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300 Million-Year-Old Super-Shark Fossils Discovered In Texas

First Posted: Oct 29, 2015 01:47 PM EDT
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A team of researchers have discovered 300 million-year-old 'super-shark' fossils in Texas, according to a news release.

Dr. John Maisey from the American Museum of Natural History in New York and a team of researchers carefully examined the fossils, where they were able to determine actual size of the sharks. The newly discovered fossils were compared to other fossils from various shark species.

The two super-sharks had an estimated size between 18 and 26 feet in length (5.5 to 8 meters). The largest of the specimens were 25 percent larger than the Great White shark today, according to the researchers. Even though the specimens may not be as large as the Megalodon shark, which is currently the largest shark, that grew up to 67 feet (20 meters) in length, the newly found Texas shark fossils could have been the biggest sharks around in their time.

The researchers arrived at the conclusion that the shark fossil possibly belonged to an extinct shark species known as Glikmanius occidentalis and related shark species, which have been found in Scotland. This showed that the species were capable of dispersing over great distances, according to the researchers.

Giant shark fossils have been found in rocks and dated back to 130 million years ago, during the time of the dinosaurs. However, this recent finding sheds new light that giant sharks go much further back into the fossil record. Maisey said that even 300 million years ago, "everything is bigger in Texas."

The researchers are planning to present their study at the annual meeting for the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Dallas, Texas.

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