Ancient Shark Tooth in Fossilized Alligator Dung Found in Cooper River near Hanahan

Professional vider Mark Stitzer found an ancient shark’s tooth embedded in fossilized alligator dung. Provided by Mark Stitzer

Finding a 30-million-year-old shark tooth on the bottom of the Cooper River isn’t so odd. Finding one embedded in fossilized alligator dung is.

Sit tight. This tale gets stranger.

In the dark bottom muck of the river near Hanahan, professional diver Mark Stitzer Jr. shined his light on an oddly colored plop of rock a few months back, and he knew he had some serious, er, stuff on his hands.

Coprolites, as fossilized waste matter is called, are occasionally found with other ancient remains. But when he turned over the hand-sized specimen, he saw a 2-inch tooth in it.

“It’s extremely rare. It’s up there with the coolest pieces I’ve found,” said Stitzer, 25, of ScubaVenture in Reading, Pennsylvania. He didn’t know just how rare it was, but he had an expert to ask.

George Frandsen runs the Poozeum, an “online museum and resource center (that) offers everything you want to know about amazing fossilized poops,” according to its website. He holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection. He has more than 5,000 pieces.

Stitzer’s find “is incredibly rare, to my knowledge the first time a shark tooth and coprolite have been found together,” Frandsen said.

The South Carolina coast is a prime destination to find prehistoric sharks teeth and other fossils, which date from the time when this region was under the ocean. The items washed into river beds as sea levels retreated. Like fossilized bones, coprolites were covered up quickly and mineralized. They lost the stink and became hard as rock.

Frandsen identified Stitzer’s fossil as a crocodilian, an ancestor of the alligator, based on the appearance and minerals.

On the other side from where the tooth was embedded, Franzen found the puncture of another tooth — evidence that the shark took a sample upper and lower biting nip at the dung then spit it out. The embedded tooth came loose and got stuck, he surmised.

Something that strange, you don’t just leave lying around. The toothy dung is now on display through May 6 in the Scoop on Poop exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, Florida.

“Awesome,” said Capt. Mark Johnson, of Dive the Cooper, who guided Stitzer’s dive. “We find all types of sharks’ teeth, but that’s one of a kind.”


Related Posts

215-Million-Year-Old, One of The World’s Oldest Turtle Shell and Limb Bone Unearthed in Polish Rubbish Dump near Krakow

Fossilised turtle shells plucked from a Polish rubbish dump have been judged to be the oldest and most complete palaeontologists have yet discovered. Dating back 215million years,…

The Straпgest Archaeological Fiпds Ever Made oп Earth

Oυr scholars agree that we are a specie with aп iпteпse case of amпesia. Despite haviпg a detailed υпderstaпdiпg of oυr history, there are some thiпgs we…

10 Remarkable Friendships Between Humans and Wild Animals You Won’t Believe

There are some people oᴜt there who absolutely cannot see the value in bonds with animals. They think they are ѕtᴜріd, ѕіɩɩу creatures who can’t possibly understand…

103-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Bone Discovered in ‘Fossil Hotspot’

An archaeological dig has unveiled a rare, 103-million-year-old dinosaur fossil, leaving researchers hopeful that it belongs to one of only two fossilized specimens found in Oregon since…

‘Harbinger of Doom’: Tiny, Ancient T. Rex Ancestor ‘Moros intrepidus’ Discovered in Utah Fossil Bed

A life reconstruction of North America’s newest tyrannosaur—Moros intrepidus. Jorge Gonzalez Researchers have uncovered the remains of a new species of dinosaur from the same family as…

The Earliest Titanosaur In The World Discovered In Patagonia

Paleontologists present in society Ninjatitan zapatai, a new titanosaur from Patagonia that раѕѕeѕ into the hall of fame among these colossi that walked on eагtһ for being…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *