Often Squalicorax teeth are the only element retrieved from fossil assemblages. They are relatively common in Cretaceous marine deposits, and they are identifiable based on morphology (1). Squalicorax had wide “cutting-type” teeth, well suited for tearing and gnawing (2). Their shape and close packing in the jaws gave Squalicorax a nearly continuous cutting surface. Tooth serrations made this configuration even more effective, with some Squalicorax species having coarser serrations than others (1). Unlike mammals, which have many different types of teeth for different purposes, Squalicorax dentition was relatively uniform. They had different tooth types for the upper and lower jaws, but teeth were very similar across a single jaw. This is called the monognathic type (3). Like modern sharks, Squalicorax had many rows of replacement teeth behind the teeth currently in use (4).
- 1. Schwimmer, David R., J. D. Stewart, and G. Dent Williams. "Scavenging by sharks of the genus Squalicorax in the Late Cretaceous of North America." Palaios (1997): 71-83.
- 2. Cappetta, Henri. Chondrichthyes II: mesozoic and cenozoic elasmobranchii. Vol. 2. G. Fischer Verlag, 1987.
- 3. Compagno, Leonard JV. "Phyletic relationships of living sharks and rays." American Zoologist 17.2 (1977): 303-322.
- 4. Shimada, Kenshu, and David J. Cicimurri. "Skeletal anatomy of the Late Cretaceous shark, Squalicorax (Neoselachii: Anacoracidae)." Palaeontologische Zeitschrift 79.2 (2005): 241-261.
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