Squalodon

Name: Squalodon ‭(‬Shark tooth‭)‬.
Phonetic: Skwahl-o-don.
Named By: Jean-Pierre Sylvestre de Grateloup‭ ‬-‭ ‬1840.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Cetacea,‭ ‬Platanistoidea,‭ ‬Squalodontidae.
Species: S.‭ ‬grateloupii‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬antverpiensis,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬atlanticus,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬barbarus,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬bariensis,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬bellunensis,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬bordae,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬calvertensis,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬catulli,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬dalpiazi,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬hypsispondylus,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬imperator,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬linzianus,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬melitensis,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬meyeri,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬molassicus,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬peregrinus,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬servatus,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬tiedemani,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬vocontiorum,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬whitmorei,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬wingei.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Uncertain,‭ ‬multiple species are named,‭ ‬but remains can be very fragmentary.
Known locations: Across Europe and North America,‭ ‬possibly also Japan.
Time period: Rupelian of the Oligocene through to Langhian of the Miocene.
Fossil representation: Multiple individuals,‭ ‬but often of very incomplete remains.

       Squalodon is the type genus of the Squalodontidae,‭ ‬a group of prehistoric whales that in‭ ‬evolutionary‭ ‬terms of are intermediary between the older Archaeoceti whales like Basilosaurus and Zygorhiza,‭ ‬and the later whales of the Odontoceti which includes modern toothed cetaceans like the killer whale‭ (‬Orcinus orca‭)‬.‭ ‬Exactly how Squalodon and the other relatives of the genus were related to modern cetaceans is still uncertain however due to many differing opinions.
       Squalodon is represented by numerous species,‭ ‬though there is sometimes question over which ones are valid because often Squalodon remains are only of teeth and jaw segments.‭ ‬Squalodon would have been predators of other marine organisms including fish and possibly other marine mammals.‭ ‬They also show an early development towards echolocation,‭ ‬but it is still unknown if they had the ability to echolocate prey themselves,‭ ‬or if that was a later development of Odontoceti whales.‭ ‬The broad geographic and temporal distribution of the genus however suggest that Squalodon were very successful.
       Although predators,‭ ‬themselves,‭ ‬Squalodon may not have been the top predators of the ocean during their time.‭ ‬Prehistoric sharks were growing to very large sizes during the time of Squalodon,‭ ‬and include such examples as C.‭ ‬angustidens,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬chubutensis to the fearsome and massive C.‭ ‬megalodon.‭ ‬The disappearance of Squalodon after the early Miocene also corresponds to a development of even more advanced predatory whales such as Brygmophyseter and Livyaten.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Random favourites