Nanocetorhinus

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Nanocetorhinus
Temporal range: Early Miocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Neoselachii
Genus: Nanocetorhinus
Underwood & Schlogl, 2011

Nanocetorhinus is an extinct genus of sharks in the subclass Neoselachii. The type and only described species is N. tuberculatus, which existed in what is now Slovakia during the Miocene period, and was described by Charlie J. Underwood and Jan Schlogl in 2011. It was described from 28 fossilized teeth.[1]

Taxonomy[edit]

Nanocetorhinus was described by Underwood and Schlogl in 2011, from 28 partial and complete fossil teeth (holotype: Z 27485) discovered at Cerová-Lieskové, Vienna Basin, in Slovakia. It was placed incertae sedis into the chondrichthyan subclass Neoselachii. The authors expressed an uncertainty with regards to the validity of the genus being assigned to this subclass, as the teeth from which it was described bore minimal resemblance to those of previously known neoselachian genera.[1]

Etymology[edit]

The generic name combines the Latin term "nano" ("dwarvish") with "Cetorhinus" (the generic name of the basking shark), and references the resemblance the teeth of Nanocetorhinus bear to those of Cetorhinus, but on a smaller scale.[1] The species epithet refers to the tuberculate surface ornament of the teeth.[1]

Description[edit]

Underwood and Schlogl theorized that Nanocetorhinus was a planktivorous shark, similarly to its namesake, although there is no consequential evidence that the two genera are closely related.[1] The teeth were little more than 1 mm long at the largest. The authors described the form of the teeth as "simple and rather irregular", and mentioned a lack of wear on the cutting edges, indicating that they were not used to grab and puncture meat, but rather played a minimal role in the process of food consumption. They also noted that the irregular form was more consistent with those of planktivorous sharks.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Charlie J. Underwood and Jan Schlogl (2011). "Deep water chondrichthyans from the Early Miocene of the Vienna Basin (Central Paratethys, Slovakia)". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. in press. doi:10.4202/app.2011.0101.