Did you know that there are different colours of Megalodon teeth? And do you know where the teeth get their colour from.
There are various colours of Megalodon teeth, including blue, green, white, black, grey, brown and even light pink. The colour of a shark tooth, or any other fossil, is determined by the type of sediment in which the fossil was preserved. The colour has almost nothing to do with the age or type of fossil. In this interesting blog we explain more about the colour of Megalodon teeth.
Fossilisation process of shark teeth
Let us say that a certain shark's tooth is shed and sinks to the bottom of the sea. To become a fossil, it is quickly buried by sediments. Over time, the oxygen-poor sediments accumulate. The pressure will start to compact the sediments in which the shark tooth is buried. When enough layers and pressure have built up, water will cause minerals from the surrounding sediment to flow into the shark tooth (permineralisation). Eventually, the minerals will largely replace the original organic material and the shark tooth will be preserved as a fossil. The colour of the minerals in the sediment becomes the colour of the fossil.
Other factors can play a role in what colour a fossilised tooth is, heavy minerals or different coloured Megalodon tooth acids present in some bodies of water can give different colours to teeth, as can prolonged exposure to sunlight and other environmental factors that are very rapid compared to the fossilisation process. All fossilised megalodon and other shark teeth have characteristics in terms of colour and density that are based on the minerals that were present when they were fossilised millions of years ago, but once exposed to the elements in the open air or in a body of water, additional colour changes can occur over time.
As mentioned above, the teeth are found in a variety of colours. Each colour has its own story.
Iron: Teeth found in brown sand, rich in iron have a variety of colours, such as brown, blue and green.
Rust: Megalodon teeth found in layers with a lot of rust are normally orange/reddish.
Phosphate: The bright, black colour of teeth comes from phosphate.
Tannin: Megalodon teeth with beautiful dark brown colours are often found in freshwater rivers that are high in tannins.
Glue stone: teeth found in glue stone often have a beautiful grey/yellow colour.
Groundwater / water: Some teeth can also regain a white colour, as all minerals are rinsed with groundwater.
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