Creature Feature: Helicoprion sp.


Welcome to the last week of our prehistoric shark focus. We are ending with a very popular and very unique shark, the Helicoprion sp. The only evidence that this shark existed 290 million years ago is fossilized spiral shape teeth. There are no other sharks that have ever existed with this strange spiral dentition. Many artists have created imaginative renditions of this shark and how it might have looked. Some depict a saw shaped jaw protruding from its head, while others believe these teeth were actually in its throat.

To learn even more about the process and scientific evidence of these strange sharks click here to read The Orthodonty of Helicoprion” by Robert W. Purdy, published on the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History website.

Edited by Felicia Van Stolk

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