A new elusive otodontid shark from the lower Miocene

paperPublished online on 03 October 2016

A new elusive otodontid shark (Lamniformes: Otodontidae) from the lower Miocene, and comments on the taxonomy of otodontid genera, including the ‘megatoothed’ clade

Kenshu Shimada, Richard E. Chandler, Otto Lok Tao Lam, Takeshi Tanaka & David J. Ward

We describe a new large otodontid lamniform shark, Megalolamna paradoxodon gen. nov. et sp. nov., chronostratigraphically restricted to the early Miocene (Aquitanian–Burdigalian). This new species is based on isolated teeth found from five globally distributed localities: the Jewett Sand in southern California, USA; the Pungo River Formation of North Carolina, USA; the Chilcatay Formation of Peru; the Oi Formation in Mie Prefecture, Japan; and the O’oshimojo Formation in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Extrapolations based on available published data on modern macrophagous lamniforms suggest that the largest specimen of M. paradoxodon gen. nov. et sp. nov. possibly came from an individual that measured at least 3.7 m in total length. All specimens came from deposits in the mid-latitudinal zones representing shallow-water, shelf-type, coastal environments. Its dentition likely exhibited monognathic heterodonty suited for capturing and cutting relatively large prey (e.g. medium-sized fishes). We recommend the genus Otodus to include sharks of the ‘megatoothed’ (e.g. megalodon) lineage in order to avoid Otodus paraphyly. We also propose the following phylogenetic hypothesis: [Kenolamna + [Cretalamna + [Megalolamna + Otodus]]].

Historical Biology, doi: 10.1080/08912963.2016.1236795



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