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I started the 3 inch + Mako club a few years ago and now have the winning ticket in order to create the 3+ inch Benedeni Club after 2 decades of searching. I'll go ahead and save you the song and dance on how RARE a Benedeni this size really is. If you happen to have a 3+ or larger Benedeni, please feel free to post your picture and join this very exclusive Club. Measures: 3.03''
I had offered this tooth for sale as a P. benedeni lower anterior but then a member PM'ed me that he thought it looked like a tooth he had considered a Parotodus but was later identified by others as a mako. I've had this tooth for years but I had to respect the comment especially since he's seen a lot of teeth too. I started PM'ing a few other members to get their opinions. I thought it was a lower anterior because the crown is so straight. It would have a noticeable curve to it if it was from another jaw position. The root seemed thick enough for Parotodus and the tooth seemed to have a substantial enough neck for that as well. I didn't think it could be a hastalis lower anterior because the crown looked too low relative to the size of the root and the root shouldn't be as thick. The crown is too thick to be a retroflexus and it doesn't have the "elevated platform" Kent pointed out in his 1993 book. The crown is too broad-based to be an oxyrinchus. One member noted that root symmetry, root and crown width, plus crown length and root length had to be considered. He also said to look at the shape of the crown. Starting from the root, it necks in, then slightly out, and then in to the tip. He said to compare these features in lower anterior makos and Parotodus. Another member ventured that it had an 80% chance of being a Parotodus and listed his reasons: 1. Vestigial cusplets are less likely to occur on a 2-inch plus mako. 2. I imagine this is a lower right anterior tooth (based on the angles the cusps make with the main crown), and as you said, this is too low of a crown for that type of tooth. 3. The seemingly squared-off distal root lobe seems to be artificial as it resulted from minor damage. 4. Crown widens where you would expect (roughly middle). That doesn't really occur on makos unless it is a retroflexus, which based on the root alone, it clearly is not. 5. Root proportions seem fairly obviously Parotodus (deep, pronounced "U," no real flat facets on the root. 6. The robustness you see in Parotodus becomes much more obvious in teeth well over 2 inches, not so much in smaller teeth. 7. Because this is an anterior tooth and it is very "upright," it eliminates the classic Parotodus "hook" characteristic as a help in identifying the tooth. Final comment: I think it's much more likely for it to be an "oddball" Parotodus. Another member allowed that it could a Parotodus but thought it looked a lot more like a lower mako. The blade and root has that look of a mako. It's a nice big tooth but I don't see it as a Parotodus, not after looking at all the ones I have. The root is not as robust as on Parotodus. It looks more like a Cosmopolitodus hastalis A1 or A2. I hope this helps some but remember it could be a Parotodus after all. I decided to repost photos of the tooth to open up a discussion about it. Looking at again and comparing it to a Sharktooth Hill Bonebed lower first lateral I have which is fortunately about the same size, I can see that the root isn't as robust. In basal view there doesn't seem to be a lingual protuberance that Parotodus should have on the tooth in question but it still looks quite massive from that angle. The basal root margin is U-shaped though the root lobes seem less symmetrical than they should be for Parotodus. Still, it does appear that the tooth may have suffered some mesial compression when it formed as there is a strange protrusion of root in the "saddle" of the root and a facet that seems to be evidence of something applying pressure to the mesial side. I've been staring at this tooth too long. Here are three angles:
Here's an oddball tooth from the STH Bonebed. It is something I bought a few years after starting to collect fossil shark teeth, thinking it was a typical Parotodus lateral. After seeing others over the years, this tooth began to look more strange to me. Maybe 5-6 years ago, isurus90064 and I met up in Bakersfield and I showed him this tooth and he thought it was weird too. A couple of weeks ago, we started talking about it again. A friend just took a couple of good photos of it for me. The root isn't as thick as we might expect for Parotodus but some Miocene and older specimens are not as bulky-looking as the Pliocene teeth.