Skip to product information
1 of 1

Collection of fossil denticles "Onchopristis numidus"

Collection of fossil denticles "Onchopristis numidus"

Regular price €15,00
Regular price Sale price €15,00
Sale Sold out
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.

Early to Late Cretaceous epoch, Albian to Maastrichtian stages c. 100,5 - 66 million years ago, Taouz, Kem Kem Basin, Marocco.

Onchopristis numidus is a genus of extinct giant sclerorhynchoid (a sawfish-like chondrichthyan) from the Early Cretaceous to Later Cretaceous of North America, North Africa, Brazil, and New Zealand. This species of prehistoric sawfish estimated to be around 8,5 to 10 meters long and, to be weighted around 1,5 tonnes. As with modern sawfish, Onchopristis's eyes were on top of its head, potentially to spot possible predators, and its mouth and gills were under its body.

As an ancient member of pristidae, Onchopristis would have been more closely related to rays (Rajidae) than to sharks. Like modern day sawfish, Onchopristis would have used thre rostrum that extended for as much as 2,5 meters in front of it to sense prey. Once prey was detected, Onchopristis would swipe its long hard shovel-shaped snout called rostrum towards it, impaling its victim upon barbed spikes, tooth-like structures called denticles, that ran down either side of the rostrum. In the type species, O.numidus, each "tooth" had one barb, but in O.dunklei there were two to five barbs on each denticles, and two to three in O.d. praecursor. The use of the rostrum as a sensory (electroreceptors) and killing device is a result of sawfish living near the bottom of their aquatic environments, an as such it is highly likely that Onchopristis shared this kind of lifestyle.

Collection of four beautiful Onchopristis denticle fragment. Age-related wear, fractures and cracks. Repaired. Dirt, dust and deposit. Size of teeth c. 3,8cm x 1,5cm, 3,5cm x 2,3cm, 2,5cm x 1,6cm and, 2,0cm x 1,5cm. Sell as a set. 

View full details