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Email Correspondence with David Ward about My Megalodon Tooth


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I was curious about the position of this megalodon tooth from my collection, and how big of a shark it may have come from. David Ward was kind enough to answer my questions. His response explains why root width is a better indication of the size of a shark than slant height.


Hi David,
Here is what I believe to be a posterior meg. for I was hoping you might be able to offer me some insight into just how big this particular shark might have been, how big the teeth in the front of the jaw could have been, and if this is a record or near record sized posterior or not. It is missing a bit of the tip. The specs are 5.6" long side, 5.2" short side and 5.1" from root to root. You would know better than I would, but, based on the chunk missing at the tip, I would guess it would have been about 5.9-6" with the tip intact. I hope you might be able to offer me some insight, but if you are too busy I totally understand.
His response:

Hi Matt,


I agree, it is a passive tooth. 

My best guess is that it is from the 9th file from the centre.  This is based on its height to width ratio.  I am not sure whether it is an upper or lower, but if pushed I would go for lower because lowers have more of an angle at the root base as opposed to  a curve seen in uppers.  This is not a particularly good character this far around the jaw.  The root looks more like a 7th file so it could be a bit stunted.  This can happen in very old sharks, the teeth continue to be formed wider faster than they grow taller.


As for how big the shark was, I guess this must have had at least 6.5 inch front teeth which makes it as big as you can get.  I have no idea how long the shark was.   From a scientific perspective, we don’t tend to regard the size of individual teeth as particularly important, but I can quite see why, from the point of view of a collector, you do.


Don’t try to restore the chipped tip.  It is a classic chisel fracture and an important part of the history of the tooth.  It shows it was in collision with a dense bit of probably whale bone, unusual in the more lateral files.


Enjoy your tooth,

Best wishes,






and, on a slightly unrelated note, here is a pathological megalodon tooth from my collection. I just completed restorations to the root.




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