6.1" Fossil Shark (Hybodus) Dorsal Spine - Morocco

 
This is an 6.1" fossil, dorsal spine of a shark (Hybodus) from the Kem Kem Basin, Taouz, Morocco. These fragile spines are nearly always found fractured in the ground. There are several crack repairs to this spine, but overall it is in good shape with no restoration.

Hybodus was a small shark that grew up to 2 meters in length and was thought to have been an opportunistic predator. It had a streamline shape which would have made it adept at hunting down fast prey as well as two different types of teeth sharp cutting teeth for catching prey and flatter grinding teeth for crushing. It is believed that this combination is the key to Hybodus' success.

A paper on Hybodus spines can be found below.

Growth And Form of Finspines In Hybodont Sharks

A complete fossil of Hybodus from Germany showing placement of spine.  Image under GNU Free Documentation License
A complete fossil of Hybodus from Germany showing placement of spine. Image under GNU Free Documentation License

The Kem Kem Beds are famous for yielding a diverse, Late Cretaceous, vertebrate assemblage including fish, reptiles and dinosaurs such as Spinosaurus. These fossils are found in a thin bed that outcrops around the edge of a large plateau near Taouz, Morocco. Local miners collect these fossils by digging narrow tunnels by hand into this plateau following the layer.

A paper on this assemblage can be found at: Vertebrate assemblages from the early Late Cretaceous of southeastern Morocco: An overview

One of the tunnels dug into the Kem Kem beds by local miners following the productive fossil beds.
One of the tunnels dug into the Kem Kem beds by local miners following the productive fossil beds.
DETAILS
SPECIES
Hybodus obtusus
LOCATION
Taouz, Kem Kem Basin, Morocco
FORMATION
Kem Kem Beds
SIZE
6.1" long
CATEGORY
ITEM
#145377
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