Huge 300-Million-Year-Old Shark Skull Found Deep Inside An Underground Kentucky Cave

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Cue the Jaws style tune …

The remains of a big shark skull have actually been discovered ingrained in the wall of a collapse Kentucky. This may be a long, long method from the ocean today, however the discovery reveals that this ancient underground maze was when filled with sharks.

A field group from Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’ s Dinosaur Park just recently found the brand-new fossilized skull in the Mammoth Cave National Park, the world’s longest recognized cavern system that extends for a minimum of 643 kilometers (400 miles).

This is far from the very first proof of sharks in this cavern system. The Mammoth Cave National Park Fossil Shark Research Project has actually currently found over 100 private specimens of sharks here. The majority of this proof is available in the type of teeth, which tend to remain extremely well maintained throughout centuries as they’ re constructed out of the super-tough compound calcium phosphate.

A skull, on the other hand, is a much rarer discovery as shark’s skeletons are made from cartilage, not bone. The fossilized remains consisted of a lower jaw, some cranial cartilage, and numerous teeth. The shark, believed to be an extinct types called Saivodus striatus, had to do with the size of a modern-day Great White, in between 3.4 to 4 meters (11 to 13 feet) long.

“ The conservation of these shark fossils is outstanding, ” the Mammoth Cave National Park Fossil stated in a Facebook post.

“ Because the cavern is not exposed to external aspects such as wind, snow, and rain, the rate of disintegration of the limestone in the cavern is sluggish so fossils tend to be mainly undamaged and really comprehensive. ”


Sharks resided in this location around 330 million years earlier. In some cases referred to as the Late Mississippian duration, this was a time when much of the Mississippi River valley was immersed undersea, extending approximately from 358.9 to 323.2 million years earlier. As an outcome, you can discover an unexpected quantity of marine fossils in the location, in spite of it being some 850 kilometers (528 miles) from the modern-day shoreline.

Sharks have actually been around for a minimum of 450 million years — that’ s older than dinosaurs and trees. While the discovery of ancient sharks in the Mississippi River valley may not be absolutely unexpected, this brand-new discovery is challenging a few of our understanding of this strange duration in North America.

” There’s seldom any record at all of sharks’ teeth originating from these rocks. That was interesting, ” John-Paul Hodnett, a palaeontologist and program organizer at Dinosaur Park in Maryland, informed CNN . “So this is a brand name brand-new record of sharks from a specific layer of time.”

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