Otodus Tooth - First Megatooth Shark
Above: Front of the Specimen Card
During the Paleocene Epoch, the Megatoothed sharks emerged as apex predators, dominating the seas for nearly 60,000,000 years. Otodus obliquus was the first of these giant ocean predators, with vertebrae over 5 inches in diameter, and an estimated body length between 30 to 40 feet, the creature was nearly as long as a bus.
Above: Detail shot of Otodus specimens.
Otodus’ long, smooth teeth were ideal for puncturing fish. In addition, the main tooth was flanked by two smaller structures called cusplets. These miniature teeth helped the shark latch onto its prey and hold its meal in place.
Above: The backside of a Megalodon tooth contrasted with the Otodus. Evolution in action!
As you can see above, Otodus' descendants, the Megalodons, lost these cusplets and developed serrated teeth, a later evolutionary adaptation suited for tearing flesh from cetacean prey.
This specimen is a large Otodus obliquus tooth from Morocco with an estimated age of 40,000,000 to 60,000,000 years old.
Above: Typical Otodus specimens.
Please Note: Otodus teeth are quite sharp and should be handled with care. These specimens are relatively uniform in color, and all teeth will show some sign of repair.
Sizing and Display: Specimens range between 1.75 and 2.25 inches (~4.5-5.5cm). They are too thick for a riker case so we are shipping them in a secure and sturdy carton. A small information card is included that also serves as the certificate of authenticity.
More about the Megatooth Sharks
Above: Artist's rendition of an Otodus obliquus. (Source: Mini Museum)
The cause of the Otodus and its relatives’ massive size has been a debate in the scientific community for some time. Large marine animals tend towards being slow-moving filter feeders, rather than active predators. Some theories state that it was the climate or abundance of food that allowed these giant sharks to thrive in the early Cenozoic ocean, though members of the Otodus genus still maintained their size and domination through a cooler climate and changes in prey.
Above: Otodus with one of our Extra Large Megalodon Teeth.
A recent study suggests the answer may not lie with environmental factors, but with an evolutionary adaptation. Modern marine predators of a similar size to Otodus, such as the orca or the sperm whale, are mammals with the ability to regulate their body heat. It is thought that Otodus may have also been able to keep parts of its body warm in colder waters, an ability that modern great white sharks share. This would allow it to maintain body temperatures when chasing after prey in cooler waters, keeping its massive size across changes in diet and environment.
Ehret, Dana J. Paleobiology and Taxonomy of Extinct Lamnid and Otodontid Sharks (Chondrichthyes, Elasmobranchii, Lamniformes), University of Florida, Ann Arbor, 2010.
Bruce J. MacFadden, Joann Labs-Hochstein, Irvy Quitmyer, Douglas S. Jones, “Incremental growth and diagenesis of skeletal parts of the lamnoid shark Otodus obliquus from the early Eocene (Ypresian) of Morocco”, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology,
Volume 206, Issues 3–4, 2004, Pages 179-192.
Ferron, Humberto G. "Regional endothermy as a trigger for gigantism in some extinct macropredatory sharks." PLoS ONE, vol. 12, no. 9, 2017.
Above: Back of the Specimen Card