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Aurora Collecting Location Page:
PCS Mine, NC



Fossils that can be found at Aurora, NC



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Fossil Shark Teeth Found at Aurora in the Pungo River, Yorktown, and James City Formations

To view a shark, use this dropdown menu, or just scroll down and browse.




Chondrichthyes Class
Cartilaginous fish



H3>Fossil Shark Teeth

Alopias cf. latidens (Leriche, 1909)
Extinct Thresher Shark
Identification based on Kent (1994, pp.71-73).
Thresher sharks can get up to 11 feet in length, however almost half of its length is in its long tail. Modern Thresher sharks (A. vulpinus) are pelagic (open ocean sharks), and nocturnal. They usually eat small fish and squid. These fossil Thresher sharks probably had a similar behavior to their modern counterparts.
Here are two Alopias teeth

Formation:
  • Pungo River
    Age:
  • 18-22 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • largest one is ~5/8" (15mm)



  • Carcharias sp.
    Sand Tiger Shark
    The two leftmost teeth are labial views. All others are lingual views.

    Various species of Sand Tiger can be found in the Pungo River, Yorktown, and James City Formations. The two common species are C. taurus and C. cuspidata.

    Formation:Pungo River and/or Yorktown
    Age:Roughly 2.5-5 or 18-22 m.y.
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: largest one is 1 3/4" (44mm)



    Carcharhinus sp.
    Requiem Sharks

    There are numerous species of requiem sharks, including the Galapagos shark, Bull, Blacktip, Whitetip, Dusky, Reef, Sandbar, Copper, and the Silky Shark. The teeth of each species look very similar to one another.
    The rightmost upper tooth is a labial view. All others are lingual views.

    Although differentiating among species can be extremely difficult, it is fairly easy to distinguish between uppers and lowers, as seen in the above image.

    Formation:Pungo River and/or Yorktown
    Age:Roughly 2.5-5 or 18-22 m.y.
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: largest one is ~3/4" (19mm)
    Here is a pathological carcharhinus tooth. It has a split tip. Usually a split tip is much more obvious than this specimen.

    Formation:Pungo River and/or Yorktown
    Age:Roughly 2.5-5 or 18-22 m.y.
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: largest one is ~3/4" (19mm)
    Carcharhinus brachyurus
    Copper Sharks

    These teeth from the Pungo River Formation are probably the easiest to Carcharhinus teeth to identify. They are generally smaller, less robust, and have a more slender crown than other Carcharhinus species.
    These are all lingual views. Uppers and lowers are not distinguished in the above image.

    Formation:Pungo River
    Age:Roughly 18-22 m.y.
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: ~3/8" (9mm)



    Carcharocles sp.
    Megatoothed Sharks

    Go to the Megatooth Shark Gallery to learn more
    There is some debate as to what genus the ever popular megatoothed sharks belong to.

    It has been suggested that these sharks evolved from a separate lineage, and are not related to the Carcharodon genus, even though they may superficially resemble Carcharodon teeth.
    If this is true, the Carcharocles genus evolved from the genus Otodus, and the modern Great White (Carcharodon Carcharias) evolved from the mako shark genus, Isurus (which would then be called Cosmopolitodus) .

    C. chubutensis(Ameghino, 1906a)aka subauriculatus (Agassiz, 1839)
    Megatoothed Shark

    Go to the Megatooth Shark Gallery to learn more
    This species is thought to have evolved into C. megalodon. The only difference is the tiny cusplets. This species is only found in the Miocene.
    Click on this image to see it as found.
    This is a 3 5/8" C. subauriculatus in a chunk of Pungo River contact layer.

    Click on the image to see it as found and being prepped.

    Formation:
  • Pungo River
    Age:
  • Roughly 18-22 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • 3 5/8" Slant Height (92mm)
    Date:
  • Sept 2008 TRIP
  • Click on this image to see it as found.
    This is a nice 3" subauriculatus in a chunk of Pungo River Coquina (Limestone).

    Click on the image to see it as found and being prepped.

    Formation:
  • Pungo River
    Age:
  • Roughly 18-22 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • 3" Slant Height (75mm)
    Date:
  • Sept 2005 TRIP
  • Click on this image to see it as found.
    This is a lingual view of a 3" upper tooth.

    Click on the image to see it when found.

    Formation:
  • Pungo River
    Age:
  • Roughly 18-22 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~3" slant (76mm)
    Date:
  • March 2005 TRIP
  • Click on this image to see it as found.
    This is a lingual view of a small lateral that Amy found.

