Monday, October 25, 2010
October 25, 2010 : Delphyodontos dacriformes (Extinct)
Delphyodontos dacriformes was a prehistoric holocephalid fish from the early Carboniferous, from the Bear Gulch Limestone Lagerstätte, in Montana. Its fossils consist mainly of aborted fetuses or newly hatched young. Sharp teeth and fecal matter in the fossils suggests that Delphyodontos practiced intrauterine cannibalism, like some modern sharks, such as gray reef sharks.
According to the fossils, the recently born would have resembled tadpoles with small, but sharp beaks. Because of the evidence suggesting intrauterine cannibalism, D. dacriformes is assumed to have been carnivorous, though, besides siblings, it is unknown what other organisms they would have eaten.
The generic name, Delphyodontos, means "womb tooth," in reference to the sharp, beak-like teeth and their possible habits of intrauterine cannibalism. The specific name, dacriformes, refers to the teardrop-shaped body.