A huge collection of prehistoric shark jaws are being displayed at the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas before going to auction in Texas in June this year.
The collection of 182 shark teeth are thought to belong to Megalodon, Carcharocles megalodon, a shark found in warm waters 1.5- 25 million years ago. They were found by the late diver and amateur fossil hunter Vito Bertucci, who spent nearly 20 years collecting the teeth on the shores of South Carolina and Georgia.
Included with the teeth are a set of jaws made from 'plexiglas’ measuring 9 tall by 11 feet wide with a full set of genuine teeth, some measuring over seven inches long. The jaws have a starting bid of $625,000 and are billed by Heritage Auctions in Dallas as "the largest set of prehistoric shark jaws ever assembled."
While Mr Bertucci used his talent as a jeweller to place the fossilised teeth into the jaws, scientists are questioning the accuracy of both the size and position of the teeth.
Shark fossil expert Kenshu Shimada at DePaul University is quoted saying: "The problem here is the size. That's highly, highly over-exaggerated."Other scientists agree that the jaw size does to be too large as there are only teeth and vertebrae to estimate the true size of Megalodon. All are in agreement however that the specimens are beautiful.
Jennifer Whitus, the Museum of Science and Nature's communications manager, said she hopes the winning bidder considers donating the jaws back to the institution."Our palaeontologists have been drooling over it," Whitus said. "We'd love for him to stay here."