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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502

Abstract

VICIANO, Joan; LOPEZ-LAZARO, Sandra  and  D'ANASTASIO, Ruggero. Fossil teeth of Carcharocles megalodon : The Collection of the University Museum of Chieti (Italy). Part I: Morphometric Analysis. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2018, vol.36, n.4, pp.1378-1385. ISSN 0717-9502.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-95022018000401378.

The extinct species of shark Carcharocles megalodon (Class: Chondrichthyes; Order: Lamniformes) is considered one of the largest and most powerful predators that populated the temperate seas around the world between the middle Miocene and the Pliocene periods (15.9-2.6 My). The reconstruction of its evolutionary history and ecology is based mainly on the morphological and metric studies of the teeth, which represent the overwhelming majority of the fossil remains of this cartilaginous skeleton species. In this article we present the morphological and metric characteristics of the teeth of Carcharocles megalodon that are housed in the University Museum of Chieti (Italy). In particular, the collection is composed of nine teeth of the upper arch, which belonged to different specimens of variable size and weight (total length range: 6.27-14.50 m; weight range: 2,510-35,918 kg). The teeth implement the existing fossil record of Carcharocles megalodon, so that the morphometric data collected will contribute to improve knowledge of the phylogenetic and ecological studies of this species.

Keywords : Megalodon; Fossil tooth; Extinct shark; Lamniformes; Size; Body mass.

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