Jaws: replica of ancient sea monster at uShaka

2010-04-03 00:00

IF you think a Great White Shark has a scary set of jaws, then the 138-tooth megalodon jaw, which can be seen in Arena One at uShaka Marine World, will definitely make you think twice about getting into the ocean.

The jawbone was commissioned by uShaka Sea World, and the builders, Ralf Boes, Flavia da Silva and David Maxhwele of Hummingbird Studios in La Lucia, took eight weeks to build the world’s first replica of the ancient predator’s jaw.

The megalodon was an ancient shark that scientists believe grew to between 12 and 16 metres. To put that in perspective, the average human male is 1,8 metres tall.

These super-predators lived in warm oceans with a plentiful supply of food — probably whale and other marine mammals — and their jaws could open 1,8 m wide and 2,1 m high and had about 276 teeth.

Megalodon lived about 25 million years ago during the Miocene and Pliocene epochs. The fossil teeth were thought to be a dragon’s tongue until it was established they were in fact giant gnashers.

The uShaka replica is made of stainless steel, weighs over 1,5 tons and is four metres and 20 cm tall.

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