Meg Tooth Pendant, Mark Renz 1-239-368-3252

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Lost and Found - Meg Tooth Pendant

Carcharocles Megalodon Pendant

Carcharocles megalodon (Meg) tooth pendant found by Mark Renz and donated for Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.

Tooth worn by a Native American, probably sometime in the past 6,000 years. Note hold drilled through root, flat polishing on blade and scratch marks, which may have been wear marks if worn around the neck as a pendant and continuously brushed against skin or clothing.

The shark tooth has had four lives so far. First, the juvenile Meg lost the tooth some 2-17 million years ago, perhaps while feeding in a west Florida bay or inlet. Then the oceans receded and the tooth was exposed in the changing coastline, or when the creek cut through the now dry region. There, it was recovered by a Native American as recently as the six thousand years ago, and worn as a pendant. Who knows how many generations of humans may have worn the tooth, or how far it traveled by the wearers. But eventually it was returned to the water. Then, in 1993, a long and lanky modern explorer bearing my name brought it to life once more. And in the past two years, the tooth was donated to the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville as part of the Museum's national traveling Meg exhibit.

What did Native Americans think of Meg, especially when they encountered massive teeth in excess of six inches in a fresh-water creek or river. It must have puzzled them how a shark so large could make it into the shallow creeks in the first place. Or did they realize their world must have changed drastically since the shark lost its teeth? Surely they noticed that modern shark teeth were white while meg teeth were dark-stained (from the tannin in the water, and the iron and other minerals absorbed in the fossilization process)?

What about the tooth I found? Was it insignificant or a ceremonial tooth worn by one of their leaders or holy members? Or had it been tossed into the stream because it represented a mystery for which they had no answers? How exciting it would have been to listen in on one of their conversations as they argued over such curious matters.

Today, we are still asking many of the same questions. How far did this king of sharks roam? Was it really up to three times the size of the modern great white? Who were its predecessors? How did it get so big? Why would it need to? And why did it disappear abruptly nearly two million years ago?

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