Tooth from an extinct Orthacodus shark discovered at Barrington Quarry

A RARE sharks tooth which could be up to 55million years old has been discovered in Crow Country. The broken tooth is from an animal that was part of the Orthacodus family, an extinct group of sharks. It was discovered at Barrington quarry, and is the fir

A RARE sharks tooth which could be up to 55million years old has been discovered in Crow Country.

The broken tooth is from an animal that was part of the Orthacodus family, an extinct group of sharks. It was discovered at Barrington quarry, and is the first of its type to be discovered in the UK or Europe.

A spokesman for the quarry said: "Orthacodus first appeared 200 million years ago and lived just after the dinosaurs, outliving them by 10 million years.

"They appear to prefer cool waters and so lived in the northern and southern oceans. Current evidence shows they existed in the areas near Peterborough and on the Dorset coast and now, Cambridge Greensand where Barrington Quarry is situated."


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Cambridge Greensand was part of the seabed 90 - 100 million years ago and is a deposit of silty green chalk with phosphate nodules restricted to the Cambridge area.

In the mid 19th century the area was actively quarried for the nodules which were used to make agricultural fertilizer and the green mineral, glauconite, from which the greensand gets its name, was used to dye military uniforms a khaki colour.

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The tooth is currently being studied by David Ward, a retired Veterinary Surgeon who is interested in fossil sharks and it will be housed by the Natural History Museum in London.

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