Helicoprion


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Helicoprion

 

a genus of fossil animals belonging to the shark family, described by the Russian scientist A. P. Karpinskii. Helicoprion was distributed in the early Permian period in the seas that covered the territories of the Urals, Japan, Australia, Spitsbergen, and the United States. The middle (symphyseal) row of teeth in the lower jaw merged into a spiral of two or three turns (hence the name) that protruded from the mouth and was bent on the outside into a cartilaginous cavity. Small crushing teeth in the upper jaw opposed the spiral organ.

REFERENCE

Obruchev, D. V. “Izuchenie edestid i raboty A. P. Karpinskogo.” Tr. Paleontologicheskogo in-ta, 1953, vol. 45.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to scientists, Helicoprion was a bizarre creature that went extinct some 225 million years ago, Fox News reported.
Like modern-day sharks, Helicoprion had cartilaginous bones rather than calcified ones, so the only traces it left in the fossil record were weird, whorl-like spirals of teeth that look quite unlike anything sharks sport today.
The dearth of fossil evidence has led to multiple attempted reconstructions of what Helicoprion would have looked like.
Researchers have also debated whether Helicoprion was more like a modern shark or another ancient group of cartilaginous fish, the chimaera.
When Helicoprion bit down on prey, the tooth whorl would have been forced backward, slicing and dicing the meal and moving it down toward the throat.
Timothy Bradley offers tidbits of information about the earliest species from the Paleozoic era, with the angel-shaped Doliodus and the Helicoprion with the buzzsaw jaw leading the aquatic parade.

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