Ptychodus mortoni

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Ptychodus mortoni
Temporal range: 99.6–61.7 Ma
Cretaceous to Paleogene
Ptychodus mortoni.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Hybodontiformes
Family: Ptychodontidae
Genus: Ptychodus
Species: P. mortoni
Binomial name
Ptychodus mortoni
Agassiz, 1843

Ptychodus mortoni was a shark believed to be about 10 m long that probably crushed and ate large shelled animals such as giant clams.

The bivalves that lived during this time included gigantic animals, possibly having extremely thick shells, such as the inoceramids (Volviceramus, Platyceramus, etc...). Given its large size, though, this species of Ptychodus might also have eaten ammonites and primitive turtles, like Desmatochelys.

It is believed to have been a sluggish bottom-dwelling shark, rather than an actively fast swimmer. It lived about 89 million years ago (Turonian stage). Therefore, while only large numbers of its teeth, and jaw fragments are known, it might have resembled a massive nurse shark or a sand tiger shark.

Fossils have been found in the Western Interior Seaway, Kansas, USA.[1]