In 2012, scientists found a set of bones in Mexico95 million years old. For a long time, no one paid attention to the find, but relatively recently paleontologist Margarito Gonzalez decided to study them. It turned out that scientists managed to find a complete skeleton of an ancient shark, which is completely different from modern predatory fish. The ancient creature had very large fins that allowed it to swim snuggling to the bottom and feed on many tiny creatures. Yes, this creature was not a bloodthirsty monster, but the discovery is still interesting. The beauty is that this is one of the rare cases where archaeologists have managed to find the complete skeleton of an ancient shark. Moreover, the predator had a very unusual appearance and ate completely differently from ordinary sharks. Let's find out what else interesting did you learn about the new animal for science? We have some entertaining photos and a beautiful image from the artist.
Complete shark skeleton of the ancient world
The amazing shark of the ancient world wastold in National Geographic. A shark skeleton was found near the Mexican village of Vallecillo. The authors of the scientific work noted that having examined the bones more closely, they immediately realized that they were in front of the remains of an ancient shark. As a rule, fossil sharks are recognized by the found teeth, but they have not been preserved in this individual. But scientists have a complete skeleton of an ancient creature, which is very rare. A new species of sharks for science was named Aquilolamna milarcae. But we will call the shark more simply - aquilolamous.
The main feature of the found shark isstreamlined body with very wide fins. Based on the shape of the body, scientists believe that she moved along the bottom of the seas and oceans like modern stingrays. This is the name for fish with flattened bodies, which are well camouflaged in the depths of water. You've probably seen them in documentaries or even live, and if you don't remember, see the photo below. Despite the similarity to rays, aquilolamna belongs to the herring shark family (Lamnidae). White sharks, which I mentioned in this article, also belong to it.
However, despite this, Aquilolamna did not attackon large creatures. Most likely, she just sucked in water, filtered out nutrients and lived off of it. This, at least, is hinted at by the flattened body of the creature. The length of the found aquilolamna is estimated at 180 centimeters, that is, it is a rather large creature. Its size can be compared to the height of an adult. The ancient shark was clearly swimming very slowly, accelerating with small movements of its tail fin. And the huge fins-wings on the sides helped to maintain balance.
See also: What animals are dangerous sharks afraid of?
Mysteries of the Ancient World
According to Chicago-based professor Kensu Shimada(Kenshu Shimada), this body structure is completely atypical for sharks. Therefore, some scientists are not completely sure that they are dealing with a shark. Paleontologists are very sorry that they could not find the teeth of the discovered creature. After all, this would allow them to compare the structure with the teeth of representatives of other species and determine exactly whether it is a shark or not. But so far it is believed that yes, it is a predatory fish and it belongs to the same family as white sharks.
If it turns out that aquilolamna really wasshark, this would mean that ancient predators may have had even stranger body shapes. It just so happened that even the famous megalodon was described solely from fossilized teeth. Scientists have not been able to find his skeleton and they do not know exactly what shape the body of the ancient monster was. So it is possible that the megalodon was also a very strange-looking creature, and not just a giant shark with huge teeth.
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Since we are talking about megalodons, I suggest youread the article at this link. It is relatively new and in it I talked about how huge megalodons could look and grow. Judging by the remains, even the children of these creatures were 2-meter creatures that posed a danger to all living organisms. Also in the article you will find some interesting photos. One of them shows the size of the mouth of a megalodon in comparison with the height of an adult. Enjoy reading!