An abundance of Cretaceous shark teeth

May 25th, 2010

Shark teeth found in the Upper Cretaceous Prairie Bluff Formation in Starkville, Mississippi.

STARKVILLE, MISSISSIPPI — OK, Andrew Retzler, please identify these teeth as best as you can in the comments below!  For everyone else, Andrew will be leaving with me in little more than a week for Israel where he will be collecting Late Cretaceous shark’s teeth as part of his Independent Study project.  He already proved very adept at sorting out a set of Israeli fossil shark’s teeth I had collected last year, so we’re giving him some more practice before his fieldwork.  It is possible we will have collected enough teeth by the end of this trip that he will be able to use them for comparisons.  Megan has proven especially good at finding teeth and other shark bits.

6 Responses to “An abundance of Cretaceous shark teeth”

  1. Andrew Retzleron 26 May 2010 at 11:01 am

    Well here’s my thoughts on the picture…

    B, C, and D – Cretoxyrhina mantelli

    F – Squalicorax pristodontus or Squalicorax kaupi

    A, E, G, H, and I – All of these have very similar dentition size and shape that match with Cretalamna appendiculata, Cretalamna maroccana, and Scapanorhynchus texanus. The easiest way to distinguish Cretalamna from Scapanorhynchus is by observing dual lateral cusplets, as seen on teeth A, E, and I. G and H don’t have visible cusplets and could be classified as Scapanorhynchus texanus, however, these samples aren’t complete and could have had cusplets previously.

    J – Looks like two fossilized teeth together that could have also belonged to a Cretalamna or Scapanorhynchus shark.

  2. Mark Wilsonon 26 May 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Well done, Andrew! I think you’re ready for you own teeth now.

  3. Elyssa Krivicichon 30 May 2010 at 12:11 am

    Hello. I am trying to keep up with this blog but there are so many entries. So you ARE going back to Israel with a Andrew? That is amazing and I am so excited to hear about your research there.

  4. Mark Wilsonon 30 May 2010 at 6:47 am

    Hello Elyssa: Yes — Andrew, Micah and I leave for Israel next week for work in the Cretaceous near Mitzpe Ramon. These two trips are too close together, but it will still be fun and very different!

  5. George Phillipson 31 May 2010 at 11:38 am

    Here are my “2 cents” worth, Megan. I’m pretty certain of these IDs, but I could have Dave Cicimurri, Earl Manning, and/or Jim Bourdon check them if you wish. Nevertheless, here they are…

    A-E, I = Serratolamna serrata (Agassiz 1843)
    G = Carcharias sp.
    H, J = two incomplete “Carcharias” (sensu lato)
    F = Squalicorax pristodontus (Agassiz 1843)

  6. Mark Wilsonon 31 May 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Thanks, George! Very helpful, once again. No one better than you with these teeth.

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