    Click on the image to see it when found.

    Formation:
  • Pungo River
    Age:
  • Roughly 18-22 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~1 7/8" slant (47mm)
    Date:
  • March 2005 TRIP
  • Click to view the fossil as found
    Here is a chipped 3" subauriculatus.

    Click on the image to see is as found.

    Formation:
  • Pungo River
    Age:
  • Roughly 18-22 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • 3" Slant Height (75mm)
    Date:
  • March 2006 TRIP


  • C. megalodon(Agassiz, 1843)
    Megatoothed Shark

    Go to the Megatooth Shark Gallery to learn more
    Obviously, this is the most famous prehistoric shark. It has the largest teeth, was twice the size of a Great White, and included whales in its diet! They lived from the Miocene and became extinct in the Pliocene. I sure am glad they're dead!

    Just how big was that shark your tooth came from? Click here to find out.
    Click on this image to see it as found.
    This is our biggest Aurora meg yet. It's a robust upper. Unfortunately, there is feeding damage to the tip.
    It measures a hair over 4.5" across, and a hair over 5" tall, with a 6" slant height. It would probably have a 6 1/4" slant height if the tip was there.


    Formation:
  • Yorktown fm.
    Age:
  • 2.5-5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • 6" slant (152 mm)
    Date:
  • Feb. 2009 TRIP
  • Click on this image to see it as found.
    This is a robust lower. There are a few chipped serrations however.

    Click on the image to see it when found.

    Formation:
  • Yorktown fm.
    Age:
  • 2.5-5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • 4 7/8" slant (124 mm)
    Date:
  • March 2008 TRIP
  • Click on this image to see it as found.
    This is a decent sized tooth. However the serrations are chipped off. It has the look of a reworked fossil.

    Click on the image to see it when found.

    Formation:
  • Reworked from the Eastover fm.??
    Age:
  • 2.5-5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • 4 5/8" slant (117 mm)
    Date:
  • March 2007 TRIP
  • Click on this image to see it as found.
    This is an upper tooth. The root has some damage done to it.

    Click on the image to see it when found.

    Formation:
  • Yorktown fm.
    Age:
  • 2.5-5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • 4.5" slant (114 mm)
    Date:
  • Feb. 2009 TRIP
  • Click on this image to see it as found.
    Here is a near perfect Aurora tooth.

    Click on the image to see it when found.

    Formation:
  • ? Yorktown
    Age:
  • 5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • 3 7/8" slant (98 mm)
    Date:
  • March 2006 TRIP
  • Click on this image to see it as found.
    I nice little tooth with some feeding damage.

    Click on the image to see it when found.

    Formation:
  • ?Yorktown
    Age:
  • 2.5-5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • 2 7/8" slant (73 mm)
    Date:
  • March 2007 TRIP



  • Carcharodon carcharias(Linnaeus, 1758)
    Great White Shark

    This is the modern great white shark.
    Go to the Great White Shark Gallery to learn more
    Great Whites are difficult to find. They are regularly found in the James City Formation. However, the roots are Great Whites are thin and fragile. Because of this, the roots are often broken when found.

    Formation:
  • ?James City
    Age:
  • Probably Pliocene or Pleistocene
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • 1.75" (44mm)



  • The Galeocerdo genus
    Tiger Sharks

    Go to the Tiger Shark Gallery to learn more
    Galeocerdo aduncus(Agassiz, 1843)
    Extinct Tiger Shark

    Identification based on Kent (1994) & Purdy et al (2001).
    This species lived from the Oligocene into the Miocene.
    Purdy et al (2001) believe G. aduncus is not available as a scientific name. However, until a new name is assigned, I will continue to refer to it as G. aduncus. This extinct species is much smaller than the extant (living) Tiger shark (G. cuvier).
    These teeth are abundant in the Pungo River Formation.

    Formation:
  • ?Pungo River
    Age:
  • ?~18-22 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • largest is 11/16" (17mm)
  • Physogaleus contorus
    Extinct Tiger-like Shark

    Go to the Physogaleus Shark Gallery to learn more
    Identification based on Kent (1994) & Purdy et al (2001).
    This species of Tiger Shark is very common along the U.S. East Coast deposits, but rarely found along the U.S. West Coast deposits. This species Lived from the upper Oligocene and became extinct in the Miocene.
    There are a few big differences between these and G. aduncus. First, the crowns are twisted, looking pathological, as shown in the profile view. Also, the enameloid shoulder has very fine serrations, unlike the coarse serrations of G. aduncus. This slender tooth form probably means the contortus fed on bony fish, while the aduncus and extant cuvier species fed on a wider variety of prey. This extinct species is also smaller than the extant (living) Tiger shark (G. cuvier).
    The bottom right two are labial views. All others are lingual views.


