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[[
Stethacanthus BW
|px]]
'Stethacanthus zangerli'

Name

Stethacanthus

Period

Devonian



Stethacanthus is an extinct genus of shark which lived in the Late Devonian and Early Carboniferous periods, around 360 million years ago. Fossils have been found in Europe and North America.

Stethacanthus was around 70 centimetres (2.3 ft) long, and in many respects, had a typical shark-like appearance. However, it is best known for its unusually shaped dorsal fin, which resembled an anvil or ironing board. Small spikes (enlarged versions of the dermal denticles commonly covering shark skin) covered this crest, and the shark's head as well. Some scientists think the crest may have had a function in courtship; others think it may have been used for self defense.

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