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Alopias latidens (4) - tooth

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Description

Origin : Morocco (Dakhla-Oued Western Sahara)

Geological era : Lower Eocene (Ypresian)

Age : 50 million of years


fossil tooth of ancient shark, uncommon, diagonal cm 1.9, height cm 1.7, width root base cm 1.5, only a piece, as in pictures.

Alopias is a genus with only 3 species still alive and many others extinct of lamniform sharks, of the Alopiidae family.
These are sharks of medium to large size, such as the current fox shark, 6 meters and 500 kg in weight. They are mostly solitary animals that continuously search the oceans for food, consisting of cephalopods and pelagic fish that live in groups (squid, mackerel). To capture the prey, these sharks cleave the water with the long caudal fin, bringing the prey to group and stun them with tail shots.
These sharks are able to completely jump out of the water, even performing aerial evolutions similar to dolphins.
The names of the family and of the genus derive both from the Greek word ἀλώπιξ (alopex), meaning "fox", referring to the long caudal fin of these animals, which reminded the descriptors of the tail of a fox.
The fossil teeth of Alopias latidens are almost indistinguishable from today's alopids, which leaves the premise that these sharks did not differ greatly in the course of evolution.



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