    Formation:Pungo River
    Age:Roughly 18-22 m.y.
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: largest one has a ~ 7/8" slant (22mm)
    Galeocerdo cuvier(Peron and LeSueur, 1822)
    Tiger Shark

    Go to the Tiger Shark Gallery to learn more
    This is the modern Tiger Shark. They obtained larger sizes than the other Tiger species.
    At Aurora, this species only occurs in the Yorktown formation.
    The rightmost two are labial views. All others are lingual views.


    Formation:Yorktown
    Age:Roughly 2.5-5 m.y.
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: largest one has a ~1 1/4" slant (32mm)
    Although tooth positions of tiger teeth appear very similar, the above image shows just how different tooth positions actually are.

    The first left two are either symphysial or parasymphysial teeth. The right two teeth are posteriors.

    Formation:Yorktown
    Age:Roughly 2.5-5 m.y.
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: largest one has a ~1 1/4" slant (32mm)



    Hemipristis serra(Agassiz, 1843)
    Extinct Snaggletooth Shark

    The right upper tooth is a labial view. All others are lingual views.

    Uppers and lowers are generally easy to distinguish form one another.

    The lower rightmost tooth is a symphysial tooth.
    Although these teeth can be found in both the Pungo River and Yorktown formations, the teeth found in the Yorktown are generally larger in size.

    Formation:Pungo River and/or Yorktown
    Age:Roughly 2.5-5 or 18-22 m.y.
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: largest one is ~1 9/16" (40 mm)



    Hexanchus griseus (Bonnaterre, 1788) aka Hexanchus gigas (Sismonda, 1857)
    Sixgill Cow Shark

    Click on this image to see it as found.
    This is an outstanding lower Hexanchus tooth.

    Click on the image to see it when found.

    Formation:
  • Yorktown
    Age:
  • Roughly 2.5-5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~ 1 5/8" (41mm) Date:
  • Feb. 2009 TRIP
  • The teeth of this shark are fragile and are often found broken, like the one in this image. Sadly, the conules are missing on this specimen.

    Formation:
  • Yorktown
    Age:
  • Roughly 2.5-5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~ 1 1/8"" (27mm) Date:
  • March 2008 TRIP



  • Cosmopolitodus & Isurus
    White Sharks and Mako Sharks

    Cosmopolitodus to distinguish them from "true" Makos.
    Cosmopolitodus (Isurus) hastalis(Agassiz, 1843) Extinct Giant Mako Shark

    Here are two C. hastalis teeth

    Formation:
  • ?Pungo River
    Age:
  • ~ 18-20 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • Largest one has a 1 7/8" slant" (48mm)
  • These are a few smaller ones.

    Formation:
  • ?Pungo River
    Age:
  • ~ 18-20 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • Largest one is 1 5/16" (39mm)
  • Cosmopolitodus hastalis (broad form)
    Extinct Giant White Shark


    Click to view the fossil as found
    This is a perfect large specimen!

    Click on the image to see it as found.

    Formation:
  • Yorktown
    Age:
  • Roughly 2.5 - 5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • 2 3/4" (70mm) slant
    Date:
  • March 2008 TRIP
  • Click to view the fossil as found
    This is a beauty. The enameloid shoulders are slightly chipped, but the blade is razor sharp!

    Click on the image to see it as found.

    Formation:
  • Yorktown
    Age:
  • Roughly 2.5 - 5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • 2 3/8" (60mm) slant
    Date:
  • March 2003
  • Click to view the fossil as found
    Here are two that have a slant height of slightly over 2"

    Click on the pic to see them when found.

    Formation:
  • Yorktown
    Age:
  • Roughly 2.5 - 5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • 2 1/16" (52mm) slant
    Date:
  • March 2006 TRIP
  • Click to view the fossil as found
    Here are two C. xiphodons found in Yorktown sediments about 10 feet from one another.

    Click on the image to see one as found.
    Formation:
  • Yorktown
    Age:
  • Roughly 2.5 - 5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~ 2" slant (51mm)
    Date:
  • Sept 2005 TRIP
  • Here are some additional upper and lower mako teeth.

