Small Toothed Sand Tiger
aka Carcharias reticulata (Probst)
Odontaspis cf acutissma
aka Synodontaspis acutissma
Age - Eocene - Pleistocene(?) Occurrence -
There seems to be little agreement among the experts on
this one. I will follow
what is currently the more popular thinking and use Odontaspis
Fortunately for collectors in Monmouth County, NJ. these
delicate little critters are relatively easy to identify. The teeth of O.
reticulata are relatively small, averaging a little under 1/2 inch
and rarely exceeding an inch. The crown is slender with
relatively long slender cusplets, which may be accompanied by a marginal pair.
The lingual side of the crown is smooth or may have very faint, short striations. There is a strong
lingual protuberance and obvious nutrient grove on the root. On the
lateral teeth the crown is relatively slender and there is normally a pair of
reduced secondary cusplets. These teeth are fairly common but due to
there delicate nature are often found with broken cusplets or roots.
Note: Since I frequently use šKent as a reference it
should be noted that Kent lists Carcharias
acutissma and Carcharias reticulata as
separate species and distinguishes C. reticulata from
Odontaspis by the presence of a nearly complete cutting edge and
very weak striations.
Striation comparison page
The teeth of Odontaspis reticulate average a
little less than 1/2 inch.
Monmouth County, NJ.
There is a strong lingual protuberance and obvious
nutrient grove on the root.
Monmouth County, NJ
This tooth bears faint striations and a marginal second cusplet.
Cusplets on a pristine tooth. The sharp points dull quickly
due to stream wear.
Lateral teeth are small, normally less than 1/2 inch
with narrow crowns and
more often than not will show marginal secondary cusplets.
The laterals of Odontaspis reticulate may be confused with
Carcharias cuspidata. O. reticulate is a smaller,
looking tooth, with a much narrower crown.
Just a whole mess of them.
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šKent, B., 1994. Fossil Sharks of the Chesapeake Region.
Egan Rees & Boyer, Maryland. 146 pp