Fossil Giant Mako Shark Tooth - Virginia

This is a 1 1/2 inch long, nicely colored tooth of Isurus hastalis, an extinct giant mako shark. It comes from Westmoreland County, Virginia and is Miocene in age.


This shark, whose teeth can be found in deposits worldwide, lived from the Eocene to the Pleistocene. It has been historically classified as a broad-toothed mako shark ,(Isurus hastalis). It was then reclassified as Cosmopolitodus hastalis, making it a type of extinct mackerel shark.

More recent research has reclassified it as part of the white shark lineage, which would rename the species to Carcharodon hastalis. You can read more about this here. What classification is correct is still under debate, leading to lots of different labels for these teeth. We prefer the most recent interpretation and label them as Carcharodon hastalis.

Teeth of this shark have been found up to 3 1/2 inches in length but teeth over 2 1/2 inches are uncommon and very rare over 3 inches.
Carcharodon (Isurus) hastalis
Westmoreland County, VA
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