Two Extinct Sharks: Snaggle Tooth and Otodus, Obliquus

Snaggle Tooth Shark (Hemipristis, serra) Fossil Tooth (1.25 inch (3 cm) long and wide)

Snaggle Tooth Shark

It may seem obvious, but the Snaggle Tooth Shark inherited its name from the large serrated edges running along the crowns of its teeth. Hemipristis, serra is an extinct species whose fossil teeth are found worldwide. In 2014, a family in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland found an extremely rare fossilized skeleton of a 15-million-year-old, H. serra shark. The cartilage skeleton is the first one of this species ever found.

This breed could reach an estimated length of 20 feet (6 meters), equivalent to the largest Great White Sharks of today. A tropical breed, they lived beginning from the Oligocene Epoch (around 30 million-years-ago) through the Miocene Epoch and into the early Pleistocene Epoch (about 1mya) before dying out, likely due to earth’s cooling temperatures. Their fossilized teeth are highly prized by collectors.

Extinct Snaggle Tooth Shark (Hemipristis, serra) Rendition Drawing

Classification Snaggle Tooth Shark

Class: Chondrichthyes (Cartilage Fishes)

Superorder: Selachimorpha (Cartilage Skeleton with five to seven gill slits on the sides of the head and pectoral fins that are not fused to the head.)

Order: Carcharhiniformes (Ground Sharks with nictitating membrane over the eye, two dorsal fins, an anal fin and five gill slits.)

Family: Hemigaleidae (Weasel sharks, ground sharks found in eastern Atlantic Ocean to the continental Indo-Pacific in shallow coastal waters to a depth of 100 meters (330 feet).

Genus: Hemipristis (Snaggle Tooth)

Species: serra (Extinct specie)

Otodus, obliquus Shark

Extinct Otodus, obliquus Shark Tooth Fossil (1.25 inch (3cm) long, 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide)

Extinct mackerel shark, Otodus, obliquus, fossil teeth are found in the phosphate pits of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and the Nanjemoy Formation in Maryland, USA. Thought to be one of the first giant sharks and top predator of its time, the shark ruled the ocean’s from the Paleocene Epoch about 66 (million-years-ago) to the Pliocene Epoch around 1.8 million-years-ago.

O. obliquus averaged approximately 30 feet (9 meters) long with the largest possible exceptions reaching up to 40 feet (12 meters) long. To put that in perspective, the Great White Sharks largest exceptions are 20 feet (6 meters) long. Their teeth are noted for their wide triangular crown and large side-cusps.

Otodus, obliquus Extinct Shark (Scale Rendition Drawing)

Classification Otodus, obliquus

Class: Chondrichthyes (Cartilage Fishes)

Order: Lamniformes (Possessing two dorsal fins, an anal fin, five gill slits, eyes without nictitating membranes, and a mouth extending behind the eyes. Commonly known as mackerel sharks; includes some of the most familiar species such as the Great White. Also, distinguished for maintaining a higher body temperature than the surrounding water.)

Family: Otodontidae (Extinct sharks described as mega-toothed sharks. It is believed to be an ancestor to Megalodon.)

Genus: Otodus (The teeth of this shark are large with triangular crowns, smooth cutting edges, and visible cusps on the roots. Some Otodus teeth also show signs of evolving serrations.)

Species: Obliquus (Extinct specie)

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