00944 - Top Quality Juvenile 0.78 Inch Onchopristis Cretaceous Sawfish Rostral Barb
00944 - Top Quality Juvenile 0.78 Inch Onchopristis Cretaceous Sawfish Rostral Barb 00944 - Top Quality Juvenile 0.78 Inch Onchopristis Cretaceous Sawfish Rostral Barb

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00944 - Top Quality Juvenile 0.78 Inch Onchopristis Cretaceous Sawfish Rostral Barb

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Species
Onchopristis numidus, Hauq 1905
Age
Upper Cretaceous, Cenomanian stage, (~96 Million Years)
Location
Taouz, Kem Kem Basin, South Morocco
Formation
Ifezouane Formation, Red Sandstone Beds
Size
19.9 mm   •    in
Weight
1 g   •    oz
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Description
 Impressive juvenile Onchopristis tooth. It is a rostral tooth that belonged to a very small specimen, which did not even reach the juvenile stage. It is a very rare piece, not easy to find. It is perfectly preserved, without restorations or reparations. It is a real miniature beauty. Its morphology is identical to that of an adult individual, but with its tiny size. 

Onchopristis is a genus of extinct giant sawfish that lived in the Lower Cretaceous to Upper Cretaceous in North Africa and New Zealand. It had an elongated snout lined laterally with barbed teeth. It is a large sawfish, known from remains throughout North America, North Africa and New Zealand. It was very large, up to 8 m (26.2 ft) long when fully grown. As with modern sawfish, Onchopristis's eyes were on top of its head, to spot predators rather than prey, and its mouth and gills were under its body. The rostrum, or snout, was around 2.5 m (8.2 ft) long, lined with barbed teeth. In the type species, O. numidus, each tooth had one barb, but in O. dunklei there were two to five barbs on each tooth, two to three in O. d. praecursor, and three to five in O. d. dunklei. The rostrum most likely would have had electrosensors to detect food in the water below them like most modern sharks and some rays. Onchopristis may have raked through the riverbed to find and then eat prey. [This last paragraph is from Wikipedia - License: Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported]

This taxon was described by Hauq (1905) and belongs to the Pristidae family. Their fossils are a good indicator of paleoenvironments related with deltas and estuaries. This type of fish constituted a big part of the diet of the great ichthyophagous coetaneous dinosaurs, such as the Spinosaurus.
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