalodon verts look like and these definitely aren’t them. 

 

I brought it back to make the point of colour not being a key factor in whether fossils are together or not. Next time I’m in the local museum I’ll take a picture of a roo toe that was found in 2 pieces, and are different colours despite being the same specimen.

 

As for this being fake - got a link to an article, or why the museum got it if it’s fake? What’s the story behind it?

 

I agree the Verts are wrong, but what about the head/teeth? Even if that’s legit that’s a big find.

 

And the part about Hubbell not knowing about it - well, there’s plenty floating around experts don’t know about so *shrugs*

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51 minutes ago, Ash said:

And the part about Hubbell not knowing about it - well, there’s plenty floating around experts don’t know about so *shrugs*

That’s his turf, he has found some nice and very real skeletons there. Word tends to percolate through experts like that. Though you are right, it is conceivable he’s missed it, I’m not sure he gets to the field much anymore.

 

I don’t see tesserae on the cartilage which is suspect. If I had to guess the teeth are real but placed. It’s even possible they are associated, but still placed. There are a few associated dentitions known of megalodon and it’s predecessors. C. angustidens has a reasonably whole skeleton published from New Zealand (Gottfried and Fordyce 2001)

 

The link provided has a video in it, unfortunately I don’t know German so I cannot say if they are presenting it as real or not. It could just be a reconstruction for the purpose of education. 

 

It’s simply really suspicious. Especially when there are verified specimens in existence, albeit slightly more partial. 

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If oilshale is correct that the presenters of this specimen are reputable (which they appear to be), I guess the vertebra would be more in the nature of a last meal. From a preparation point of view, some of the teeth show evidence of placement, while others appear prepared in place.

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On 03/12/2019 at 11:07 AM, WhodamanHD said:

That’s his turf, he has found some nice and very real skeletons there. Word tends to percolate through experts like that. Though you are right, it is conceivable he’s missed it, I’m not sure he gets to the field much anymore.

 

I don’t see tesserae on the cartilage which is suspect. If I had to guess the teeth are real but placed. It’s even possible they are associated, but still placed. There are a few associated dentitions known of megalodon and it’s predecessors. C. angustidens has a reasonably whole skeleton published from New Zealand (Gottfried and Fordyce 2001)

 

The link provided has a video in it, unfortunately I don’t know German so I cannot say if they are presenting it as real or not. It could just be a reconstruction for the purpose of education. 

 

It’s simply really suspicious. Especially when there are verified specimens in existence, albeit slightly more partial. 

 

 

You cant base an opinion on something being real or not simply based on whether it’s known to experts, was my point. Plenty of stuff found and never shown, some big,

some small. Just slips quietly into the coffers of collectors.

 

Im keen to see this NZ specimen. Will find the paper after work :)

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On 3.12.2019 at 1:56 PM, steelhead9 said:

If oilshale is correct that the presenters of this specimen are reputable (which they appear to be), I guess the vertebra would be more in the nature of a last meal. From a preparation point of view, some of the teeth show evidence of placement, while others appear prepared in place.

 

This is exactly what the paleontologists from Siber & Siber say: The skull is from a Megalodon and the small vertebrae are probably from the shark's last meal.

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pachy-pleuro-whatnot-odon

  

On 5/1/2018 at 8:42 AM, oilshale said:

But again, this is not a small provincial museum. This is one of the best museums in Switzerland and they're professionals. Before we dismiss everything as ridiculous, I would wait until more information is available.

 

Thing is, though, that the museum was founded by Hans-Jakob Siber using money made in the family trade selling fossils and minerals. As the YouTube-video mentions, aesthetics are therefore also still a strong element in the museum, as is a general commercial quality: the Siber mineral shop is located directly across the street from the museum, the museum organises preparation courses and even sells excess fossils it finds on its fieldwork expeditions (on which, I believe, you can also partake as an amateur against the right amount of payment. So, while they've got a lot of societal engagement, it can sometimes be difficult to separate the commercial from the scientific, especially since they're not necessarily over-scrupulous about where their specimens come from. And while they do their own preparation, as well as for other museums both in Switzerland and abroad, they don't do everything themselves. So it's well possible that this piece was prepared somewhere (maybe even in Peru already) where preparators are less scrupulous about the scientific value of a piece, instead emphasising display and hype value (they're supposed to have a pliosaur skull, for example, but this is, in actuality, just a polycotylid).

 

So, yeah, they might be one of the foremost palaeontology museums in Switzerland, but that doesn't necessarily mean all they get all their facts right. Especially for temporary exhibits, which this body fossil was a part of, they work together with private collectors, which can make their claims even more questionable (though, for Howe Ranch material I have no doubt that they've got the expertise: that's where they dig themselves, subsequently preparing it themselves as well). One of the oddest things I was told by a museum preperator, for example, is that shark vertebrae don't fossilise, whereas this is clearly not the case, and they even had this Megalodon fossil on display...!

 

On 5/1/2018 at 10:38 AM, Al Dente said:

I think it’s possible that the centra belong with the teeth if somehow only the tail is preserved and not the rest of the vertebral centra. Centra from the tail would explain the small size and odd shape.

 

On 12/3/2019 at 1:56 PM, steelhead9 said:

I guess the vertebra would be more in the nature of a last meal.

 

On 12/30/2019 at 2:23 AM, oilshale said:

This is exactly what the paleontologists from Siber & Siber say: The skull is from a Megalodon and the small vertebrae are probably from the shark's last meal.

 

That's what I thought as well. But it's indeed very well possible that the vertebrae are not associated with the head, or that, as has also been proposed (including by the museum) the vertebrae are the remains of the animal's last meal.

 

With all this, the specimen being unique world-wide and being held in private hands (the museum, as far as I know, is a privately held rather than a public one) I now find it hard to say whether the fossil is real to any extent, and how much of it has been manipulated.

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