Huge Tooth From Whale-Eating Giant Found in Australia

Museum Victoria senior curator Erich Fitzgerald holds the giant ancient whale tooth. Museum Victoria

A huge tooth from an even bigger whale has been found on a beach near Melbourne, Australia. But it's not just any tooth—the biggest ever discovered on the continent, it belongs to an extinct giant believed to have weighed nearly 45 tons and measured 60 feet in length. The tooth itself is just less than a foot long, and 6 pounds.

The chomper was found by fossil enthusiast Murray Orr, who happened upon it in February. When he reached down to get it, he first thought the tooth was a discarded can, he told The Sydney Morning Herald.

"As it was coming out [of the sandy beach] I thought it might be an anti-aircraft shell, I thought 'here we go, I'm going to blow my arm off'…but then I noticed the curve and thought it looked like a whale tooth," he said.

Five-million-year-old fossilised whale tooth discovered at Melbourne beach #7News

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This week, he reported that he donated it to Museum Victoria, where it will aid in research and which will soon put it on display.

The tooth belongs to a type of killer sperm whale that ate other, smaller whales and was previously thought to only exist in the Americas, according to the Australian Broadcast Corporation. It's larger than the tooth of a Tyrannosaurus rex and is about 5 million years old.