Megalodon jaws and four rare skeletons go up for bid in Heritage pre-history sale

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Fossil hunter Vito Bertucci, who died while diving for teeth in Georgia, spent his lifetime seeking fragments of 90-foot long prehistoric predator Megalodon sharks to assemble the massive jaws. The piece carries an auction reserve of $625,000.

DALLAS — The largest set of prehistoric shark jaws ever assembled, measuring 11 feet across and almost 9 feet tall, is estimated to sell for $700,000 or more in Heritage Auctions’ Signature Platinum Natural History Auction on June 12.

Details of the Megaladon shark jaws.
Megaladon shark jaws in detail.

It took famed fossil hunter Vito “Megalodon” Bertucci almost 20 years to find fragments of the ferocious Megalodon shark in the rivers of South Carolina and 16 years to assemble the massive jaw.

Bertucci, of Port Royal, S.C., died in 2004 in Georgia while diving for prehistoric shark’s teeth.
“This was Vito’s legacy,” said his brother, Joey Bertucci, who consigned the huge jaw set to the auction. “He loved it. He dragged it around everywhere. This was something he just had a vision to do, and it took him a lifetime of collecting to be able to build it.”

Measuring 60 feet in length or more, Megalodon was the largest predator that ever existed on Earth.

“The Megalodon was a shark that grew to the length of two city buses and preyed on whales and other sharks,” said David Herskowitz, director of Natural History Auctions at Heritage. “With jaws that size, and a hugely voracious appetite, you or I would be no more than an hors d’oeuvre for this monster.”

The jaw set is composed of 182 fossil teeth, some measuring more than seven inches long, displayed in a composite mold. It is on display at the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science, where it  will remain until it is moved nearby to the auction venue in Fair Park in early June.
The majority of teeth in the specimen were personally collected by Vito Bertucci in the rivers of South Carolina. He spent more than 20 years finding the right teeth for this amazing fossil. Examples of Bertucci’s work are on display in the American Museum of Natural History, the Houston Museum and the Baltimore Aquarium and have been featured in National Geographic World magazine and on the National Geographic Channel.

Bertucci opened and operated a shark museum in Port Royal, S.C., before passing away in October 2004 while diving for shark teeth in South Carolina.

The jaws are part of what is sure to be an unprecedented happening in the annals of natural history auctions, as the June 12 event also features no less than four dinosaur skeletons — “The Fighting Pair” Allosaurus and Stegosaurus, a near complete Triceratops, and a complete duck-billed Maiasaurus — along with dozens of important prehistoric treasures, at the Tower Building in Dallas’ Fair Park.

For more information about Heritage Auctions.

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"The Fighting Pair" Allosaurus and Stegosaurus are among the four dinosaur skeletons offered in Heritage Auction Galleries' June 12 Natural History event.

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