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Caught in the act; trophic interactions between a 4-million-year-old white shark (Carcharodon) and mysticete whale from Peru

Dana J. Ehret, Bruce J. Macfadden and Rodolfo Salas-Gismondi
Caught in the act; trophic interactions between a 4-million-year-old white shark (Carcharodon) and mysticete whale from Peru
Palaios (May 2009) 24 (5): 329-333

Abstract

Trophic interactions between sharks and other marine vertebrates are represented by both indirect and direct evidence from the fossil record. Indirect evidence includes such traces as shark tooth marks and gouges on the bones of prey, such as fish, reptiles, whales, dolphins, and seals. Direct evidence is represented by the presence of shark teeth in definite association with prey species. In this paper, we report direct evidence for trophic interactions between a white shark (Carcharodon sp.) and a mysticete whale from the lower Pliocene ( approximately 4-5 Ma) Pisco Formation of Peru: a partial mandible of an unidentified mysticete whale with a partial tooth of a white shark embedded within the cortical bone. Modern white sharks are known predators of many marine mammal species, and both active hunting and scavenging have been well documented. In this instance, we interpret this specimen to represent a scavenging event. This fossil is unusual because it represents a seldom-reported event that preserves direct evidence of trophic interactions.


ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 24
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Caught in the act; trophic interactions between a 4-million-year-old white shark (Carcharodon) and mysticete whale from Peru
Affiliation: University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL, United States
Pages: 329-333
Published: 200905
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 27
Accession Number: 2009-048592
Categories: Vertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: NSF Grant EAR-0418042
Illustration Description: illus. incl. strat. col., sketch map
S15°03'00" - S15°03'00", W74°04'60" - W74°04'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, PER, Peru
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 200926
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