Carcharocles/Carcharodon auriculatus

While the species is valid,‭ ‬the genus this shark belongs too is disputed,‭ ‬refer to the main text for details.

Name: Carcharocles/Carcharodon auriculatus.
Phonetic: Kar-ka-roe-clees/Kar-ka-roe-don‭ ‬or-ree-cu-la-tus.
Named By: Jordan‭ ‬-‭ ‬1923.
Synonyms: Otodus subserratus,‭ ‬Carcharocles auriculata.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Chondrichthyes,‭ ‬Elasmobranchii,‭ ‬Lamniformes.
Species: C.‭ ‬auriculatus.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Uuncertain.
Known locations: USA,‭ ‬South Carolina.
Time period: Eocene.
Fossil representation: Usually just teeth.

       Although C.‭ ‬auriculatus is usually placed within the Carcharocles genus,‭ ‬some researchers think that a placement within the Carcharodon genus would be more correct.‭ ‬This debate has been‭ ‬on-going for quite a considerable time and also includes Carcharocles‭ ‬angustidens,‭ Carcharocles‭ ‬chubentensis and even the famous C.‭ ‬megalodon‭ (‬often referred simply to as Megalodon‭)‬.‭ ‬All of these shark species are often referred to as the‭ '‬megatoothed sharks‭' ‬because of their large sizes and triangular serrated teeth.‭ ‬It is this superficial similarity with the teeth of the great white shark that we know today that had them originally placed within the Carcharodon genus.‭ ‬However closer study of the teeth has discovered several differences between the megatoothed sharks and the great white.‭ ‬Strong evidence for both placements exists,‭ ‬and to which genus the species belong to is often down to how an individual researcher interprets the available fossil evidence.
       Although the teeth of C.‭ ‬auriculatus are mostly known from South Carolina,‭ ‬it may have still had a more cosmopolitan distribution like other megatoothed sharks.‭ ‬Size estimates for C.‭ ‬auriculatus are not common place but as a‭ '‬megatoothed shark‭' ‬it was likely to have been considerably larger than a modern great white,‭ ‬perhaps approaching nine meters in length like its presumed ancestor Otodus obliquus.



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