Wednesday, June 30, 2010
June 30, 2010 : Helicoprion (Extinct)
Helicoprion ("Spiral Saw") was a long-lived genus of shark-like cartilaginous fish that first arose in the oceans of the late Carboniferous , survived the Permian-Triassic Extinction Event, and eventually went extinct during the early Triassic some .
The only fossils known are the teeth, which were arranged in a fantastic "tooth-whorl" strongly reminiscent of a circular saw. It was not until the discovery of the skull of a relative, Ornithoprion, that it was realized that the tooth-whorl was in the lower jaw. The tooth-whorl represented all of the teeth produced by that individual in the lower jaw, in that as the individual grew, with the older, smaller teeth being moved into the center of the whorl by the appearance of larger, newer teeth. Comparisons with other eugenodontids suggest that Helicoprion may have grown up to 10-15 ft long.