Why Study Shark Tooth Evolution? Sharks are cartilaginous Teeth are calcified – long lasting Good for pre-historic shark morphology, predation techniques, and environmental conditions. Common ancestor with bony fishes: feeding behaviors can shed light on vertebrate feeding systems function and evolution. (Motta 2001, 132)
Examples of Extinct Mako Teeth Sharp, needle like teeth usually indicate a diet consisting primarily of fish. Pointy teeth are good for catching streamlined-slippery prey. -elasmo-research.org (Images) -Shark Savers (text)
Shortfin Mako Tooth A modern day Mako tooth.
Megalodon Tooth -Broadly Triangular, thick, with fine serrations. - ReefQuest
Otodus Obliquus A direct descendent of the Megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon). A more triangular smooth blade. ReefQuest
Great White Shark ( Carcharodon carcharias) Broadly triangular, flattened, coarsely serrated. –ReefQuest
Teeth Through the Ages
Other Shark Teeth Morphologies There are also benthic feeding sharks with plate-like teeth for crushing the shells of their prey, and filter feeders like the whale shark whose teeth are tiny and useless. (Shark Savers) Australianmuseum.net
Megalodon-Great White Theory (pros) Tooth morphology –size and shape –Linnaean System (Early 1800s) Heterochrony –Size and shape are a result of differences in the timing of development Vertebras –similar
Other Examples of Shark Teeth Lemon Shark Bull Shark Tiger Shark Nurse Shark Whale Shark
Shift to Lower Jaw
Most Current Theory
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Conservation Conservation: Studying shark teeth sheds light on feeding strategy and environmental conditions which would allow conservationists to make more informed decisions regarding the ecosystems and prey necessary to sustain a population of Great Whites. Also, understanding their evolution could shed light on the possible adaptive strategies utilized by sharks in response to changing environments.
Citations Castro, J. I. Great white sharks: The biology of carcharodon carcharias Ciampaglio, C. N., & Wray, G. A. Tracing the ancestry of the great white shark, carcharodon carcharias, using morphometric analyses of fossil teeth Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 26(4): 806. Ebert, D., and L. Compagno. Chlamydoselachus Africana, a New Species of Frilled Shark from Southern Africa Zootaxa 2173: n. pag. Web. Ehret, Dana J. Origin of the White Shark Carcharodon (Lamniformes: Lamnidae) Based on Recalibration of the Upper Neogene Pisco Formation of Peru Palaeontology 55.6: The Palaeontological Association. Web. 19 Nov Lebedev, O. A New Specimen of Helicoprion Karpinsky, 1899 from Kazakhstanian Cisurals and a New Reconstruction of Its Tooth Whorl and Function Acta Zoologica 90: Web. Manning, P. Giant shark: Megalodon, prehistoric super predator New York: Media Source. Martin, A. Deep Sea: Frilled Shark. Deep Sea: Frilled Shark N.p., Web.. Motta, Philip J., and Cheryl D. Wilga. Advances in the Study of Feeding Behaviors, Mechanisms, and Mechanics of Sharks Environmental Biology of Fishes 60: Paul, L. & Fowler, S. (SSG Australia & Oceania Regional Workshop, March 2003) Chlamydoselachus anguineus. In: IUCN IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version Purdy, R. The Orthodonty of Helicoprion. Smithsonian Department of Paleobiology, Web. ReefQuest Center for Shark Research. Lamniformes: Mackerel Sharks. Web. 23 Nov Renz, Mark. Megalodon: Hunting the Hunter PaleoPress. Shark Savers Inc. Shark Teeth. Web. 22 Nov Tanaka, S., Y. Shiobara, S. Hioki, H. Abe, G. Nishi, K. Yano, and K. Suzuki. The Reproductive Biology of the Frilled Shark, Chlamydoselachus Anguineus from Suruga Bay, Japan Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 37.3: n. pag. Web Venice Florida dot com!. Venice Florida- Shark and Sharks Teeth Information. Shark Teeth-General Info. Web. 22 Nov http://elasmo- research.org/education/ecology/deepsea-frilled_shark.htmwww.iucnredlist.orghttp://www.sharksavers.org/en/education/biology/shark-teeth1/