Bullhead Shark
Heterodontus (Blainville, 1816)

Age - Jurassic - Recent  - Commonality Uncommon - scarce


The anterior and lateral teeth of Heterodontus look completely different. The anterior teeth have a grasping design while the laterals function is that of grinding. Heterodontus teeth are found in both the Cretaceous and Tertiary locations in New Jersey but are on the scarce side. This may be due in part to their small size, anterior teeth are significantly smaller than the laterals, averaging about 2 mm. The elongated grinding laterals Iíve collected are 5+ mm in length. With a large number of species attributed to this genus and a limited number of New Jersey specimens available Iíve combined the Cretaceous and Tertiary material together as a genus page.



Extant Heterodontus zebra
Image in public domain.



Anterior Heterodontus sp.
The anterior teeth have a grasping design. This tooth is only 1 mm, small enough to slip thru
most micro screens which may help account for the rarity..
Photo provided by Luke Oman
Woodbury Formation - Cretaceous



Lateral Heterodontus sp.
The laterals are of a grinding design and much larger than the anterior teeth.
Monmouth County, NJ.


Lateral Heterodontus sp.



Kent, B. W. 1994. Fossil Sharks of the Chesapeake Bay Region. Egan Rees and Boyer, Inc., Columbia, MD, 146 pp.

Oman, L., Manning, E., Badger, R., Whitley, J., 2016. A Close Examination of An Aragonitic Upper Woodbury Formation Fauna. The Mosasaur vol 9, Delaware Valley Paleontological Society, pp 83-126.


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