Member Highlight: Ancient Carpet Shark Discovered with ‘Spaceship-Shaped’ Teeth

2019-01-22T15:13:24+00:00 January 22, 2019|
(Credit: Velizar Simeonovski / Field Museum)

(Credit: Velizar Simeonovski / Field Museum)

The world of the dinosaurs just got a bit more bizarre with a newly discovered species of freshwater shark whose tiny teeth resemble the alien ships from the popular 1980s video game Galaga.

(From North Carolina State University/ By Tracey Peake) — Unlike its gargantuan cousin the megalodon, Galagadon nordquistae was a small shark (approximately 12 to 18 inches long), related to modern-day carpet sharks such as the “whiskered” wobbegong. Galagadon once swam in the Cretaceous rivers of what is now South Dakota, and its remains were uncovered beside “Sue,” the world’s most famous T. rex fossil.

“The more we discover about the Cretaceous period just before the non-bird dinosaurs went extinct, the more fantastic that world becomes,” says Terry Gates, lecturer at North Carolina State University and research affiliate with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Gates is lead author of a paper describing the new species along with colleagues Eric Gorscak and Peter J. Makovicky of the Field Museum of Natural History.

“It may seem odd today, but about 67 million years ago, what is now South Dakota was covered in forests, swamps and winding rivers,” Gates says. “Galagadon was not swooping in to prey on T. rex, Triceratops, or any other dinosaurs that happened into its streams. This shark had teeth that were good for…

Read the full article here: https://news.ncsu.edu/2019/01/gates-galagadon/