News Flash Home
The original item was published from 8/15/2018 2:30:20 PM to 1/1/2019 12:10:04 AM.

News Flash

Home

Posted on: August 10, 2018

[ARCHIVED] NEWLY PUBLISHED PAPER - FOSSIL DOLPHIN TAIL BONES

Photo 2 for web

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: August 10, 2018

Contact: Traci Cimini, PR/Marketing Manager

410-326-2042, ext. 62 Email: Traci.Cimini@calvertcountymd.gov


 

Newly Published Paper Authored by CMM’s Paleontologist

 Just in Time for Release of “The Meg” Movie


SOLOMONS, MD – August 10, 2018 – Calvert Marine Museum’s Curator of Paleontology, Dr. Stephen Godfrey, is the senior author on a paper published online today in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. It is a collaborative effort between Godfrey, Mike Ellwood, Stephen Groff, and Michal Scott Verdin; avocational paleontologists who found the bitten vertebrae. The paper describes fossil dolphin tail bones that were bitten by the mega-tooth shark, Carcharocles megalodon.

Megalodon was the largest predator that lived on Earth 2-20 million years ago. It is estimated that they attained lengths of between 50-60 feet. From time-to-time, fossil whale and dolphin bones are found along Calvert Cliffs that show megalodon tooth bite marks. Some of these tooth marks may have been made as megalodon scavenged an already dead whale. But the fossil dolphin tail bones suggest that the megalodon-tooth gouge marks were made by these giant sharks chasing down prehistoric dolphins and disabling them by biting deeply into their tails.

Modern great white sharks are known to disable dolphins by biting their tails. Megalodon could certainly have done the same, as the fossil tail vertebrae show multiple gouges. This suggests that the tails of these dolphins were jammed forcefully and repeatedly between adjacent teeth by powerful bite forces. Powerful and repeated biting seems more in keeping with the disabling of struggling prey, rather than the dismembering of a relatively small dolphin carcass so close to its tail fluke. Therefore, these megalodon-bitten dolphin tail bones suggest that this apex predator included this disabling tactic in its predatory repertoire, and that it also actively preyed upon relatively small marine animals.

Attached is the published paper. For more information, contact Stephen Godfrey at 410-326-2042, ext. 28 or Stephen.Godfrey@calvertcountymd.gov.


Photo 1: Megalodon hunting Miocene-epoch long-snouted eurhinodelphinid dolphins. Art by CMM artist, Tim Scheirer.

Photo 2: Fossil Miocene dolphin tail bone in several views deeply gouged on both sides from having been bitten by the extinct mega-tooth shark megalodon.

###


Explore how the prehistoric past, natural environments, and maritime heritage come to life and tell a unique story of the Chesapeake Bay. The Calvert Marine Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $9.00 for adults; $7.00 for seniors, military with valid I.D, AAA and AARP members; $4.00 for children ages 5 - 12; children under 5 and museum members are admitted free. For more information about the museum, upcoming events, or membership, visit the website at www.calvertmarinemuseum.com or call 410-326-2042. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter.


Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Home

MARSUPIAL MAKES MUSEUM DEBUT

Posted on: January 12, 2023

WHALE SKULL EXTRACTION AT MARYLAND BEACH

Posted on: December 22, 2022

CMM WELCOMES NEW VESSEL

Posted on: October 31, 2022

CMMS ANNOUNCES NEW STAGE SPONSORS

Posted on: October 27, 2022

November Events at CMM

Posted on: October 13, 2022

Patuxent River Appreciation Day 2022

Posted on: September 22, 2022

October Events at CMM

Posted on: September 15, 2022

Meg Encounter with Small Whale

Posted on: September 8, 2022

September Events at CMM

Posted on: August 29, 2022
PRAD 2021

Call of Vendors for PRAD

Posted on: August 26, 2022