Tags: gigantic | shark | texas | jaws

Gigantic Shark in Texas Cuts Jaws Down to Half Its Size

By    |   Friday, 05 Jun 2015 07:05 AM

A gigantic shark vertebrae found near Fort Worth proves the old saying that "everything is bigger in Texas," even in prehistoric times, because the predator's fossil is one of the largest found from North America's Early Cretaceous period.

The fossil was found in 2009 by researcher Janessa A. Doucette-Frederickson during a dig at the Duck Creek Formation in Tarrant County, according to Newsweek. The examination of the vertebrae, which is documented in the latest edition of science publication PLOS One Journal, allowed the researchers to estimate that the shark grew to be 20 to 22 feet long.

"We thought it was a really large fossil and we all came together and dug it out," Joseph Frederickson, part of the research team and Janessa A. Doucette-Frederickson's husband, told Newsweek. "We realized it was a really large shark."

Frederickson said the finding, coupled with the vertebrae of another large shark found by another group in Kansas, has led him to believe that there might have been a pool of the large sharks that roamed the region at one time.

"I looked through the literature and realized there was another really large shark, of which only one vertebrae had been found, and it was from Kansas," Frederickson said. "We came to the conclusion that these two animals are probably the same type of very large shark, but it begged the question what species did it belong to?"

Frederickson and his fellow researchers said in their PLOS One conclusion thy believed the vertebrae belonged to the Leptostyrax macrorhiza species, factoring in its size and similarity to the Kansas shark found in the Kiowa Shale. The team said they could not confirm their theory with the shark's teeth.

"The Albian oceans contained some of the largest lamniform sharks of the Mesozoic, which hypothetically represented an ecological precursor to the large sharks of the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic," they said.

The Houston Chronicle reported that lamniform sharks include the class of predators that includes today's great white shark, but the ancient shark is nearly twice the size of the great white.

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A gigantic shark vertebrae found near Fort Worth proves the old saying that "everything is bigger in Texas," even in prehistoric times, because the predator's fossil is one of the largest found from North America's Early Cretaceous period.
gigantic, shark, texas, jaws
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2015-05-05
Friday, 05 Jun 2015 07:05 AM
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