The invention rested for many years inside leftover sediment within the basement of Chicago’s Field Museum: A shark with triangular tooth formed like spaceships in an old-school video game. The tiny, flat-headed shark swam in a river flowing some 67 million years in the past in present-day South Dakota, scientists say, earlier than resting after a Tyrannosaurus rex with the biggest skeleton ever found.
A museum volunteer named Karen Nordquist was scanning the sediment as soon as discovered alongside SUE, the Subject Museum’s well-known T. rex, when she observed one thing, the museum mentioned in a launch: Teeth formed like the pixelated spaceships from the 1980s sport “Galaga.” The newly found shark was named Galagadon nordquistae, after each “Galaga” and Nordquist, a retired chemist. A paper describing the shark appeared this week in The Journal of Paleontology.
The shark’s skeleton, fabricated from cartilage, was not preserved, co-writer Pete Makovicky, the Field Museum’s curator of dinosaurs, informed the museum. However, its tiny enamel — solely a millimeter broad — level to an equally small shark. “Galagadon was lower than two feet lengthy — it’s not precisely Jaws,” Makovicky mentioned in an announcement, including that the fish possible “had a flat face and was very doubtless camouflage-colored, since its kinfolk right this moment have a camouflage sample.”
The shark’s craggy tooth did not sink into any T. rex flesh, Gates famous, however, was more appropriate for smashing a river’s crawdads and snails. Nonetheless, its discovery so close to a T. Rex has made scientists rethink what they knew in regards to find the place SUE lived. “It amazes me that we can discover microscopic shark tooth sitting proper beside the bones of the largest predators of all time,” Gates mentioned within the assertion. Each discovery from the Cretaceous period — irrespective of how small — enriches scientists’ understanding of that point, he stated.