Physical Description Notorynchus cepedianus
Notorynchus cepedianus is a bottom dwelling shark that still swims the oceans and seas. They can grow up to about three meter but most are around the two meters. They will eat almost anything they can find: sharks, rays, eggs, crustaceans, bony fish and carrion. An interesting thing to point out is, that these sharks do not look like most current sharks, they have an archaic look. Their dorsal fin is situated near the tail, their head has an unusual shape and ofcourse they have seven gills instead of five. Their teeth are also very different, each tooth looks like a small jaw full of teeth, with the middle tooth of the upper jaw being the exception.
Age and Distribution
This Notorynchus cepedianus tooth is from the Pliocene of Belgium. This shark lived approximately 33-2,6 million years ago. These teeth are not very common in the Antwerp area, this gives us an idea about the population of these sharks at the time.
N. cepedianus co-inhabited the sea with other sharks like the monster shark Megalodon: (Otodus megalodon), Megamouth shark (Megachasma cf pelagios), Sleeper shark aka Greenland shark: (Somniosus microcephalus), Basking shark: (Cetorhinus maximus) Bluntnose sixgill Shark (Hexanchus griseus) and many more sharks. Besides sharks other animals swam in these waters like: bony fish, rays, birds and marine mammals like toothed whales, dolphins and seals.
About the Hexanchiformes Notorynchus cepedianus shark tooth
Notorynchus cepedianus (better said the hexanchiformes) can trace their history back to the Jurassic period, where the first fossils of the sevengilled sharks have been found.
N. cepedianus belongs to the Hexanchidae which is a subclass of the Hexanchiformes. They’re more commonly known as the cow sharks. As few other members of the Hexanchiformes from this time period is: Hexanchus griseus the bluntnose sixgill Shark.