Ancient Shark Sported Devil Horns

"Devil Tooth" also had spikes on its fins

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 6, 2013 11:07 AM CDT

(Newser) – Researchers have discovered a never-before-seen prehistoric shark in a piece of Arizona limestone, and the creature had a rather frightening feature: a pair of "devil horns." The shark, dubbed the Devil Tooth or Diablodontus michaeledmundi, probably used the horns either to defend itself or to attract mates, Discovery reports. It lived 260 million years ago, but both the species and the genus are new to us.

The horns weren't Devil Tooth's only scary feature: It was a hybodont (hump-toothed) shark that survived the largest extinction event in history, the Permian-Triassic extinction. Its teeth were "well-developed pointed cusps with slight cutting edges," says one of the researchers behind the discovery. The shark was likely 3.5 feet long, had spikes on its fins, and probably ate soft animals including small fish, experts say. Discovery has a drawing of the creature.

An ancient shark sported devil horns.
An ancient shark sported devil horns.   (Shutterstock)
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