Squatina is represented by complete skeletons in Germany's Late Jurassic (S. acanthoderma, FRAAS 1854). In most cases, it is only the teeth of this genus that leave a record through the Mesozoic and Cenozoic.

Squatina teeth are extremely hard to seperate into species. Most fossil species are defined by geologic age and not by differences in the teeth. Modern species are often differentiated by color patterns, dorsal spines, barbels or other minor external variations. The teeth are similar in both jaws and vary only slightly with jaw position.

Species Edit

Cretaceous Edit

Squatina hassei appears to be the preferred identification for Cretaceous angel shark teeth found in Europe and North America. Teeth are reported from Georgia, the Severn of Maryland, North Carolina, from the Campanian and Maastrichtian of Texas. Kent (1994: 25-26) noted that the teeth of this species were small (5 mm) with a short cusp and steeply sloping shoulders - triangular from a labial perspective.

The angel shark tooth-design is common in the Tar Heel Formation of North Carolina; despite this abundance, they are rarely in very good condition. Interestingly, Case & Cappetta (1997: 135) did not include Squatina in the Maastrichtian of Texas; they attributed teeth of the general angel shark design to Cretorectolobus. With the various caveats associated with this Cretaceous tooth-design from the Western Atlantic, they will be referred to as S. "hassei"

Paleogene Edit

Squatina prima is the Paleogene species employed for this genus. Cappetta (1987: 68-69) places it in the Paleocene (Danian-Thanetian) and Eocene (Ypresian) of Morocco, Belgium and England. Kent (1994: 25-26) includes it in the Chesapeake Bay noting its slender crown and low shoulders.

Neogene Edit

Originally described from the Miocene of Austria, S. subserrata has become a "bucket" for Neogene angel sharks. Kent (1994: 25-26) noted that S. occidentalis (EASTMAN, 1904) had been described from Maryland, "but this appears to be a junior synonym of S. subserrata". Kent goes on to point out that these teeth have been found in Oligocene and Miocene deposits and describes them as being more robust than S. prima. The Miocene teeth from Sharktooth Hill in California still carry the name Squatina lericheii JORDAN & BEAL, 1913, but Itoigawa et al (1985) only referred to the Japanese teeth as Squatina sp. Müller (1999: 33) attributed Oligocene (Old Church Fm., VA) and Miocene (Calvert Fm., MD) to subserrata and Yorktown Fm (Pliocene, NC) specimens from Lee Creek to S. aff dumeril.

Angel shark teeth (currently referred to by the author as S. "subserrata") are relatively common in basal Yorktown (Lower Pliocene) deposits at Lee Creek. John Paschal had extraordinary fortune in the spring of 1998 when he found the first of 87 teeth from an associated dentition. Purdy et al (2001: 97-98) were reluctant to ascribe these teeth to a particular species (probably a good idea) and attributed them to Pungo River (units 4,5) and Yorktown (units 1 & 2) sediments.