A shark tooth found by a 12-year-old Suffolk boy belonged to a shark that existed between 40 and 60 million years ago and was known as the great-grandfather of the famous Megalodon.

Prof Ben Garrod, professor of evolutionary biology and science engagement at the University of East Anglia (UEA), has identified the tooth discovered by Kenzie Bryenton, from Yoxford, as coming from the mouth of an Otodus Obliquus, which could grow to nine metres in length.

Prof Garrod said the super-predator, which fed on fish, sea turtles and whales, came into existence after the dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid 66 million years ago.

READ MORE: Suffolk boy 'really happy' at Essex shark tooth find

Last week, the EADT revealed how Kenzie had found the tooth at Clacton beach during a family holiday, but had not been able to find out anymore about where it had come from, despite searching.

The pupil at Alde Valley Academy in Leiston said he had been 'randomly digging' in the sand when he found the tooth, but did not think it had come from a Megalodon.

Known as the 'Meg', the giant shark - which has been the subject of Hollywood movies - is said to have grown to about 19.8 metres in length and existed between 20 million and 3.6 million years ago.

East Anglian Daily Times: Close-up of the tooth that belonged to Otodus ObliquusClose-up of the tooth that belonged to Otodus Obliquus (Image: Kloe Terry)"You don't find the teeth around most of our coastline, but where you do find them, you might find three or four," Prof Garrod added.

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He said the Otodus shed approximately 40,000 teeth across its lifetime, with the root of the fossils turning to stone, but the enamel surviving and remaining exactly the same as when the shark was alive and using the teeth to feed on other animals.

Prof Garrod said: "This is a great find and I am completely jealous."

He advised Kenzie to prevent the tooth from decaying inside his warm house by mixing water and PVA glue and painting the fossil.

Kenzie said: "I feel very lucky to have found the tooth."

The north Essex beaches are known for being a trove for fossilised treasure and in August a 13-year-old from Hemel Hempstead discovered a 10cm long tooth believed to belong to a megalodon shark.

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