Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Tracing the Ancestry of the Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias, Using Morphometric Analyses of Fossil Teeth

Kevin G. Nyberg, Charles N. Ciampaglio and Gregory A. Wray
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Vol. 26, No. 4 (Dec. 11, 2006), pp. 806-814
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4524633
Page Count: 9
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Tracing the Ancestry of the Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias, Using Morphometric Analyses of Fossil Teeth
Preview not available

Abstract

The evolutionary origin of the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is unclear, with debate centering around two principal hypotheses. The first, based on similarity in tooth shape, claims that C. carcharias originated from a group of extinct mako sharks that includes Isurus hastalis. The second hypothesis, based mostly on cladistic evidence, claims that C. carcharias originated from the same lineage as the giant megatoothed sharks, sharing a close evolutionary ancestor with the extinct Carcharodon megalodon. To distinguish between the two hypotheses we performed several morphometric analyses. In the first analysis, we used Procrustes method and principal components analysis to quantify variation between C. carcharias, I. hastalis, and C. megalodon in four different positions within the dentition. The results indicate no significant difference in tooth shape between C. carcharias and I. hastalis. In the second analysis, correlating tooth size with age, we analyzed teeth from upper anterior and lower anterior positions. For both tooth positions, we show that the growth rate of C. carcharias is more congruent with the growth rate of I. hastalis than that of C. megalodon. Finally, we used scanning electron microscopy to show that the tooth serrations of C. carcharias are distinct from those of the megatooths and more similar in size to those of slightly serrated mako teeth. Taken together, these results indicate that C. carcharias originated from an extinct group of mako sharks and not from the megatoothed sharks.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
806
    806
  • Thumbnail: Page 
807
    807
  • Thumbnail: Page 
808
    808
  • Thumbnail: Page 
809
    809
  • Thumbnail: Page 
810
    810
  • Thumbnail: Page 
811
    811
  • Thumbnail: Page 
812
    812
  • Thumbnail: Page 
813
    813
  • Thumbnail: Page 
814
    814