Fossilised Sharks Tooth otodus obliquus set in Matrix, (composite)
A fossilised sharks tooth otodus obliquus (mackerel shark) in matrix. This Sharks Tooth has been set into the matrix and it is therefore a composite. It has been very skilfully done however, and this is not at all obvious. By being set in matrix it is protected and it is much easier to display. Like other species of shark their bodies were composed of cartilage as opposed to bone. Very few skeletal structures have been discovered, generally only fossilised teeth are found.
The Mackerel Shark existed approximately fifty to sixty million years ago during the Eocene period. The name ‘Mackerel Shark’ refers to the shape of these sharks, not their diet. They were streamlined and ‘fish’ shaped and lived in open seas. The actual name ‘otodus’ derives from the Greek “ear shaped tooth. These fed on large bony mammals, large fish and almost certainly other sharks. The largest of these sharks grew up to 9 metres long. The Mackerel Shark was one of the principle and most ferocious predators of its time. Although smaller than the Megalodon Shark, the otodus was still much larger than todays Great White Shark. There is an ongoing debate as to whether these sharks evolved into the even larger Megalodon Sharks.