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Onchopristis Tooth Cast
Onchopristis Tooth Cast
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Sawfish Shark Tooth
Scientific name: Onchopristis numidus
Meaning of name: saw tooth
Age: Cretaceous, Albian 125-112 mya
Distribution: Morocco

This tooth comes from one of the most unusual types of shark that has ever been found. The teeth of the sawtooth shark actually are mounted on a long snout that protrudes from the front of the head called a rostrum. It looks like the bar of a chain saw. The Sawfish shark is a member of the ray family and does not have bone but rather cartilage for its skeleton. Cartilage does not fossilize well but some rostrums with the teeth in place have been found.
The Sawfish is rather inactive usually resting on the bottom of shallow areas until food swims by. Then it will go into action swishing its long snout back and forth, piercing the fish with its many teeth then circling around to swallow the injured fish. There are only about 6 species of these types of sharks left today. In the wild they are rarely encountered by humans.
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