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HoppeHunting

I have some questions surrounding the extinct species of Giant White Shark, Cosmopolitodus hastalis. I think it was a fascinating creature, but for reason it doesn't seem to be brought up much. As far as I know, it was a very large shark that lived during the Miocene Epoch, and scientists believe it to be a possible ancestor to the extant Great White Shark, the biggest and meanest shark of our present day oceans. What I'd like to know is what was this shark really like? Did it look similar to the Great White? How do we think it behaved? How exactly does it fit into the lineage of the Great White? How big was it? Did it share the seas, or even possibly become prey for, the mighty O. megalodon? And finally, WHY do people call it "Mako" if it clearly isn't one?? Obviously, not all of these questions have concrete answers but I'd like to hear what you all know about the species. Google search results can only tell so much. Do you know of any good sources where I could read up about it in greater detail? I just think it's a really cool species, and I'd love to know more about it. Thanks!

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sixgill pete

Cosmopolitodus hastalis is now Carcharodon hastalis and is mentioned here on the forum very often. many of its teeth are posted on here. The teeth are known to be as large as 3 and 1/4 inches long like this one I have posted in the collections area.

 

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WhodamanHD

It’s called a Mako sometimes because it was thought a dead end descendant/relative of the Makos before we realized it was closer to the GW. The GW is actually pretty close to the Makos, evolutionarily speaking, as is hastilis. Remember how hard it was to tell apart a desori (old short fin Mako) from a hastilis? I think the size was about similar to the modern GW, maybe larger every now and then (those 3 1/4 inches must’ve been beastly, though I’ve heard great whites get to this tooth size as well). From teeth that’s about all we can tell but I assume the behavior and such was similar to the GW.

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Cam28

Made a thread fairly recently basically ranting that they are not mako's just because they are lamniforms with unserrated teeth (yet the UF museum jaw reconstruction of C. hastalis still resembles that of a longfin or shortfin mako, but their biases of land animals there are clear as day lol). They were ancestral to great whites, without a doubt. Their teeth are identical except the presence of serrations & transitional species' teeth found in the east pacific 

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HoppeHunting
34 minutes ago, sixgill pete said:

Cosmopolitodus hastalis is now Carcharodon hastalis and is mentioned here on the forum very often. many of its teeth are posted on here. The teeth are known to be as large as 3 and 1/4 inches long like this one I have posted in the collections area.

 

Interesting! Thanks so much. So if it's been reclassified as Carcharodon then has the genus Cosmopolitodus been discarded like Carcharocles?

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WhodamanHD
4 minutes ago, HoppeFossilHunting said:

Interesting! Thanks so much. So if it's been reclassified as Carcharodon then has the genus Cosmopolitodus been discarded like Carcharocles?

Until it rises again! Taxonomy is a funny thing...

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HoppeHunting
27 minutes ago, WhodamanHD said:

I think the size was about similar to the modern GW, maybe larger every now and then (those 3 1/4 inches must’ve been beastly, though I’ve heard great whites get to this tooth size as well).

Makes sense. I would expect it to be reasonably bigger than the average Great White. It still amazes me how huge many of these sharks were. You could make a fairly long list of extinct sharks that are bigger than the Great White. The Otodus gang, or course, but even lesser known sharks like Edestus and my beloved Hemipristis. It's just interesting to me. The trend seems to be that living things are decreasing in size. There were giant bugs, giant mammals, giants lizards, and giant sharks. But now we seem to have smaller versions. I wonder why this is.

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WhodamanHD
4 minutes ago, HoppeFossilHunting said:

I wonder why this is.

Many sea mammals were gradually killed (and as an effect the sharks) by the Pleistocene cooling climaxing in the Pleistocenes climate chaos, and then we came in and killed any land creature that wasn’t already killed via climate change. We live in a warm period of a cold period so to speak, though emissions are likely to change this. If we stop killing whales and sharks (and their food) then in the coming warmer age, we may see some size changes in sharks, towards the larger size.

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HoppeHunting
1 minute ago, WhodamanHD said:

If we stop killing whales and sharks (and their food) then in the coming warmer age, we may see some size changes in sharks, towards the larger size.

OOH! Maybe I'll finally get to ride a Megalodon! It's fun to think about how cool it would be to see these sharks in real life. It's on my bucket list to see an extant Snaggletooth, Hemipristis elongata.

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WhodamanHD
Just now, HoppeFossilHunting said:

OOH! Maybe I'll finally get to ride a Megalodon! It's fun to think about how cool it would be to see these sharks in real life. It's on my bucket list to see an extant Snaggletooth, Hemipristis elongata.

Maybe our great great grandkids will get to see some nice thirty foot GWs :D 

I don’t know how rare a Hi is but I’m sure a aquarium somewhere has one (or a museum might have one, but in a jar with alcohol )

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HoppeHunting
1 hour ago, WhodamanHD said:

I don’t know how rare a Hi is but I’m sure a aquarium somewhere has one (or a museum might have one, but in a jar with alcohol )

Unlike the globally spread H. serra, the extant species lives in the Indian Ocean (among a few other locations). They are not endangered, but for whatever reason humans seldom see them. Apparently there exists only one video of a wild modern snaggletooth. Here's the link to the YouTube video:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIkeITwZm8A

 

It looks so calm and majestic, but scary at the same time. Thank God it isn't as big as its ancestor...

