By David Klassen
Morden’s Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre has uncovered the largest fossilized crow shark in the world.
“This shark was really re-discovered since it has been in a field jacket in our collection room since 1975,” said curator Matt Duda. “Limited resources mean it can take a while to get to some things but once we took a closer look we realized we had something of great significance.”
The centre sent photos of the specimen to palaeontologist Dr. Michael Newbrey, a fish expert at Columbus State University in Georgia and former scientist with the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta. After seeing the photos, Newbrey made plans to come to the CFDC and work with staff evaluating the shark, more formally known as a specimen of Squalicorax, up close and personal.
The shark is an estimated three metres in length, being 1.2 times the size of the largest known specimen of Squalicorax.
The goal now is to raise the funds to properly prepare the fossil for research and exhibition.
To celebrate the new discovery, the CFDC will be unveiling the new specimen at the beginning of its Shark Week festivities on Monday, August 11 at 1 p.m. The shark will be visible through new observation windows into the fossil preparation lab.