Kōrero: Sharks and rays

An extinct shark

An extinct shark

The Carcharodon megalodon, now extinct, was the size of a bus, at 13–17 metres long. They cruised the world’s oceans from 25 million until 1.6 million years ago. Their prey probably included early species of whales. Some researchers think that they were the ancestors of great white sharks, which are miniature by comparison. A fossilised Carcharodon megalodon vertebra was found in sea cliffs off Taranaki, and a 12-centimetre tooth was also discovered near there. Shark fossils are rare, as their skeletons are made of cartilage, not bone, and do not survive burial. The model pictured here hangs in the Puke Ariki museum in New Plymouth.

Using this item

Puke Ariki - Taranaki Museum & Library
Photograph by John Crawford

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Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Gerard Hutching, 'Sharks and rays - Natural history of sharks and rays', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/photograph/5306/an-extinct-shark (accessed 18 August 2019)

Story by Gerard Hutching, published 12 Jun 2006