Our first vertebrate fossil

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!

About Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a Professor of Geology at The College of Wooster. He specializes in invertebrate paleontology, carbonate sedimentology, and stratigraphy. He also is an expert on pseudoscience, especially creationism.
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4 Responses to Our first vertebrate fossil

  1. Andrew Retzler says:

    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 Wilson says:

    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 Krivicich says:

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

  4. Mark Wilson says:

    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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