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Home / Science / 150-million-year-old piranha-like fish sample found in Germany is the earliest known meat-eating fish

150-million-year-old piranha-like fish sample found in Germany is the earliest known meat-eating fish



This piece of fish has sharp, sharp teeth reminiscent of today's piranhas. It is believed that the creature probably used it to bite the flesh or fins of other fish than it did in the late Jurassic period. Kölbl-Ebert, Ebert, Bellwood, & Schulbert )

Researchers believe that the sharp teeth on the fossilized remnants of a fish species show that they are biting off pieces of meat or fins from its prey. He lived in the sea about 1

50 million years ago, making it the oldest known carnivorous rayfish

Toothed teeth to bite

Researchers of a new study analyze their discovery of the oldest known carnivorous ray fish that lived in the sea at the time of the dinosaurs. The fossilized remnants of the fish were found in limestone deposits in southern Germany and were discovered to have long, pointed teeth as well as triangular teeth with serrated edges on the side of the mandibular bone.

According to the international team of researchers, the characteristics of the teeth of the ancient marine creature suggest that they might have a feeding style that resembles that of today's piranhas, which is known to have incredibly sharp teeth, to pieces of to bite their prey.

Predator And Loot

Surprisingly, the same limestone deposit did not only have the predator but also the prey, as it also contained the fossilized remains of other fish that had scarred or bitten their fins. This is similar to the feeding patterns of modern piranhas that bite off pieces of their prey's fins so they can feed themselves as they grow.

"It's a remarkably smart move when fins regrow, a clean renewable resource, feed a fish and it's dead, nibble on the fins and you have food for the future," explains David Bellwood of James Cook University Australia, co-author of the study published in the Journal Current Biology .

Evolutionary Versatility

What is more interesting about this find is that it dates from the Jurassic period and originates from the sea. At that time, bony fish known to have crushing teeth were not known to bite off the meat of other fish. Instead, they either ate invertebrates or swallowed all their prey. It was assumed that the biting strategy came much later.

However, a predator that bites off some of its prey at the time was prehistoric sharks. The new find suggests that these piranha-like fish have an aggressive mimicry that is incredibly similar to the feeding patterns of modern piranhas living in freshwater.

"It is the oldest known carnivorous actinopterygian that reveals a remarkable convergent evolution with modernity piranhas," the researchers note.

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