It is from an extinct Giant Mako shark (Isurus hastalis) that died in the early Miocene epoch, at least 5,000,000 years ago. The shark’s remains settled into the silt that later became part of the Monterey formation in what is now Newport Beach, CA.
A long time later in 2006, my friend and chainmaille artist Chris Perley was poking around there for fossils. He’s found some 100 shark teeth of various species in this same spot, a well-known rocky promontory in town that probably wouldn’t benefit from this particular kind of publicity. But that’s not the surprising part.
What Chris had found was most of the specimen shown in this picture. Notice that the bottom left corner has been broken off (Chris glued it back together himself). Five years later in 2011, he was searching the same area, and found a piece of bone that looked a lot like the 2006 tooth. He brought it home, and, in an amazing confluence of cosmic energies, it was the missing piece now seen reassembled in the photo.
Chris brought the restored tooth to our Science & Suds gathering at an Irish pub in Newport this evening. It’s a jolly crew, and you’re invited to join us if you’re ever in the area.
References Chris used for his ID’ing and dating his tooth:
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