fossil shark tooth from Cretolamna aschersoni, Cretaceous - Eocene, from the phosphate mines near Khouribga, Morocco
Cretolamna aschersoni (Stromer, 1905) fossil tooth
The phosphate mines near Khouribga, Morocco are the largest in the world. The age of the phosphate deposits ranges from Cretaceous to Eocene. Though the age of these fossils is often given as Eocene or Lower Eocene, the collectors are not at all careful to note the stratum from which these are collected. The classification of this genus is in flux, with the generic name either spelled Cretolamna or Cretalamna. Both spellings are in use.
Fossil shark teeth are extremely common in the Moroccan phosphate deposits. Identifications are often incorrect however, and it makes sense to find the paper in which the species was initially described. In this case, Die fischreste des mittleren und oberen Eozäns von Aegypten, is not an easy paper to find. Stromer's entire collection was lost in the bombing of Munich by the Royal Air Force in 1944.
Cretolamna aschersoni is a species of mackerel shark. The teeth are modified placoid scales that are attached to the skin covering the jaw and not to the jaw itself.
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