Giant Great White Shark, Carcharocles chubutensis
The Giant Great White Shark, Carcharocles chubutensis, if alive today, would be placed in the Mackerel Shark or Lamnidae Family, known collectively as jaquetones in Mexico. Globally, there are five species placed in three genera in the Lamnidae family. Three of these species are found in Mexican waters, two in both the Atlantic and Pacific and one in the Pacific only. There are no surviving species in the genus Carcharocles, however the Great White, Carcharodon carcharias, is considered a descendant.
The Giant Great White Sharks were the dominant sharks during the Miocene epoch, 5 to 26 million years ago. They were huge fish and almost four times larger than today’s Great White Sharks. They were very successful predators known to feed on whales and other abundant marine animals as they were equipped with a set of gigantic sharply serrated teeth. In the evolutionary chain of extinct sharks, the Giant Great White Shark, Carcharocles chubutensis, was preceded by Carcharocles auriculatus, also known as the Giant Great White Shark from the Eocene epoch (34 to 56 million years ago), by the Megatooth Shark, Carcharocles angustidens from the Oligocene and Miocene epochs (22 to 35 million years ago), and by the Megatooth Shark, Carcharocles megalodon from the Neogene epoch (2 to 23 million years ago), which is also the largest of all known fish exceeding 18 meters (60 feet) in length and weighing 228,000 kg (500,000 pounds). These extinct sharks are currently known from, and differentiated by, their fossilized teeth since their bone structures were made of cartilage and poorly preserved. The Giant Great White Shark, Carcharocles chubutensis, had side teeth cusps that almost merged with the main blade. Their teeth had slant heights of up to 13.0 cm (5.1 inches); from these teeth measurements, it is estimated that they were 12.2 meters (40 feet) in length.
Fossilized remains of the Giant Great White Sharks have been found globally indicating that they were present in all tropical waters.
The Giant Great White Sharks are believed to have become extinct 1.5 million years ago due to the arrival of the ice age which generated colder waters, a 300-foot drop in oceanic water levels eliminating shallow warm water breeding grounds, and the simultaneous extinction of several of their favorite food sources. They were believed to be a top apex predator that consumed fish, sea turtles, sirenids, and whales but were in strong competition with the Raptorial Sperm Whales, Livyatan melvillei and the larger Megatooth Shark. The Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias, is believed to be their only currently living relative.
Giant Great White Shark, Carcharocles chubutensis, Fossilized Tooth. Collection made in the mountains of the greater Los Cabos area, Baja California Sur, August 2009. Size: 9.8 cm (3.85 inches) long x 7.0 cm (2.75 inches) wide with a 10.5 cm (4.15 inches) slant height. The collection site is consistent with the formation of the Baja which also occurred during the Miocene epoch, 5 to 23 million years ago.
Megatooth Shark, Carcharocles megalodon. Comparison with a modern day White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias, and a Human, Homo sapiens. The Megatooth Shark: 2 to 23 million years ago. Weight: 228,000 kg (500,000 pounds).