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Temporal range: Lower Carboniferous
Belantsea montana.JPG
B. montana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Petalodontiformes
Family: Belantseidae
Genus: Belantsea
Lund, 1989[1]
Type species
Belantsea montana
Lund, 1989
  • Ctenopetalus occidentalis St. John and Worthen, 1875

Belantsea (named after a legendary ancestor of the Crow Nation) is a genus of extinct petalodontid cartilaginous fish that lived during the Lower Carboniferous, about 350 million years ago. Its fossils are found in the Bear Gulch Limestone lagerstätte. Its body was leaf-shaped, with muscular fins and a small tail. Such a body plan would allow for great maneuverability, but at the cost of speedy cruising. Its few, large, triangular teeth formed a beak-like arrangement that allowed it to graze bryozoans, sponges, crinoids, and other encrusting animals. The genus contains two species, B. montana and B. occidentalis.

Belantsea is the best known member of the order Petalodontiformes.


  1. ^ Lund, Richard. "New petalodonts (Chondrichthyes) from the Upper Mississippian Bear Gulch Limestone (Namurian E2b) of Montana." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 9.3 (1989): 350-368. [1]

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