Helicoprion sp. (Karpinsky, 1899)
Chondrichthyes (Cartilaginous Fishes)
Late Carboniferous to Early Triassic
Length: 3 – 4 m
For over a century, bipedal apes scratched their heads in confusion as to where this fish’s dentition fit inside her mouth; being a cartilaginous fish, only her teeth managed to survive hundreds of millions of years of geological processes and hominid error. In 2013, newly described fossils, that included preserved cartilage, finally shed some light on her enigmatic oral features. It appears she likely evolved such unique dentition to help her more efficiently consume (and potentially shell) cephalopods. Yum! Who wants calamari?
Monday, June 15th, 2015