The great white shark Carcharodon carcharias (linné, 1758) in the Pliocene of Portugal and its early distribution in eastern Atlantic

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Abstract

Fossil great white shark Carcharodon carcharias has been recognized for the frst time in Portugal near Marinha Grande in Pliocene sediments. This occurrence further broadens its already huge distribution. It is indeed the frst Pliocene shark so far identifed in Portugal. The great white shark is represented but by a single upper right lateral tooth lost after use from a ca. 4 m TL, adult individual. The presence is very much in agreement with all known data about Iberian Peninsula, where it really has never been found in Miocene units but becomes common in lower Pliocene levels in Spain. Although the evidence is typical, it is too scarce to allow much speculation on the species numerical importance. If however we take into account that no other shark teeth are known in the concerned sediments it can provisorily be accepted that its occurrence would be rather common. This new record for the Pliocene in Portugal underlines the closeness of the frst known occurrences for the eastern Atlantic, both in its northern (as this is the case) and southern parts as shown by the referred Pliocene fauna of Farol das Lagostas, Angola.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalRev. Española Paleontología
Volume25
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Carcharodon carcharias
  • Distribution
  • Eastern Atlantic
  • Pliocene
  • Portugal
  • Sharks

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