Reply To: Body Size

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Lee @lcone,

The dimorphism of teeth, or the heterodonty, is something that you will find in a lot of sharks families but not in all of them. Sometimes it is stronger, sometimes just weakly developed. For example, you will find very strong sexual dimorphism within the family of the carcharhinids and very strong ontogenetical dimorphism in Mustelus. That is why I have investigated those families intensively. The result of my studies about carcharhinids was that in some cases and with some tooth positions you cannot say anything specific in terms of identification, sex, or jaw position (upper vs. lower). Especially the positions of the upper jaw 3 to 6 are the best for identification, the more you move to the commissure (jaw joint) the harder the identification. The good news is that the heterodonty is not so pronounced in lamniform sharks like it is in most carcharhinids or hexanchids, but we still have to look at it and check the variability (is it interspecific or intraspecific, sexual or ontogenetic) and we need to keep in mind that the commissure teeth of Carcharocles are very big compared to the ones in the Great White. That is why the body length estimates vary so much when you use the model that is based on Great Whites. I recommended checking the teeth of Isurus for body length estimates. We also need to make sure to find more commissure teeth… that is the key. So far you are totally right in being so focused on them Lee 😉