Recent bamboo sharks inhabit near-shore waters of the Indo-West Pacific Oceans. They are small (<1 m) bottom-dwelling sharks thought to feed on small fishes, cephalopods, mollusks & crustaceans. Seven extant species are currently recognized (Compagno 2001).

Fifteen or so files of small juxtaposed teeth (Fig. ) are present in each quadrate displaying gradational monognathic heterodonty. When looking at a removed jaw, the erect cusps suggest a grasping/clutching functionality; however, Ramsay & Wilga (2007) reported that although the teeth were erect during prey-capture, they could fold back to form a crushing dentition when processing harder prey (=clutching-crushing). The teeth are small and smooth with a spike-like cusp, large apron (lower labial crown face) overhanging the root and may or may not (depending on species) bear lateral cusplets (one per side). Root lobes form a closed "V" with a large pore, lingual foramen and margino-lateral foramina (hemiaulacorhize). Refer to below C. punctatum MÜLLER & HENLE, 1838 example (Fig. ) or the C. plagiosum (BENNETT, 1830) images in Herman et al (1992: 218-19).

Cappetta (1973a:507) erected Brachaelurus greeni for fossil orectolobiform teeth from the Carlile Shale (Turonian) of South Dakota.

  • Meyer (1974: 184) placed this tooth-design in Chiloscyllium.
  • Cappetta & Case (1975a: 11) reported Brachaelurus sp 1 & 2 from the Campanian of New Jersey.
  • Herman (1977:146) included greeni in the genus in Mesiteia.
  • Cappetta (1987:72-73) included this tooth-design as Chiloscyllium noting it was also known from the Turonian/Conacian of France/Belgium, Campanian of Morocco and Lower-Middle Eocene of western Africa.
  • Manning & Dockery (1992: 10.26) reported C. greeni from the Demopolis Fm. (eL. Camp.) of Mississippi. (This website also includes examples from the Eutaw Fm. (Sant.) of MS).
  • Williamson et al (1993:450; figs. 4.1-5) included C. greeni and Chiloscyllium sp (p 453; fig 4.6-10)in the Cenomanian-Turonian of Arizona.
  • Welton & Farish (1993: 81) included the species in the Cenomanian-Coniacian of Texas
  • Kent (1994: 31) included greeni from the Severn Fm. (Maas.) of Maryland.
  • Cappetta & Case (1999:28) included C. greeni as Turonian-Coniacian and C. aff greeni as Early Campanian in Texas.
  • Bourdon et al (2011:9) included Chiloscyllium sp in the Santonian of New Mexico
  • Hamm & Cicimurri (2011:113) included C. greeni in the Atco Formation (Early Coniacian) of Texas.

    C. greeni a paleo-bucket? Considering that:

  • Recent taxa have overlapping ranges in near shore waters of the Indo-West Pacific with few reported to depths of 80-100m;
  • the above fossil record using greeni for teeth from 3 continents, in varying depositional environments, over a broad range of time (Cenomanian - M. Eocene, 50+ my); and
  • the rather homogeneous nature of these teeth in extant species and between tooth-positions,
    it seems likely that these "greeni" teeth originate from more than one species. will use quotation marks for imaged specimens not corresponding with the general range (Interior Seaway NA, L Cret, deepwater) of the type material.

    Selected References

    Bourdon, J., Wright, K., Lucas, S.G., Spielmann, J.A. and Pence, R., 2011. Selachians from the Upper Cretaceous (Santonian) Hosta Tongue of the Point Lookout Sandstone, central New Mexico. New Mex. Mus. Nat. His. and Sc., Bulletin 52; 54pp.
    Cappetta, H., 1973a. Selachians of the Carlile Shale (Turonian) of South Dakota, Journal of Paleontology, 47 (3), pp 504-14.
    Cappetta, H., 1987. Chondrichthyes II. Mesozoic and Cenozoic Elasmobranchii. In: Handbook of Paleoichthyologie, vol. 3b, Gustav Fischer Verleg, Stuttgart, 193 pp.
    Cappetta, H. and G/ Case, 1975a. Contribution à l'étude des sélaciens du groupe Monmouth (Campanien - Maestrichtian) du New Jersey. Palaeontographica Abteilung A, 151:1-46.
    Compagno, L., 2001. Sharks of the World, an annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date - Bullhead, mackerel & carpet sharks. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes, No 1, Vol 2. FAO Rome. 269pp.
    Hamm, S.A. and D.J. Cicimurri, 2011. Early Coniacian (Late Cretaceous) selachian fauna from the basal Atco Formation, Lower Austin Group, north central Texas; Paludicola [Rochester Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology] 8(3):107-127.
    Herman, J., 1977. Les Sélaciens des terrains néocrétacés & paléocènes de Belgique & des contrées limitrophes Eléments d'une biostratigraphie intercontinentale. Mem. Expl, Cartes Géo. & Min. de la Belg, Mém, no. 15, 450 pp, 25 figs, 21 pls.
    Herman, J., M. Hovestadt-Euler, and D. C. Hovestadt. 1992. Contributions to the study of the comparative morphology of teeth and other relevant ichthyodorulites in living supraspecific taxa of chondrichthyan fishes. Part A: Selachii. No 4: Order: Orectolobiformes Families: Brachaeluridae, Ginglymostomatidae, Hemiscyllide, Orectolobidae, Parascylliidae, Rhinodontidae, Stegostomatidae Order: Pristiophoriformes - Family: Pristiophoridae Order: Squatiniformes - Family: Squatinidae. Bulletin de L'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Biologie, 62: 193-154.
    Kent, B., 1994. Fossil Sharks of the Chesapeake Region. Egan Rees & Boyer, Maryland. 146 pp
    Manning, E. and D. Dockery III, 1992. A guide to the Frankstown vertebrate fossil locality (Upper Cretaceous), Prentiss County, Mississippi. Mississippi Dept. of Env. Qual., Office of Geology, Circular 4, 43 p., 12 pls.
    Meyer, R., 1974. Late Cretaceous elasmobranchs from the Mississippi and East Texas embayments of the Gulf Coastal Plain. Unpubl. PhD dissertation, Southern Methodist Univ., Dallas, xiv+419 p.
    Ramsay, J. and C. Wilga. 2007. Morphology and mechanics of the teeth and jaws of white-spotted bamboo sharks (Chiloscyllium plagiosum). Journal of Morphology. 268: 664-682.
    Welton, B. and R. Farish, 1993. The Collector's Guide to Fossil Sharks and Rays from the Cretaceous of Texas. Before Time, Texas. 204 pp.
    Williamson, T., J. Kirkland and S. Lucas, 1993. Selachians from the Greenhorn cyclothem ("Middle" Cretaceous: Cenomanian-Turonian), Black Mesa, Arizona, and the paleogeographic distribution of Late Cretaceous selachians. Journal of Paleontology 67(3), pp 447-474.