Molly is no stranger to sharks’ teeth. By then she had found over 400 of them during her treasure-hunting career, but she had never found a “Meg” as she calls it. Until now. There in her hand she held the tooth of a Megalodon, a prehistoric shark bigger and faster than any great ocean predator alive today. The Megalodon lived more than twenty-three million years ago and became extinct 3.6 million years ago. Scientists estimate the enormous shark could be up to six feet long and weigh over 135,000 pounds. Molly knew that the size of a shark is based on the size of their teeth—every inch is ten feet—so she realized she was holding part of what had once been a fifty-foot shark! But we’ll let Molly tell the story herself.
Hi Molly! Let’s start with the basics. Where do you live? How old are you? Who makes up your family? Things like that! We want to know who you are.
My name is Molly Sampson, and I live in Prince Frederick, Maryland. When I found the tooth I was 9, but since then I have turned 10! I have a brother who is 19, his name is Oliver, and a sister who is 17 and her name is Natalie. I live with my mom and dad and Natalie! I also have 27 pets, which I count as my family. I have 21 chickens (they live outside), a fish, two cats, a dog, and two turtles.
Where did you find the Megalodon tooth?
I found the big Meg along Calvert Cliffs here in Calvert County.
Have you looked for shark teeth before? Your father is super into fossils, right? How has his love influenced you?
I have looked for shark teeth for a long time now. I have been finding them since I was really little, but got serious about collecting them in the last three or four years. My dad grew up on the bay near the cliffs so he has always looked for them. I think just going with him and seeing how excited he is when he finds something cool got me excited about it. He knows so much about them and how to look for them, and now he has taught me how to do that too! I have found five other Megalodons in the last few years but all of them are only an inch or two long. This one is five inches!
That’s really big for a Meg tooth, right?
My dad has dreams about finding teeth as big as the one I found!