Featured Fossil: Cookie Cutter Sharks in Florida!

by Victor Perez

The tooth above is from a cookie cutter shark from Aurora, NC. A recent donation represents the first record of this shark in Florida.
The tooth above is from a cookie cutter shark from Aurora, NC. A recent donation represents the first record of this shark in Florida.

Recently, the Florida Museum of Natural History received a donation from Ken Marks. The donation included a handful of microscopic shark teeth (~5mm in vertical height), which represent the genus Isistius or more commonly known as the cookie cutter shark. These sharks are so named because of the distinct bite mark they leave behind on their prey. Cookie cutter sharks will latch onto their prey, which are often large bodied marine mammals such as whales and dolphins. The shark will then rotate its body rapidly, removing a circular (i.e., cookie-shaped) chunk of flesh from the prey that eventually heals.

This donation by Ken Marks represents the first record of this genus from Florida. If others have found representatives of this genus in Florida, we would love to hear about them! These additional occurrences will be included in a publication and aid in filling out our understanding of shark communities through time.

If you have any questions or information that you’d like to share please contact Victor Perez at [email protected].

 

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