PHOENIX — Just when you thought it was safe to go back to northern Arizona comes word that sharks used to roam around Flagstaff.
It was a long, long time ago.
“[About] 260 million years ago, there was a warm shallow seaway that covered most of the American southwest all the way up to areas of Wyoming and Idaho,” said Northern Arizona University student John-Paul Hodnett.
That seaway had lots of sharks. Hodnett said over 40 fossilized sharks teeth have been found in the limestone around the Flagstaff area since 2006. One of the teeth was on the NAU campus. According to Hodnett, all of the fossils are now in the Museum of Northern Arizona.
The latest tooth was found recently near Munds Park. Hodnett said it belonged to a prehistoric shark called Diablodontus michaeledmundi, also known as the devil’s tooth shark.
He said the shark is appropriately named.
“They had a devilish look in the first place, but they also belong to an extinct group of sharks that had funny little horned-like spikes on the top of the head and spines on its fins,” Hodnett said. “They were, in essence, a devil-looking shark.”
The tooth found near Munds Park is about the size of a dime. Hodnett estimated that it came from a shark that was about three-and-a-half feet long.
Hodnett added that many of the finds were on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, and older shark’s teeth have been found as far south as Payson. He said it’s possible that there may be shark’s teeth buried in the Phoenix area.
Hodnett said he and co-author David Elliott wrote a report about the sharks that was recently published in Bulletin of the New Mexico Museum of Natural Science. For more information, click here.
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon