Petalodus shark teeth have been discovered for the first time in China, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Paleontology. These teeth belong to an extinct species of shark that lived during the Carboniferous period, about 359 to 299 million years ago.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the University of Bristol in the UK. They examined fossil specimens from the Baishihao Formation, a geological formation located in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in northern China.
The researchers identified 31 specimens of Petalodus teeth from the Baishihao Formation, making it the first discovery of this shark species in China. The teeth are relatively small, measuring around 1.5 to 2.5 cm in length, and have a distinctive shape with a triangular crown and serrated edges.
The discovery of Petalodus teeth in China is significant because it sheds light on the distribution and diversity of this shark species during the Carboniferous period. Previously, Petalodus teeth had only been found in Europe, North America, and Australia.
The researchers believe that the Petalodus sharks lived in shallow marine environments, where they hunted for prey such as fish, crustaceans, and other small marine animals. The teeth were likely used to grasp and crush the hard shells of their prey.
The study also suggests that the Baishihao Formation was a diverse and ecologically complex ecosystem during the Carboniferous period, with a wide range of marine organisms living in the area.
The discovery of Petalodus teeth in China adds to our understanding of the global distribution of this shark species and the ecological diversity of the Carboniferous period. It also highlights the importance of continued research and exploration in the field of paleontology, which can help us learn more about the history of life on Earth and how it has evolved over time.