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On Christmas Day 2022, a 9-year-old girl found a 13-centimeter-long fossilized megalodon tooth while searching for fossils on the beach of Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, USA.

9-year-old girl discovers fossilized megalodon tooth

The little girl’s name is Molly Sampson, and ancient fossils are no stranger to her. She has found more than 400 teeth on the beach, but the megalodon tooth discovered this time is the largest. Molly’s mother, Alicia Sampson, said her husband was keen on finding fossils and their family had always lived near the bay, so the children had been interested in fossils since they were young. “Molly said she wanted to scream with excitement when she found the tooth,” Alicia said.

The megalodon lived between 23 million and 3.6 million years ago. It was a giant apex predator and the largest shark in the world at that time. Experts believe they can grow up to 20 meters long. In comparison, the largest great white shark today can only grow to 6 meters long. Megalodon can swim long distances in a short period of time. It can eat killer whales, the largest super predators today, in five mouths, and it can also swallow great white sharks whole. At one time, megalodons ranged so widely that their fossilized teeth have been found on every continent except Antarctica. These tooth fossils can be up to 18 centimeters long and are very easy to identify.

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