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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


D’ANASTASIO, Ruggero; LOPEZ-LAZARO, Sandra  and  VICIANO, Joan. Fossil Teeth of Carcharocles megalodon : The Collection of the University Museum of Chieti (Italy). Part II: Paleopathological Analysis. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2018, vol.36, n.3, pp.841-847. ISSN 0717-9502.

Paleopathology is the science that studies the origin and evolution of diseases. The interest in this discipline derives from the fact that the frequency and distribution of the pathologies that have affected the extinct species, correlate with their ecology and ethology. This assumption is also valid in the case of Carcharocles megalodon, the largest shark that ever existed, located at the top of the food chain and that lived in temperate seas from the middle Miocene to the Pliocene periods (15.9-2.6 My). In the present article we present the pathological alterations of the teeth of Carcharocles megalodon housed in the University Museum of Chieti (Italy). The collection consists of nine teeth of the upper arch, all of them with pathological alterations corresponding to developmental defects and crown trauma. A particular tooth (specimen #165) presents an anomalous apposition of the enamel on the labial surface, a condition not yet described in the literature. The collection of the University Museum of Chieti enriches the existing relatively poor paleopathological record, and could improve the knowledge of the paleobiology of Carcharocles megalodon.

Keywords : Megalodon; Fossil tooth; Lamniformes; Paleopathology; Congenital anomaly; Trauma.

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