Orthacanthus senckenbergianus Museum quality
Only very rarely is skeletal tissue seen preserved in prehistoric sharks, and definitely as wel preserved as in this Orthacanthus. Shark skeletons are composed of cartilage, which typically decays before it can fossilise. This specimen from the famous Rheinland Pflaz Lagerstätte in Germany exhibits amazing texture quality over the whole skeleton.
Sharks fossils from this location are mostly know with a off white bone preservation, a result of exposure to extreme heat during the fossilisation process. This skeleton has been fossilised and preserved in optimal conditions and has the much higher quality black tissue which contrasts extremely well with the multicolour shale.
One straight spine is seen, attached to the shoulder girdle, and even more exceptional is the presence of the tooth battery. Over 245 million years old, this stunning specimen is exceptionally well articulated.
Orthacanthus was the terror of freshwater swamps in both Europe and North America until it became extinct 225 million years ago, Orthacanthus was long and streamlined, which gave it a very elegant snake-like swimming action. Its powerful jaws were lined with double-fanged teeth. Sharks originated in the Devonian seas and continue to reign the world waters up to this day.