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Temporal range: Albian - Ypresian
Shark fossil.jpg
Whole body fossil of Cretolamna
Cretoxyrhinidae - Cretolamna biauriculata.JPG
Fossil teeth of C. biauriculata from Khouribga (Morocco)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Lamniformes
Family: Otodontidae
Genus: Cretolamna
Glikman 1958
  • Cretolamna appendiculata Agassiz 1843[1]
  • Cretolamna aschersoni
  • Cretolamna biauriculata Wanner 1902[1]
  • Cretolamna bryanti
  • Cretolamna maroccana
  • Cretolamna pachyrhiza
  • Cretolamna lata

Cretolamna[2] is a genus of extinct mackerel shark that belonged to the family Otodontidae.

These sharks lived from the Aptian of the Cretaceous period to the Ypresian stage of the early Eocene epoch (115 to 48 million years ago).[1][3] It is considered by many to be the ancestor of many of the famous shark genera, such as the mako, great white, Carcharocles angustidens, and Carcharocles megalodon sharks.


Cretolamna (13, lower right) with contemporaneous aquatic animals

Cretolamna was a widespread genus in North Africa (Morocco), Near East (Jordan) [4] and North America on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Deposits in Morocco are usually Eocene in age, In Jordan they are of Cretaceous and Eocene in age while most deposits in the U.S. are of Cretaceous and Paleocene age.[5] C. maroccana is more prevalent in Morocco and Jordan, while C. appendiculata is more prevalent in the United States. Both species overlapped at one point in time.


Cretolamna was a predator and preyed upon large bony fish, turtles, mosasaurs, squids, and other sharks. It was a medium-sized predatory shark.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Fossilworks
  2. ^ The spelling of the name is controversial; the original spelling is Cretalamna, but currently both spellings are in use. For comments on the spelling of the genus name see: Mikael Siverson; Johan Lindgren; Michael G. Newbrey; Peter Cederström; Todd D. Cook (2015). "Cenomanian-Campanian (Late Cretaceous) mid-palaeolatitude sharks of Cretalamna appendiculata type". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 60 (2): 339–384. doi:10.4202/app.2012.0137.
  3. ^ Welton & Farish, Bruce J. & Roger F. (1993). The Collectors's Guide to Fossil Sharks and Rays from the Cretaceous of Texas. Before Time.
  4. ^ Kaddumi H. F. 2009. Fossils of the Harrana Fauna and the Adjacent Areas. Publications of the Eternal River Museum of Natural History, Amman, pp 324
  5. ^ Yoost, Derek. "Potomac River Fossils". Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  6. ^ Kent, Bretton W. (1987). Fossil Sharks of the Chesapeake Bay Region. Egan Rees & Boyer Inc.