Like most prehistoric sharks, the crow shark is known due to the discovery of its fossilized teeth.
Thanks to the durability of fossilized shark teeth, researchers have been able to understand this extinct species better than in recent years.
This article will outline everything you need to know about the crow shark and other species of ancient sharks that are long extinct.
What is a Crow Shark?
The crow shark, known scientifically as the squalicorax, is an extinct species of Mackerel shark. They are estimated to have existed during the Cretaceous period, over 66 million years ago.
This extinct species of shark was a predator of the coast, theorized to be a scavenger. This information was evidenced by a fossilized crow shark tooth lodged in the foot of a terrestrial dinosaur.
Crow sharks also found sources of food in fish, turtles, mosasaurs, and other sea-dwelling creatures. Crow shark teeth marks were even found on the bones of a pteranodon, one of the biggest flying reptiles of the time.
This doesn’t prove that the crow shark would hunt creatures from the sky, as it could’ve attacked them when they were diving in the sea for prey, or scavenged ones that died in the water.
They are said to be similar to the gray reef shark of today, measuring up to 5 meters long. However, their teeth are more like those of the tiger shark.
With many small, serrated teeth with curved crowns, the crow shark is said to have inhabited areas in North America, the north of Africa, and some parts of Europe.
This assumption is due to large amounts of teeth being found in these parts of the world.
There are said to be numerous variations of the crow shark that lived during the prehistoric period. The most well-researched one is the squalicorax falcatus, as many fossil specimens have been found for this species.
More fossils have been found for the species known as the squalicorax pristodontus, making it the largest identified type of crow shark.
Finally, the earliest known species of crow shark is the squalicorax volgensis, which is estimated to have lived 145 million years ago.
Other Extinct Sharks
Oceans during prehistoric times were once home to a wide variety of creatures, including ancient sharks.
These sharks once roamed the sea for millions of years, however, due to changes in habitats, prey, and other evolutionary elements, it is no longer possible for them to exist in the modern day.
Remnants of crow sharks have mainly been found in fossilized teeth.
Like modern sharks, their teeth were continuously lost and replaced over their lifetime, and due to the structure of shark teeth, they were better preserved than the rest of their bodies.
Many other shark fossils have been found over the years, and it seems that there were a huge variety of shark species that lived millions of years ago.
Here are some of the most notable extinct sharks.
This is the biggest shark that supposedly ever existed. It was said to have reached lengths of 18 meters, making it colossal in size. It went extinct around 2.6 million years ago.
This species of ancient shark was a small and fast shark. It went extinct 65 million years ago and is believed to have been around 2 meters in length.
This 4 feet long shark resided in North America and Europe. They are said to have reached extinction around 250 million years ago.
A smaller species of the time, this shark reached around 3 feet in length and featured a unique protrusion on the back of its head. This shark went extinct 300 million years ago.
Known as the fastest shark during the prehistoric period, it could swim 70 kilometers per hour. This shark measured 8 meters long and its extinction happened 90 million years ago.
This shark was a small, freshwater species with a distinctive spike on its head used for protecting itself from larger predators. It went extinct around 260 million years ago.
Similar to an eel shark, this shark measured 3 feet in length and lived alongside the Orthacanthus species. They reached extinction 200 million years ago.
Another extremely large species, this shark was 10 meters in length. It went extinct approximately 85 million years ago.
This shark was an odd-looking species with a very distinctive jaw, separate from its nose and mouth. They went extinct 300 million years ago.
This shark measured only 2 meters in length and lived near the bottom of the ocean. They had long, pointed noses and became extinct 5 million years ago.
The crow shark was an incredible shark of the prehistoric period, along with its other relatives in the shark family. You should now know everything there is to know about this fascinating ancient shark.