3.08" Serrated, Fossil Auriculatus Tooth - North Carolina

This is a serrated, 3.08" long tooth of Carcharocles auriculatus or Carcharocles sokolovi depending on who you talk to. This tooth was collected from a river in Eastern North Carolina and retains most of its serrations. One cusp is damaged.

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.

Carcharocles (Otodus) auriculatus was a large, "mega-toothed" shark that lived during the Middle Eocene, about 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 are only found in a handful of locations: most come from North Carolina, South Carolina and Morocco. Teeth have also be found in Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom.

Auriculatus teeth have been found up to a maximum size of about 5 inches, compared to a maximum size of 7.5 inches for those of the Megalodon.

Researchers debate whether Auriculatus and other mega-toothed sharks belong in the Carcharocles genus or the Otodus genus. The Otodus designation is considered fairly controversial, so Carcharocles is much more widely used for this shark.
Carcharocles auriculatus or Carcharocles sokolovi
Eastern North Carolina
Castle Hayne or Trent Formation
3.08" long
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