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Dinopedia

Durnonovariaodus maiseyi is an extinct genus and species of a new hybodontiform shark-like chondrichthyan from the Upper Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay Formation of England, officially depicted on 2021. [1]

Description

Skull of the new hybodontiform shark Durnonovariaodus maiseyi from the Upper Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay Formation of England. Credit: Sebastian Stumpf

The shark fossil, which is about 150 million years old, is assigned to a previously unknown genus and species of hybodontiform sharks named Durnonovariaodus maiseyi. This extremely rare fossil find was made almost 20 years ago on the southern coast of England and is now held and curated in the Etches Collection, which houses one of the most scientifically significant fossil collections in England.

Teeth of the new hybodontiform shark Durnonovariaodus maiseyi from the Upper Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay Formation of England. Credit: Sebastian Stumpf

Hybodontiform sharks are one of the most species-rich groups of extinct sharks and represent the closest relatives to modern sharks. They first appeared during the latest Devonian, about 361 million years ago, and went extinct together with dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous, about 66 million years ago. The new genus and species Durnonovariaodus maiseyi differs from all other previously described hybodontiform sharks, including those that are characterized by having similarly shaped teeth. “Durnonovariaodus maiseyi represents an important source of information for better understanding the diversity of sharks in the past as well as for new interpretations of the evolution of hybodontiform sharks, whose relationships are still poorly understood, even after more than 150 years of research,” says Stumpf.[2]

The scientific importance of the Kimmeridge Clay Formation is underlined by additional, but still undescribed hybodontiform shark skeletons, which are also held in the Etches Collection. The research of fossil sharks from the Kimmeridge Clay Formation of England, which will be continued in the years to come, will certainly contain further surprises to be yet discovered.

References

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