Terms & Definitions


Terms & Definitions
Best of the Best
Florida Teeth
Lee Creek Teeth
Chilean Teeth
Georgia Teeth
South Carolina Teeth
Shark's Teeth Links

Ed’s Terms & Definitions


The reason I titled this document "Ed’s Terms & Definitions", and not just Definitions, is because these are in no way “official” definitions.  These are the definitions I created to define the terms I used describing the teeth I own.  There are a number of places you can go to get slightly different, better, or more information about each term listed below.

The italicized text with either an n. (noun), adj. (adjective), and sometimes area of reference (eg. Dentistry) before it, is from www.dictionary.com.  Everything in normal text is what I created to describe the terms used.



Charcarocles Angustidens was around approximately 20 to 25 million years ago and had teeth over 4 inches toward the end of its reign.  Its teeth are distinguishable by the fact it had a fully serrated (Charcarocles) narrow crown when compared to its length.  It also had extremely pronounced side cusps with a well defined center serration on each one (almost like each side cusp has its own tip).  Angustidens is considered by many to be the first true ancestor of Megalodon with the Genus - Charcarocles.


Bourlette (Both Display and Flat Side):

I have also seen it spelled bourrelet, burlette, & burlet

The display bourlette is the chevron or “flattened V” shaped enamel just below the root on the lingual or display side of a tooth.  This enamel is thinner than the enamel on the crown, and is thought to be this way because it was below the gum line.  It can easily be distinguished because it is “usually” a different color from the crown enamel.

There is also a Flat Side Bourlette, since the bourlette actually wraps around the entire tooth; there is also a chevron or “flattened V” shaped band (much narrower than that on the lingual side) of thin enamel on this side of the tooth.  It also can be detected easily as it is “usually” a different color from the crown enamel.  Most people do not know that this exists, and very rarely look for this when deciding on the quality of a tooth.  I refer to this as the “Front Bourlette”.



Having a changeable luster, varying in color when seen in different lights or from different angles, Iridescent


A chatoyant stone or gemstone, such as the cat's-eye


In “some” Megalodon teeth the crown enamel can have an “iridescent” or “metallic flake paint” like appearance, typically on the lingual or display side.  This is called chatoyant or exhibiting chatoyance.  This is due to the hydration cracking where the light reflects and refracts off the macroscopic and microscopic fractures in the enamel.



Charcarocles Chubutensis is a controversial term used to describe the evolution of the species as it transitioned from Charcarocles Angustidens to Charcarocles Megalodon.  There are many who do not believe it to be an actual species, but rather just the early version of the Megalodon.  I, however; believe it to be its own species.

It lived approximately 18 to 20 million years ago and had teeth up to 5 inches.  Its teeth are similar to that of Angustidens, but with slight differences.  They had a fully serrated, but wider, crown when compared to Angustidens.  It also had  developed side cusps, but with a weaker cusp center serration, and in some cases no defined center serration at all, just a rounded side cusp.



Dentistry.  The part of a tooth that is covered by enamel and projects beyond the gum line


In Megalodon teeth this is the part of the tooth that extends from the bottom of the root down to the tip.  As stated in the definition it is covered by enamel, in a well preserved tooth.  In lower quality teeth, or teeth that have purposely had the enamel removed (as in polished teeth), this may only be partially covered or not covered at all with enamel.



The main, calcareous part of a tooth, beneath the enamel and surrounding the pulp chamber and root canals


In Megalodon teeth this part gets completely fossilized.



The type, number, and arrangement of a set of teeth


When it comes to Megalodon Dentition there are varying opinions on how many teeth and where they were located.  So to cover all the experts lets just say, it is believed they had 24 to 28 teeth in the upper row and 22 to 30 teeth in the bottom row.  There were between 3 and 7 rows of developing teeth behind these, for a total of up to 250 teeth in the mouth at one time.  These teeth were made up of principals/anteriors, laterals, and posteriors.



Anatomy - The hard, calcareous substance covering the exposed portion of a tooth


In Megalodon teeth this is the top layer of material on the crown of the tooth that does not fossilize.  The bourlette is also enamel.  The crown and bourlette enamel is the only original part of the tooth left after fossilization.


Hydration Cracking:

When a tooth fell out of the shark’s mouth, the porous dentin/pulp in the center of the tooth swelled as it soaked up water, thus cracking the enamel.



of or relating to the lips of the mouth


In Megalodon teeth this is the side of the tooth that would face the shark’s lips, or the side you would see if you are about to be eaten.  This is typically called the flat, front, or non-display side of the tooth.  This is often confused, as many people assume the rounded display side is the front.



Of, relating to, or situated near the tongue


In Megalodon teeth this is the side of the tooth that would face inward toward the shark’s tongue, or the side you see if you were looking out of the mouth after you had been eaten.   This is typically called the rounded, back, or display side of the tooth.  This is often confused, as many people assume the rounded display side is the front.



Carcharocles Megalodon evolved about 20 million years ago.  Many experts believe that this amazing beast grew to over 65 feet in length and weighed over 25 tons.  They produced teeth up to 7 inches when measured along the diagonal. 



marked with spots of different color, or shades of color, as if stained; to spot; to maculate


In Megalodon teeth enamel there can be a number of colors that stain or color the tooth over the many years it was in the surrounding matrix.  If the tooth has more than one color it is called mottled or has a mottling of color.


Nutrient Hole:
adj. Nutrient

Providing nourishment

n. Hole

A hollowed place in something solid; a cavity or pit


In Megalodon teeth there are one, or more, small well defined holes in the root typically in the center just above the bourlette on the lingual side.  This was the source of the nourishment for the tooth, when it was still in the shark’s mouth.  A well preserved root will have at least one nutrient hole.



Abnormal, as, pathological tissue; a pathological condition


In Megalodon teeth there are a number of types of pathology found in teeth.

1.      Wrinkles – A wave pattern typically seen on the edge of the crown, usually just below the root

2.      Twist – The tooth twists along one or both of the axes

3.      Dents – The tooth dents in along the crown

4.      Fanged – The tooth Bends concavely from the lingual side to the labial side

5.      Double Tip – Two tips are formed in the center of the crown

6.      etc… - I’m sure there a number of other types I haven’t seen yet



A brass-colored mineral, FeS2, occurring widely and used as an iron ore and in producing sulfur dioxide for sulfuric acid. Also called fool's gold, iron pyrites


In Megalodon teeth pyrite can fossilize in the tooth.  Sometimes this is under the enamel and would have to be stripped away to be seen.  These teeth usually have the center enamel on the lingual side removed and the exposed fossilized section is polished.


This can also be seen when the pyrite fills in the cracks on the root, the bourlette, or in the crown enamel.



The embedded part of an organ or structure such as a hair, tooth, or nerve, that serves as a base or support


In Megalodon teeth this is the part of the tooth that is completely fossilized above the crown.  Just as in human teeth, this would have been below the gum line holding the tooth in the mouth.



A single notch in a row of notches


In Megalodon teeth the edges of the crown are completely serrated.



The end of a pointed or projecting object


In Megalodon teeth the tip is the center most serration where the edges of the crown come together.  This serration is usually more pronounced, and sometimes even has serrations coming off of it.


Home | Fossil Shark's Teeth | Zippo Lighters | Feedback