tooth of an extinct sevengill shark sitting on the end of a finger
Florida Museum photo by Jonathan Bloch

Our discovery of the week is this amazing tiny (finger for scale) 5-6 million year old symphyseal tooth of an extinct sevengill shark (Notorynchus).

It was found by volunteer Mary Lynch while picking through Montbrook sediment. We have found about 15 of the regular lower anterolateral teeth of this species from Montbrook, most of them partials. One upper tooth has also been found. This is the largest known number of teeth from this shark recovered from any site in Florida!

Fossils of this genus are often referred to an extinct species Notorynchus primigenius, with a long chronologic range of late Eocene to late Miocene. Other paleontologists regard at least the middle to late Miocene fossil records, such as at Montbrook, to represent the living species Notorynchus cepedianus. More info on this species can be found at Notorynchus cepedianus.