Color Variation in Megalodon Teeth

The image below shows two fossil Megalodon teeth from separate rivers in South Carolina. The smaller, yellowish specimen is from the Ashapoo River, while the larger, greyish one is from the Cooper River. Differences in coloration of fossil shark teeth are due to differences in the chemistry of the sediment into which they were deposited. For example, the yellowish color of the smaller specimen is probably due to a relatively high concentration of iron salts in the sediment, while the greyish-black color of the larger specimen is probably due to a relatively high concentration of chromium and mica. As a result of such variability, color is not a reliable feature by which fossil shark teeth can be identified.

 

ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research
Text and illustrations R. Aidan Martin
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