Carcharocles/Carcharodon chubutensis

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

Name: Carcharocles/Carcharodon chubutensis.
Phonetic:Kar-ka-roe-clees/Kar-ka-roe-don chu-bu-ten-sis.
Named By: Louis Agassiz‭ ‬-‭ ‬1843.
Synonyms: Carcharodon mexicanus,‭ ‬Carcharodon productus,‭ ‬Megaselachus chubutensis.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Chondrichthyes,‭ ‬Elasmobranchii,‭ ‬Lamniformes.
Species: C.‭ ‬chubutensis.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Estimated at up to‭ ‬12.2‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Chattian of the Oligocene through to the Messinian of the Miocene.
Fossil representation: Mostly teeth but some vertebral centra are also known.

       C.‭ ‬chubutensis would have been an active apex predator in its own right,‭ ‬however it had to share the prehistoric oceans with not just raptorial sperm whales but an even bigger closely related shark called C.‭ ‬megalodon.‭ ‬Despite this competition,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬chubutensis managed to survive for about twenty-three million years in the fossil record disappearing only a few million years before C.‭ ‬megalodon itself went extinct.‭
       Not only did C.‭ ‬chubutensis share the seas with C.‭ ‬megalodom,‭ ‬the two sharks were also related to one another with the majority of researchers thinking that they had a common lineage within the Carcharocles genus.‭ ‬This places C.‭ ‬chubutensis within an informal group known as the megatoothed sharks which also include Carcharocles‭ ‬angustidens and Carcharocles‭ ‬auriculatus.‭ ‬However some researchers think that all of these megatoothed sharks actually belong within the Carcharocles genus that includes the great white shark.‭
       This belief is based upon the superficial similarity of all these sharks which is centred‭ ‬on all of the teeth being triangular and serrated.‭ ‬Counter to this theory however is the closer inspection of the megatoothed shark teeth that reveal several key differences between them and the teeth of the great white.‭ ‬Additionally the teeth of different members also show a reduction in teeth cusps that correlates with the appearance and disappearance of different species.‭ ‬For example,‭ ‬one of the earliest members,‭ ‬C.‭ ‬auriculatus has well defined tooth cusps.‭ ‬C.‭ ‬angustidens which is later has reduced cusps,‭ ‬and the teeth of C.‭ ‬chubutensis and C.‭ ‬megalodon have no cusps at all.‭ ‬This is why some researchers place the megatoothed sharks separate from the great white by placing them within the Carcharocles genus.‭ ‬Doing so also suggests a lineage of the megatoothed sharks going back to another large prehistoric shark called Otodus.


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