Our first vertebrate fossil

May 24th, 2010

Megan found this beautiful shark's tooth in the Prairie Bluff Formation (Upper Cretaceous) near Starkville, Mississippi, this afternoon. Andrew Retzler! We want your expert identification of it in the comments below. Thanks!

4 Responses to “Our first vertebrate fossil”

  1. Andrew Retzleron 24 May 2010 at 5:34 pm

    I would definitely say the tooth is within the Squalicorax genera due to the general shape and size (although the size is hard to judge without a scale). It becomes more fuzzy when determining the species, but I narrowed it down to Squalicorax “pristodontus” or Squalicorax “kaupi”. In my opinion, this tooth fits more into the description Squalicorax “kaupi” due to the visible notch on the distal edge. Both of these sharks also existed in the Upper Cretaceous, making them good possibilities!

    Check out this website (http://www.elasmo.com/frameMe.html?file=home.html&menu=bin/menu_home-alt.html) to see images and a description of several Upper Cretaceous Squalicorax sharks.

    I’m looking forward to finding a few of my own in Israel!

  2. Mark Wilsonon 24 May 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Well done, Andrew, and quick! The photo scale is supposed to be the lines in Megan’s palm — art trumped science. You will soon have your own handful of teeth.

  3. Elyssa Krivicichon 24 May 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Awesome photo and super cool. You don’t know how much it excites me to hear about your research.

  4. Mark Wilsonon 25 May 2010 at 9:44 pm

    This is as fun as it looks, Elyssa. (Except for the chigger part.) I’m so glad you are in the same discipline!

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