Named By: Louis Agassiz - 1843.
Classification: Chordata, Chondrichthyes, Elasmobranchii, Lamniformes.
Species: O. obliquus (type), O. isoelicus.
Size: Approximately 9 meters long.
Known locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Selandian of the Paleocene through to the Bartonian of the Eocene.
Fossil representation: Teeth and vertebral centra.
not even close to the size of the biggest shark C.
Otodus was still bigger than any other carnivorous
fish in the sea
today, being one and half times bigger than the largest recorded
great white shark. This large size however does not mean that Otodus
was an apex predator as it would have had to share the seas with other
predators such as Basilosaurus,
an eighteen metre long predatory
whale that looked more like an ancient mosasaur. Still, Otodus
would have been able to hold its ground against most other predators
and could have taken everything from large fish to smaller mammals.
Otodus disappears from the fossil record in the mid Eocene when the megatoothed sharks like Carcharocles auriculatus began appearing. Many researchers think the megatoothed sharks actually evolved from Otudus. Evidence for this comes from the teeth of both Otodus and C. auriculatus having tooth cusps rising up from the root, as well as some Otodus teeth showing the early signs of serrations forming on their edges.