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Our Shark Education Program- Scissor-tooth Coal "Shark", the Anvil Shark and the Feather Shark


fossilsonwheels

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fossilsonwheels

Our shark adaptation education program for elementary students follows up the Cladodonts with three of the craziest looking early sharks and three that we think kids will love learning about. The Eugeneodontid "sharks" may not be sharks but they are just too cool not to teach the kids about. Bizarre is interesting and I also love talking about evolutionary extremes. The best part of these next animals is that they each allow my son to really stretch out as an artist and create some weird looking creatures.

 

The kids will learn that Edestus were large, predatory shark-like fish that are related to modern ratfish. We will quickly cover the tooth whorl which is where the term Scissor-tooth comes from. I have been reading theories as to how the teeth were used and I think it will be fun to discuss possible feeding methods with the kids.

 

We will not spend much time on Listracanthus because there is not much information about them. I have seen them described as being eel-like and covered in the "feather" denticles. This is one that is really about the artwork so my son is the star with this species. Can not wait to see his finished rendition.

 

I think the kids will really love Stethacanthus. I know it is a cladodont but we separate it in the presentation. The Anvil Shark is a wild creature. The anvil shaped, denticle covered spine, patch of spine on its head, and the whip-like projections from the pectoral fins are adaptations that are open to debate. Asking open ended questions with this species will be more fun than giving the kids theories. What do you think the spines were used for and what do you think those whips are all about? The kids will guide the presentation about Stethacanthus.

 

While we wont be adding any additional Cladodont fossils any time soon, I do hope to add either Caseodus or Campodus to our collection before the end of spring. I like the Eugeneodontids as artistic subjects for my son so we will pick up more of these fossils as we progress.

 

Our presentation fossils

 

Pic 1- Edestus heinrichi. This is an Illinois coal mine fossil, dated to between 360-320 mya. Another personal favorite. These are not common and it is pretty cool to be able to show this one to students.

 

Pic 2- Listracanthus. A "feather" denticle from the Pennsylvanian-Desmoinesian in Iowa. Not the best example as it is difficult to see but a good photograph will help. Still it is cool just to have the Feather Shark in the program !

 

Pic 3- Stethacanthus altonesis. One of the two teeth we have from the Caney Shale Formation in Oklahoma. Again, it is just too cool to have Stethacanthus fossils. I do not know how rare they are or anything but it is just such a freaky little creature.

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The Amateur Paleontologist

This is quite an impressive bit of paleo-outreach :) 

-Christian

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Let me know if you program would like any fossils/teeth from Shark Tooth Hill. I would be happy to donate specimens for school programs. Send me a PM is you are interested.

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fossilsonwheels
7 hours ago, The Amateur Paleontologist said:

This is quite an impressive bit of paleo-outreach :) 

-Christian

Christian

 

Thank you very much. This is just the infant stage too lol I am really excited when we can engage the kids with even more species and fossils !

 

Kurt

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fossilsonwheels
1 hour ago, JBMugu said:

Let me know if you program would like any fossils/teeth from Shark Tooth Hill. I would be happy to donate specimens for school programs. Send me a PM is you are interested.

Wow. That is awesome. Yes we are interested and I will PM you

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  • 2 months later...
fossilsonwheels

I have not added any Paleozoic shark teeth in a quite awhile and I am super excited about getting a Caseodus :) This was at the top of the list for some time. I wanted to add another strange Eugenodontid to our program and for me personally this feeds one of my personal collecting niches. It was mislabeled and I got it at a good price which also makes me pretty happy.  Welcome to the Shark collection Caseodus !!

orodus.jpg

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All are from some very neat and odd looking sharks.  Thank you for sharing and learnt a bit myself too

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fossilsonwheels
12 minutes ago, Runner64 said:

All are from some very neat and odd looking sharks.  Thank you for sharing and learnt a bit myself too

Thank you. They are neat and odd looking sharks. The kids love them. The Caseodus will fit right in.

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