Physogaleus

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Physogaleus
Temporal range: Eocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Superorder: Selachimorpha
Order: Carcharhiniformes
Genus: Physogaleus
Species
  •  ?Physogaleus secundus
  • Physogaleus contortus

Physogaleus is a small prehistoric shark that lived from the Oligocene into the Miocene.[1]

Description[edit]

Physogaleus are only known from their fossil teeth and isolated vertebra.

Physogaleus has teeth similar to the modern tiger shark, but smaller. It was actually thought to be a type of tiger shark (Galeocerdo). However, due to the many smaller differences in the shark teeth, it has been moved to its own genera.

Physogaleus teeth are smaller than the tiger sharks, they also do not have the heavy serrations, and are slender and twisted toward the crown. This indicates they probably had a diet of bony fish, similar to the living sand-tiger shark.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

It was featured in the book adaptation of the 2003 BBC series Sea Monsters, a spin-off to Walking with Dinosaurs (1999). In the book, it tried to steal the kill of a Basilosaurus, with no results. It may have also appeared in Walking with Beasts, although the companion book identifies the shows' sharks as modern snaggletooth sharks.

References[edit]