 

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ashcraft
10 hours ago, WhodamanHD said:

. and then we came in and killed any land creature that wasn’t already killed via climate change.

 

What is the point of this comment?  It is not germane to the thread.  To quote your quote "Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting".

 

We live in a warm period of a cold period so to speak, though emissions are likely to change this. If we stop killing whales and sharks (and their food) then in the coming warmer age, we may see some size changes in sharks, towards the larger size.

 

Warmer climate does not equate to larger body size.  Body size increases due to a number of factors, such as breeding dominance, heat retention, exploitation of larger prey, etc..  Many of the largest ocean animals are found feeding in cooler water today.  Large predators will re-emerge when larger bodied prey redevelops.  There are a number of hypothesis on what happened to the mid sized whales that the megs fed on, some are being well-tested, but I wouldn't bet my lunch money on any of them at this point. 

Brent Ashcraft

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Tidgy's Dad
14 hours ago, HoppeFossilHunting said:

Makes sense. I would expect it to be reasonably bigger than the average Great White. It still amazes me how huge many of these sharks were. You could make a fairly long list of extinct sharks that are bigger than the Great White. The Otodus gang, or course, but even lesser known sharks like Edestus and my beloved Hemipristis. It's just interesting to me. The trend seems to be that living things are decreasing in size. There were giant bugs, giant mammals, giants lizards, and giant sharks. But now we seem to have smaller versions. I wonder why this is.

It's not entirely true. 

The blue whale is the largest mammal ever (that we know about). Giant squids, horses, the large apes and bears are larger than most of the species that preceded them. The giant clam is pretty big for a mollusc. Cope's rule suggests animals get larger over time due to predator/prey adaptation and then an extinction kills the larger creatures which are more vulnerable to sudden change due to factors such as slower reproductive rates. It then takes a long time for the survivors to evolve large size again. But this rule obviously has exceptions (birds from dinosaurs, for example). 

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WhodamanHD
5 hours ago, ashcraft said:

Brent Ashcraft

Warmer climates have tend to have larger spaces which Marine mammals and sharks can live in, and also have more base organisms (plankton and such), or at least this is the trend (as you say not the only factor of course). The more food and space (and assuming populations replenish) the more and larger marine mammals the oceans can support, and thus the predators will grow with the prey. 

The humans killing large land animals was in respect to the previous comment about the loss of giant land mammals and lizards, which humans most likely had some role (perhaps the main role in some) in their extinctions. After all he did say “I wonder why” which can never be left unexplained:D

1 hour ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

this rule obviously has exceptions

As do most rules, there are a lot of large animals alive today, but we don’t see the large megafauna of the americas, Australia, Europe and to some extant Asia  (Africa maintained a lot, some have suggested that they have had more time to evolve with us but I doubt this).  

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WhodamanHD
16 hours ago, HoppeFossilHunting said:

looks so calm and majestic, but scary at the same time. Thank God it isn't as big as its ancestor...

 

Sorry for hijacking your thread a bit. It is a beautiful shark! Graceful creatures sharks are, however scary their jaws may be:D

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SailingAlongToo
59 minutes ago, WhodamanHD said:

Sorry for hijacking your thread a bit. It is a beautiful shark! Graceful creatures sharks are, however scary their jaws may be:D

 

@WhodamanHD

They also taste very good when grilled properly. And, you don't need to use BBQ sauce on them either!!!  :meganim: :drool:    

In case you are wondering, they do NOT taste like chicken. :o

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WhodamanHD
2 minutes ago, SailingAlongToo said:

They also taste very good when grilled properly

I’ve heard shark and ray meat is great, just doesn’t keep well and is hard to cook right. Maybe someday it will catch on!

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SailingAlongToo
Just now, WhodamanHD said:

I’ve heard shark and ray meat is great, just doesn’t keep well and is hard to cook right. Maybe someday it will catch on!

 

Ray wing meat is frequently made into "fake" scallops. They (food processors) skin it and stamp them out. If you order scallops and they are all the exact same size and shape, good indication. Enough butter and garlic can make many things taste good. :rofl:

 

Shark isn't hard to cook but your statement on length of time between being caught and prepared (cooked/eaten) is absolutely true, in my personal experience. I prefer fresh caught shark steaks and grilling around 300F is my preferred method of cooking. If you don't eat it all at that meal, don't bother with the doggie bag, doesn't reheat well at all.

