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This is your yearly reminder that the jaws of Aliens have an analogue in nature.

Pharyngeal jaws are a second set of teeth that extends from the pharynx of moray eels (Gymnothorax spp). They help the eels grasp onto their struggling prey before it’s swallowed.

Images:

Howitworksdaily

Wikimedia Commons

AVP Wikia

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The largest reconstructed Megalodon jaw in the world at 11 feet wide and 9 feet tall.  It contains 182 fossil Megalodon teeth, up to 7 5/8 inches (one of the largest ever found).  The majority of the teeth were collected by diver Vito Bertucci, who spent 16 years finding appropriately sized teeth and reconstructing the jaw.  Most of the teeth were collected from North and South Carolina.  He positioned the teeth based on a modern great white jaw, though there is debate whether this is the most accurate representation.  This jaw was up for auction several years ago but doesn’t appear to have sold.

Because the jaws of sharks including the Megalodon are made of cartilage rather than bone which rarely fossilizes actual Megalodon jaws have never been found though their teeth can be fairly common.  The Megalodon is believed to have reached nearly 60 feet in length, and would have had diet primarily of whales and other large marine mammals.  They had a cosmopolitan (world wide) distribution, living in shallow water where their prey was plentiful. They went extinct somewhere around 2.5 million years ago.  Well, unless you are truly gullible and believe in a bunch of made up evidence, CGI, and Discovery channel actors posing as scientists.

Be sure to follow the Fossil Porn Tumblr Blog for other spectacular fossil photos & fossil news.

Also be sure to check out this giveaway at FossilEra.com where you can win a REAL 5+ inch Megalodon Tooth.