Detailed Fossil Shark from Cretaceous Lebanon

Chondrichthyes; Galeiformes; Triakidae; Paratriakis curtirostris (cartilaginous fish - shark) and Euteleostei; Salmoniformes; Guadryella gaudryi (bony fish - Osteichthyes )

Geological Time: Middle Cretaceous, Middle Cenomanian Stage (~95 mya)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): 115 mm in length on a 155 mm by 88 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Lebanese Lagerstatte, Hajoula, Lebanon

Paratriakis Fossil SharkHere is a fine shark from the Cretaceous sublithographic limestone deposits of Lebanon. Since most of the skeleton of a shark is cartilage, preservation of such details as seen here are uncommon. The fins and basic body outline have also been preserved in wonderful detail. Notice the rough nature of the skin, the result of preservation of some of the denticles (‘little teeth”). Many cartilaginous fish have denticles in the skin; indeed, true teeth may have evolved from them in the dim past. The denticles of sharks are quite abrasive; sharkskin (shagreen) has been used by some as a substitute for sandpaper. The genus is extinct, but has a relative in the modern-day dogfish Triakis. While there are several repaired cracks to the matrix, they do not involve this fine specimen, offered here at an affordable price. The other partial specimen is a bony fish known as Gaudryella.

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