An abundance of Cretaceous shark teeth

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.

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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to An abundance of Cretaceous shark teeth

  1. Andrew Retzler says:

    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 Wilson says:

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

  3. Elyssa Krivicich says:

    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 Wilson says:

    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. 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 Wilson says:

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.