Geosciences 2012, 2(2), 109-129; doi:10.3390/geosciences2020109
Article

Squalicorax Chips a Tooth: A Consequence of Feeding-Related Behavior from the Lowermost Navesink Formation (Late Cretaceous: Campanian-Maastrichtian) of Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA

Received: 6 March 2012; in revised form: 20 April 2012 / Accepted: 23 May 2012 / Published: 30 May 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paleontology and Geo/Biological Evolution)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Chipped and broken functional teeth are common in modern sharks with serrated tooth shape. Tooth damage consists of splintering, cracking, and flaking near the cusp apex where the enameloid is broken and exposes the osteodentine and orthodentine. Such damage is generally viewed as the result of forces applied during feeding as the cusp apex impacts the skeletal anatomy of prey. Damage seen in serrated functional teeth from sharks Squalicorax kaupi [1] and Squalicorax pristodontus [1] from the late Cretaceous lowermost Navesink Formation of New Jersey resembles that occurring in modern sharks and suggests similar feeding behavior. Tumbling experiments using serrated modern and fossil functional shark teeth, including those of Squalicorax, show that teeth are polished, not cracked or broken, by post-mortem abrasion in lowermost Navesink sediment. This provides further evidence that chipped and broken Squalicorax teeth are feeding-related and not taphonomic in origin. Evolution of rapid tooth replacement in large sharks such as Squalicorax ensured maximum functionality after feeding-related tooth damage occurred. Serrated teeth and rapid tooth replacement in the large sharks of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic afforded them competitive advantages that helped them to achieve their place as apex predators in today’s ocean.
Keywords: serrated shark teeth; Squalicorax; Campanian-Maastrichtian; New Jersey; feeding-related behavior
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MDPI and ACS Style

Becker, M.A.; Chamberlain, J.A., Jr. Squalicorax Chips a Tooth: A Consequence of Feeding-Related Behavior from the Lowermost Navesink Formation (Late Cretaceous: Campanian-Maastrichtian) of Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA. Geosciences 2012, 2, 109-129.

AMA Style

Becker MA, Chamberlain JA, Jr. Squalicorax Chips a Tooth: A Consequence of Feeding-Related Behavior from the Lowermost Navesink Formation (Late Cretaceous: Campanian-Maastrichtian) of Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA. Geosciences. 2012; 2(2):109-129.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Becker, Martin A.; Chamberlain, John A., Jr. 2012. "Squalicorax Chips a Tooth: A Consequence of Feeding-Related Behavior from the Lowermost Navesink Formation (Late Cretaceous: Campanian-Maastrichtian) of Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA." Geosciences 2, no. 2: 109-129.

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