2.96" Serrated, Fossil Auriculatus Tooth - Tuzbair, Kazakhstan

This is a glossy, serrated, 2.96" long tooth of Carcharocles auriculatus or Carcharocles sokolovi depending on who you talk to. This tooth was collected from the Tuzbair Plateau in the Mangyshlak region of Kazakhstan.

Some people consider these teeth to be a transitional species between Carcharocles auriculatus and Carcharocles angustidens called Carcharocles sokolovi. They differ from the former with a less curved root and finer serrations and from the latter with more prominent and recurved cusps. Due to the subtle differences, most people lump them in with Carcharocles auriculatus.

Auriculatus was a large, "mega-toothed" shark that lived during the Middle Eocene (38 to 48 million years ago). It had coarsely serrated teeth with distinctive, serrated side-cusps. During the Oligocene Auriculatus would evolve into Carcharocles angustidens, which in turn evolved into the much larger, and better known Megalodon during the Miocene.

Fossil teeth of Auriculatus are fairly hard to obtain compared to other sharks in the Carcharocles genus. They and are only found in a handful of locations. Most fossil Auriculatus teeth come from North Carolina, South Carolina and Morocco. Teeth of Auriculatus have also be found in Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom.

Auriculatus teeth have been found up to a maximum size of about 5" compared to a maximum size of 7 1/2" for those of the Megalodon.

Some researchers place Auriculatus as well as other sharks in the Carcharocles genus into the Otodus genus. This designation is considered fairly controversial and the Carcharocles is much more widely used for this shark.
Carcharocles auriculatus or Carcharocles sokolovi
Tuzbair, Mangyshlak, Kazakhstan
2.96" long
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