Did the bus-sized shark Otodus chubutensis collide with another colossal shark in the shallow waters of what is now central Florida?
BUCKINGHAM, Pennsylvania, USA, March 13, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Otodus megalodon, AKA Megalodon, AKA the “Meg”, wasn’t the only giant predator roaming Miocene waters. 28 to 5 million years ago, another monster of the depths swam in the same seas. It was Megalodon’s close relative and, arguably, its ancestor: the enormous flesh-eater known as Otodus chubutensis.
Chubutensis or “The Chub” was no slouch in size or ferocity. Measuring up to 40 feet long and weighing around 20 tons, it was a whale-killing machine with cavernous jaws lined with triangular teeth up to 5.1 inches long. Was there competition between the Chub and Meg? Have the two sharks ever fought over territory or fought over food?
A tooth in the collection of best-selling author and paleo-researcher Max Hawthorne might answer those questions. Known for its best-selling Kronos Rising sci-fi thriller series, Hawthorne has established himself as a maverick when it comes to prehistoric sea life. While doing research for his novels, he made some impressive paleontological discoveries. the animation for his theory of plesiosaur locomotion is displayed in several UK museums and has been incorporated by the Harvard Museum of Natural History into a documentary about the pliosaur Kronosaurus. It also has an extensive collection of fossils, including a huge Chubutensis shark tooth that has its own story to tell.
“My Bone Valley Chub tooth is very interesting,” Hawthorne said. It’s an upper primary tooth on the left side, a number three I think,” he added, holding up the huge piece of teething. “At 4.75 inches this is considerable. But it was not the largest tooth in the jaw. If, however, we compare it to the corresponding teeth of complete sets of Megalodon, its close relative, we can extrapolate the size of the largest teeth in the jaw of the Chubutensis. They would have come in at 5.1 inches, if not more, which would make the former owner of the tooth about as large as the species. It was a very large shark.
In terms of what the tooth tells us, Hawthorne elaborated. “This tooth was lost during the bite. There is a band about an inch in length along the distal edge of the crown, near the tip, which shows a line of cuts in the enamel. These were caused by serrations from another shark tooth which, once dislodged, tore the edge of my tooth leaving a distinctive pattern.
He then asked the question, “Was it the same shark or a different one? You often see feeding damage like this with big shark teeth, but the damage tends to be a jagged pattern of more gouges deep, or even a split or break in the crown.In this case, the affected area has tiny saw blade-like nicks that were caused by another dented tooth.The pattern is also smooth, as if the two teeth have slid against each other and the tooth has been damaged. The unusual thing is that when I compare the tiny notches cut into the tooth to its own serrations, the latter are smaller, about half of the size.
Does this mean that the shark was attacked by another of its species? Hawthorne said that was a possibility. “Sharks are territorial and there is often interspecific and intraspecific competition. White sharks, for example, are all about size, with smaller fish giving way to bigger ones. If they don’t, they often get a warning bite. In this case, it could be that this shark was attacked or attacked by another shark, and their jaws briefly crossed, resulting in the loss of teeth.
When asked what he thinks happened and if the other shark was a megalodon, Hawthorne replied: “It’s possible. If a Chub had tried to share a carcass that a Megalodon had claimed, a confrontation could have occurred. What is odd, however, is that both of these species have fine serrations on their teeth, like hacksaw blades. This damage appears to have been caused by something with coarser serrations, like those you would see on a great white shark. He added: “There were prehistoric white sharks back then, and they were bigger than the existing variety. But in terms of what actually happened, it’s impossible to say; we can only theorize. The tooth may have been damaged by its previous owner in some strange way. It could be a very large white shark that came on the much larger Chubutensis and was chased away. Or it’s possible that two adult Chubs or a Chub and a Meg clashed and both lost teeth. Given that the two species swam side by side for 18 million years, the likelihood of the latter occurring is a near certainty. And now we may have proof.
Official Trailer for KRONOS RISING: KRAKEN (Volume 3) by Max Hawthorne