    Formation:
  • Yorktown (Black one was found mixed in with Pungo tailings)
    Age:
  • Roughly 2.5 - 5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • Largest is 2 5/16" slant (58mm)
    Date:
  • Largest one was found on the September 2008 TRIP


  • Isurus oxyrinchus aka desori
    Shortfin Mako Shark



    Formation:
  • Pungo River or Yorktown
    Age:
  • Early - Middle Miocene ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:2" (51mm)


  • Formation:
  • Pungo River or Yorktown
    Age:
  • Early - Middle Miocene ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • largest tooth is 2" (51mm)

  • This is an upper anterior tooth

    Formation:
  • Pungo River
    Age:
  • Early - Middle Miocene ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • largest tooth is 1 9/16" (39mm)
    Date:
  • Sept. 2008 Trip

  • This is an upper lateral tooth

    Formation:
  • Pungo River
    Age:
  • Early - Middle Miocene ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • largest tooth is 1 1/4" (31mm)
    Date:
  • Sept. 2008 Trip



  • Notorhynchus cepedianus (Peron, 1807) aka primigenius (Agassiz, 1843)
    Sevengill Cow Shark

    N. cepedianus teeth are common in both the Pungo River and Yorktown formations.
    Their roots are fragile and are often found broken, as the two lateral teeth in the image show.

    Formation:
  • Pungo River and/or Yorktown
    Age:
  • Roughly 2.5-5 or 18-22 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • largest one is 1 3/4" (44mm)
  • N. cepedianus
    Here is a beautiful complete cow shark


    Formation:
  • Pungo River
    Age:
  • Roughly 18-22 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~1" (25mm)
    Date:
  • Sept 2008 TRIP
  • Click to view the fossil as found
    N. cepedianus
    Here is another complete cow shark

    Click on the image to see it as found.

    Formation:
  • Pungo River
    Age:
  • Roughly 18-22 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~1" (25mm)
    Date:
  • March 2008 TRIP
  • Click to view the fossil as found
    N. cepedianus
    And yet another complete one

    Click on the image to see it as found.

    Formation:
  • Pungo River and/or Yorktown
    Age:
  • Roughly 2.5-5 or 18-22 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~ 1 1/8" (27mm)
    Date:
  • March 2006 TRIP
  • N. cepedianus
    Another example tooth


    Formation:
  • Yorktown
    Age:
  • Roughly 2.5-5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~ 1 1/8" (27mm)
    Date:
  • Feb 2009 TRIP



  • Sphyrna sp.(Rafinesque, 1810)
    Hammerhead Shark

    Go to the Hammerhead Shark Gallery to learn more
    There are three species of Hammerhead found at Aurora, S. lewini (Scalloped Hammerhead) , S. cf. S. media (Scoophead), and S. zygaena (Smooth Hammerhead). All three species found at aurora are extant (living today).

    Formation:
  • ?Pungo River
    Age:
  • ?~18-22 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~1/2" slant height (12mm)




  • Other Shark Parts





    Vertebrae
    Shark vertebrae come in all sizes, and are found in both the Yorktown and the Pungo.

    Formation:
  • Pungo River and Yorktown
    Age:
  • ~ 2.5 - 5 & ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • Largest is 5/8" thick, and has a 1 5/8" diameter (41mm x 16mm)
  • Here is another shark vertebra. Not all shark vertebra are thin and disk like.

    Formation:
  • ?Yorktown
    Age:
  • ~ 2.5 - 5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • 1.5" (38mm)




  • Rostral Node

    This is a structure in the sharks snout that can sometimes fossilize.
    It looks like a Mr. Potato Head nose

    Formation:
  • ?
    Age:
  • ~ 18-15 or 2-5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Date:
  • Feb. 2009 TRIP




  • Cartilage

    Besides teeth and vertebrae, fossilized shark cartilage can sometimes be found. Usually only small fragments are found. Although the fragments can come in any shape and size, cartilage is easy to identify. It is covered in tiny prismatic structures.
    This is a small piece of shark cartilage

    Formation:
  • ?
    Age:
  • ~ 18-15 or 2-5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Date:
  • Sept. 2005 TRIP

  • Other
    This tooth is interesting. It is a hollow enamel shell of a Carcharhinus sp.. usually this means the tooth was still forming in the sharks mouth, and the root has not yet developed.

    Formation:
  • Pungo River
    Age:
  • ~ 18-15 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Date:
  • May 2003 TRIP