Science

This shark fossil shows a creature with wing-like fins

Researchers have discovered a new species of shark called Aquilolamna milarcae. The shark swam in the oceans during the late Cretaceous period about 93 million years ago. Scientists discovered a complete fossilized specimen in 2012 in Vallecilo, Mexico. This specific site has resulted in well-preserved fossils in the past.

The site is famous for its well-preserved bony fish, marine reptiles, and ammonites. Scientists say that Aquilolamna milarcae belongs to Lamniformes, a order of sharks in the subfamily Elasmobranchii. This subcategory has been very successful and includes sharks, sleds, and rays. Creatures It is in this category that they first appeared in the oceans around 380 million years ago and have evolved to play a wide range of roles.

This creature is thought to have eaten plankton, and the modern elasmobranch gills that feed on plankton are distinguished by creatures with a more traditional shark body shape such as whales and basking sharks as well as those with flat bodies and wing-like fins, such as Mobulidae rays. The interesting thing about the Aquilolamna milarca fossil is that it shows a creature that was clearly in the middle of both groups.

It had many features in common with modern manta rays, particularly its long, thin fins and an adapted mouth to feed the filter. Its specially modified mouth indicates that it eats plankton. The creature also had a well-developed tail fin and upper lobe, which is typical of pelagic sharks such as whale sharks and tiger sharks.

The creature’s exquisite design has anatomical features that combine sharks and rays. Scientists believe the creature was a relatively slow swimmer, using its long pectoral fins to glide through the water and spotting the suspended plankton using its large mouth. Paleontologists also noted that the creature shows that its pectoral fins acting like wings independently evolved into distantly related species of branches feeding on the filtrate.

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