Monster Shark Straight Out of Nightmares Used To Swim The Waters of Idaho
Happy shark week, shark lovers!
Believe it or not, nearly 270 million years ago, Idaho was home to what was the largest predator on Earth at the time - the Helicoprion, also known as, the Buzzsaw Shark.
We know this thanks to some fossils that were discovered a few years back at a Monsanto mine in eastern Idaho. The fossil was that of a tooth whorl that measured over 8 inches in diameter! Imagining an 8 inch tooth on a shark is a scary thought. For better perspective, 8 inches is slightly smaller than an NBA basketball.
This leaves researchers at The Idaho Museum of Natural History to believe that the prehistoric Buzzsaw Shark was a ginormous cold blooded fish that could possibly grow up to 25 feet! The Helicorprion actually gets it's nickname because of it's oral anatomy which has been described as a "360-degree spiral of teeth." Take a look at this drawing to get a visual!
It was previously believed that this spiral of teeth curled outward. Somehow even more terrifying though, the whorl actually grew inside the shark's lower jaw. That means this shark basically had a whole collection of teeth tucked inside it's mouth - sometimes up to 150 teeth! When new teeth would grow in the back of the shark's mouth the entire whorl rotated forward to make room. Yep, that's right. That's a rotating whorl of 8 inch razor-sharp teeth, just like chainsaw. Interestingly enough, all these chompers were actually in the bottom jaw of the shark's mouth; there were none in it's upper.
The Buzzsaw Shark is something straight out of a nightmare. If these things were still swimming around in Idaho, catch me in the water like NEVER!