by Tsing Mui on November 19, 2012 at 2:28 pm
New findings from the partial skull of an extinct shark species show that the great white shark likely descended from the mako-like Carcharodon hubbelli rather than the massive Carcharocles megalodon.
The evolutionary history of the great white has been contested by paleontologists for 150 years. They were originally classified as direct relatives of megatooth sharks such as the extinct Carcharocles megalodon, the largest carnivorous shark that ever lived.
Fossils of a newfound species of shark, Carcharodon hubbelli, suggest the modern great white actually may have descended from broad-toothed mako sharks. Researchers say the newfound species represents a possible midway point in the evolution from one to the other.
Photo: Jeff Gage/Florida Museum of Natural History