Children find rare fossilised tooth belonging to prehistoric ocean giant

The enormous tooth was brought into Essex Wildlife Trust’s The Naze Centre to identify what species it belonged to

A fossilised tooth belonging to an extinct mega-shark has been found on the beach at Walton-on-the-Naze on Thursday.

Whilst out for a walk along the Essex beach, siblings Adam and Sophie found more than they bargained for when they stumbled across a gigantic fossilised tooth. After taking it to Essex Wildlife Trust’s The Naze Centre to report their 3-inch-wide and 3-inch-high tooth, it was identified as belonging to the biggest shark to have ever lived; the Megalodon.

The mighty Megalodon was an 18-metre shark found throughout our oceans, including right here, swimming off the Essex coast millions of years ago. Scientists have predicted that this ocean giant would have been around three times larger than the modern day Great White shark. It had the biggest bite of any creature known to date and would have consumed on average 2,500 lbs of food per day; its name justifiably translating to “Big Tooth”.

We know these sizable sharks were found off the coast of Essex because this is not the first time their teeth have been uncovered from The Naze cliffs. As the 70ft high cliffs at The Naze erode, ancient fossils including Megalodon teeth are uncovered and released on to the beach, meaning if you’re extremely lucky, like Adam and Sophie were, you could possibly find one of these giant teeth on the beach.

Essex Wildlife Trust runs many fossil hunting events at The Naze Centre, but finding a Megalodon tooth is a rare treat, well done to Adam and Sophie! Lots of incredible teeth have been found this summer, but this has to be the best find so far.

If you would like to see this predator’s impressive tooth up-close, Essex Wildlife Trust’s The Naze Centre has a previously found Megalodon tooth on display. Alternatively, you could try your luck and go fossil hunting on the beach yourself.

Naze Megalodon tooth

Essex Wildlife Trust is celebrating Marine Month this August, so they are running lots of exciting events across Essex. Here are some of the coastal-inspired events running at The Naze Centre this month:  

  • Go shark crazy with activity-filled sessions all about sharks. Enjoy a shark trail, play shark-themed games, make crafts and hunt for teeth on the beach. Monday 12, 19 & 26 August, £5 donation per child.
  • Celebrate Essex’s marine wildlife at a Marine Wildlife Celebration Day, with activities including seashore scavenger hunts, guided walks around the reserve and beach cleans. Saturday 24 August, 10am-4pm.
  • Get everyone involved with a family seashore discovery session and go in search for the plants and animals found along this stretch of Essex coastline. Thursday 22 and Tuesday 27August, £3 donation per person.

Visit www.essexwt.org.uk/marine-month or contact The Naze Centre on 01255 679379 to find out more.