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1 March 2014 A New Fossil Megamouth Shark (Lamniformes, Megachasmidae) from the Oligocene—Miocene of the Western United States
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Abstract
The extant megamouth shark, Megachasma pelagios (Lamniformes: Megachasmidae), is a large filter-feeding fish. We here describe a new species of Megachasma, M. applegatei, sp. nov., a putative sister species of the extant M. pelagios, based on isolated teeth from late Oligocene—early Miocene (late Chattian—Aquitanian) marine deposits in California and Oregon, U.S.A. Although showing a megachasmid tooth design, teeth of M. applegatei, sp. nov., exhibit a wide morphological range and are reminiscent to those of odontaspidid sharks with strong heterodonty. Megachasma applegatei, sp. nov., could have commonly measured approximately 6 m in total length and likely had a wide range of diet, possibly including small fishes and planktonic invertebrates. The fossil record indicates that either M. applegatei, sp. nov., was broadly adapted to a wide bathymetric tolerance or was a nektopelagic feeder over both deep and shallow water habitats.
©2014 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Kenshu Shimada, Bruce J. Welton and Douglas J. Long "A New Fossil Megamouth Shark (Lamniformes, Megachasmidae) from the Oligocene—Miocene of the Western United States," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 34(2), (1 March 2014). https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2013.803975
Received: 16 December 2012; Accepted: 1 April 2013; Published: 1 March 2014
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