What is the NC State Fossil?
The NC State Fossil is the Fossilized Teeth of the Megalodon Shark. It was adopted in 2013. Session Law 2013-189 reads as follows: " Whereas, the megalodon shark is an extinct shark species that lived over 1.5 million years ago; and Whereas, the megalodon shark may have reached over 40 feet in length and weighed up to 100 tons; and Whereas, the megalodon shark had serrated, heart‑shaped teeth that may have grown to over seven inches in length; and Whereas, fossilized teeth of the megalodon shark have been found in North Carolina and throughout the world..." The State fossil is codified in NC General Statute § 145-41. The extinct megalodon shark (Carcharodon megalodon) first appeared during the Neogene period of the Cenozoic Era, about 16 million years ago. It was bigger than a school bus, and their teeth can be as large as 6-7 inches long. Their fossilized teeth can be found on North Carolina beaches and off the coast. NC is home to over 115 fossil shark species, with the largest teeth being the Carcharocles Megalodon and the smallest, several species of the Requiem, Stingray, Nurse, Angel and Sharpnosed (1/8 inch).