Press "Enter" to skip to content

Manta Shark Aquilolamma millrace Found Fossilized in Mexican

Paleontologists have discovered an extraordinary fossil shark in Mexico. It is Aquilolamna millrace, a Late Cretaceous shark that was wider than it was long, with an oddly slender pair of pectoral fins. This shark, far from a ferocious biter, may have survived by eating plankton. The researchers published it in Science.

The authors believe Aquilolamna millrace was a lamniform, the same order that today includes the great white and megamouth shark. Cretaceous sharks appear different; they have a wide mouth, flathead, and 6-foot wingspan reminiscent of rays. Though rays are also elasmobranchs, the group of cartilaginous fish that also contains sharks and skates, Aquilolamna millrace precedes the appearance of its lookalikes, manta and devil rays, by some 30 million years.

Romain Vullo, a paleontologist at the University of Rennes in France and lead author of the paper said that this variety is definitely a shark and there is confusion about that. He also added that this family of sharks became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous without descendants. He also described the shark as a languid predator. After propelling itself, Aquilolamna millrace would have used those remarkable pectoral fins to do the marine equivalent of hang-gliding, coasting through the seas and, perhaps, gobbling up plankton that got in its way.

Kenshu Shimada, a professor of paleobiology at DePaul University in Chicago and an expert in ancient shark species was excited about this discovery. “The exact taxonomic identity of this new shark is still questionable, but its body design, particularly its exceptionally elongated paired pectoral fins, is unique not only within the shark order Lamniformes but also in the entire shark world. The shark can be planktivorous.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *