Large Machaeracanthus Acanthodian Fish Fossil Spine

Machaeracanthus sp

Infraphylum Gnathostomata, Class Acanthodii, Order Incertae sedis, Family Machaeracanthidae

Geological Time: Lower Devonian, about 375 million years ago

Size: Fish fossil is 180 mm in length (curve measure) by up to 27 mm wide on a 180 mm by 80 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Aatchana, Morocco

Fossil Code: 16203

Price: $195.00

Machaeracanthus Acanthodian Fish FossilDescription: The Acanthodians are jaw-bearing fish who still are the subject of dispute over their systematic position. Most possessed highly-advanced, spindle-shaped bodies thought to have made them swift swimmers. The body was covered in small mosaic-like scales. They possessed small teeth which were typically confined to the lower jaw; some were toothless. The feature they all share in common is the fact that all fins other than the caudal are supported by massive spines formed of dentine. Indeed, the name Acanthodii is derived from the Greek word for spine. The oldest acanthodian lived during the late Ordovician. They reached their peak during the Devonian, and became extinct during the Great Dying of the end-Permian extinction. This well-preserved example is a spine from what must have been a fairly respectfully-sized shark of the genus Machaeracanthus. In addition to Morocco, examples are know from the United States, France, and Spain.

Also see: Paleozoic Fish Fossils

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