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Macrophyseter

Well, based on my knowledge, the fact that C. hastalis would be considerably larger than sharks nowadays would be because of the fragile balance of size and environment conveniently allowing them to reach such sizes. If you haven't known, the Miocene which C. hastalis appears the most, was also the golden age of cetacean diversity. The climate of the waters were at a perfect place, and gave mysticetes all the resources needed to afford to buckle down on size and rapidly grow in numbers. This population>size increased the level of consumable energy for predators, which gave them the resources needed to afford to specialize and grow in size to effectively hunt these whales. With the Pisco Formation of Peru alone having a record of more than 500 complete cetotherian individuals, it's no wonder why we got an abundance of gigantic whale eaters during the Miocene.

This is no different from the other big sharks you mentioned. All of those sharks have collectively existed during the most convenient climates of perfectly warm waters able to support enough energy to feed giants, although not as much as the Miocene boom.

The only reason why sharks are so tiny today compared to back then is because the modern climate is actually much colder compared to those good old times. The global cooling of the Pliocene shattered the fragile balance of energy and killed off the very foundation that allowed all of this gigantism and diversity, causing the entire tower to brutally collapse until all that is left are the ones that can sustain itself in a significantly less-plentiful environment. In this case, it would be a smaller size, which would require less usage of energy in the eyes of others, or a size>population trade off like modern whales today.

 

And I would also like to point out that the genuses Carcharocles and Cosmopolitodus has never been discarded, and as far as I know the naming is simply in dispute and is up for grabs. For C. hastalis, the only question here is that if a lack of serrations and basal cusplets is enough to warrant a separate genus (The narrow-form which is not much similar to a great white shark tooth must also be considered). Both names are still used in scientific papers, and I have not seen a paper formally declaring either one as invalid. 

For megalodon, this is also the case. The 2016 paper regarding this simply recommended a possible change to Otodus in order to establish a monophyly. I don't understand what's wrong with having a paraphyly, and have barely seen any post 2017 papers using Otodus megalodon. Unfortunately the news had to over-hype and tell everyone that its official fact.
So at this point, there is no invalid, outdated name for the two sharks, it all comes down to your opinion on the issue. ;)

 

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WhodamanHD
5 minutes ago, Macrophyseter said:

I don't understand what's wrong with having a paraphyly,

Well we can’t be having a paraphyly now can we? If you allow one paraphyly then everybody wants one and next thing you know every living thing is under the genus Paranthropus.:P

 

I thought the same thing while reading it, but I would think a Paraphyly would undermine what it means to be a genus, then again it happens elsewhere. I tend to think the latest revisions should be used until the next revision comes out.

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ynot

Just a thought.

If hastalis came from an Iserus species, are serrations in a decedent enough to qualify as a different genus?

Should the "white" shark actually be a "mako" species?

 

And if the diet of great whites is any clue as to the diet of C. hastalis then they were eating pinnipeds and small cetaceans (dolphin) more than large cetaceans (whale).

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HoppeHunting
26 minutes ago, Macrophyseter said:

So at this point, there is no invalid, outdated name for the two sharks, it all comes down to your opinion on the issue. ;)

 

Awesome! In that case, I'll keep my (still empty...) Megatooth shelf labeled "Carcharocles sp." I may change my C. hastalis to Carcharodon though. I like the idea of it being the Great White of the past. Thanks for the info! Very helpful.

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WhodamanHD
8 minutes ago, ynot said:

Should the "white" shark actually be a "mako" species

IMO the serrations and some differences in the morphology should denote a seperate genus, but I still think they should all be “Makos” including the extant great white. But I’ve been met with opposition when postulating it before, really its semantics in the end. We humans need to get around to defining a species and a genus, and how general each type is.

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Macrophyseter
5 hours ago, WhodamanHD said:

I tend to think the latest revisions should be used until the next revision comes out.

So if Gottfried (one of the guys who still rejects the Carcharocles/Otodus lineage)  just published a new megalodon paper, you'll then change to Carcharodon megalodon? :P

 

 

4 hours ago, ynot said:

If hastalis came from an Iserus species, are serrations in a decedent enough to qualify as a different genus?

Should the "white" shark actually be a "mako" species?

Well, we do have 'Isurus' escheri , which has serrated blades. I think the main difference between Isurus and Carcharodon would be the morphology of the tooth itself. Great white shark teeth are much more robust and broad than all the other ancient makos, signifying a completely different feeding style. Still, I would feel so comfortable if somebody coined a subfamily/tribe Isurinae. 

I would also like to point out a little taxonomic outdation in the Isurid lineage. As far as I know, it is now accepted that 'Isurus' planus and 'Isurus' escheri are direct decendants from narrow-form hastalis. This means that their genuses must be changed to Cosmopolitodus as it is no longer part of the main Isurus lineage. However, this has never been formally addressed in the scientific community. I have not seen a single paper addressing this taxonomic error, and the papers that do mention the species still use Isurus and largely ignore the issue. And the problem with that is that usually a scientific paper is needed to offically proceed, and with not a single one, we're pretty much stuck with obviously invalid names.

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WhodamanHD
3 hours ago, Macrophyseter said:

Isurus' escheri

Considering it most likely evolved from hastilis I’d call it Carcharodon escheri...

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