The Eagle Shark roamed the oceans 93 million years ago

However, the researchers are convinced of this Aquilamna Melark It moved slowly. “It can be compared to a windsurfer,” said Volo. “It’s not at all suitable for fast swimming and stalking prey.”

In addition to its slow movement, its large and short head and the fact that not a single tooth was found in its jaw suggests that the eagle shark may have fed on plankton rather than a predator.

In the Cretaceous Age Aquilulamna lived, the only creatures known to filter plankton from the water were the large bony fish of the family Pachycormidae, while the eagle shark had a skeleton of cartilage, like modern sharks and rays.

The two groups, the Pachycormidae and AquilulamnaIt disappears in the great extinction wave that marked the end of the Cretaceous period 66 million years ago, when a massive meteorite struck the Earth and, among other things, sharply reduced the presence of plankton in the oceans.

The ecological niche of Pachycormidae is occupied in the Third Age, the post-Cretaceous geological period, by large plankton-eating sharks such as the current whale shark and the basking shark. “The eagle shark was gradually replaced by manta rays and manta reef rays, which arose in the early Triad,” said Volo.

The fact that not a single tooth was found in the jaw of the fossil specimen indicates that this species had very small teeth. Vullo hopes future discoveries will allow us to connect the two Aquilulamna And isolated young teeth previously found in sediments of the same age. It could belong to a “very baffling plankton eater”, and it could be the eagle shark.

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