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New fossil teeth of the White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) from the Early Pliocene of Spain. Implication for its paleoecology in the Mediterranean

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Abstract:

We report here supplementary fossil evidence from Guardamar del Segura (south-eastern Spain) that the White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias inhabits the Mediterranean since the Early Pliocene. Moreover, new fossils reveal that the body size of this great predator probably exceeded 6.7 m in total length, a rare size in fossil record and never verified for living specimens to date as discussed in regard of material and methods. A review of fossil evidences of the largest sharks in the Western Mediterranean at the Mio-Pliocene seems to display a gradual ecological replacement of the giant fossil Megatooth shark ("M." megalodon) by the modern C. carcharias beyond the dramatic marine environnemental crisis that underlines the Miocene/Pliocene boundary in the Mediterranean.

Keywords: C. CARCHARIAS; EARLY PLIOCENE; ESTIMATED SIZE; MEDITERRANEAN

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2009/0029

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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