Saturday, 18 August 2012

Fossils of New Shark Species Found in Arizona

The remains of several new toothy shark species, with at least three dating to 270 million years ago, have been unearthed in Arizona, according to a new study.

The research, published in the latest issue of Historical Biology, suggests that Arizona was home to the most diverse collection of sharks in the world during the pre-dinosaur Middle Permian era. The researchers have discovered many other new shark species from the area, with papers in the works to document them.

For now, lead author John-Paul Hodnett described the three mentioned in the latest study:
Nanoskalme natans ("swimming dwarf blade") was a small (about 3.2-foot- long) shark with blade-like cutting teeth. It was probably a scavenger and predator on small fish.

Neosaivodus flagstaffensis ("new Saivodus from Flagstaff") was a medium-sized shark (about 6.6 feet) with gripping teeth that might have been a specialist on nautiloids as a juvenile, but a more generalist feeder as an adult.


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