When talking about ancient sharks, one cannot forget one named by Joseph Leidy in 1855: Edestus. Pronounced Eh-dess-tuss, their classification is as follow:
Chordata -> Chondrichthyes -> Holocephali -> Eugeneodontida -> Edestidae.
With a few species (think: E. giganteus, E. heinrichi, E. mirus, E. minor, and E. vorax), they were a piscivore animal that is estimated to have gotten up to 6 metres long! Fossils have been found in the United Kingdom (England), Russia, and parts of the United States of America.
Scientists say that this animal lived in the Late Carboniferous Period (Kasimovian to Gzhelian) about 300 million years ago. Nicknamed the "scissor-tooth shark," and 'coal shark,' (because they were found in Carboniferous coal deposits), Edestus is belongs to the same family as the whacky Helicoprion. Said to be within the Holocephalii, their teeth look like they need an orthodontist. Seriously- their old teeth were pushed forward as the new teeth came in at the back of their jaws. This meant their teeth kind of looked like serrated shears... hence the name of 'scissor toothed shark'. Eek!
Unfortunately only the teeth and jaws of Edestus are what we have... so we don't really know how they ate. Or how they swam... or, really, anything about their lives. This is all we really know.
GUEST BLOG POST WRITER: JOSHUA ROOKS
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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