American archaeologist John-Paul Hodnett noted the resemblance of the extinct fish’s teeth to the spines of a comic book monster when he discovered a complete skeleton while excavating in New Mexico.
Last week, the scientific community recognized the “Godzilla shark” as a separate species. This was stated in a bulletin of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. The main argument was the unique structure of the teeth: powerful and stocky they differed from the long and thin ones possessed by related predatory fish.
“They’re great for grasping and crushing prey, not for stabbing it,” the discoverer said,
In 2013, he was a graduate student when he discovered the first shark fossils on a dig east of the city of Albuquerque. After seven years of excavation and study in laboratories, scientists concluded that the find was 300 million years old.
The fossil skeleton is considered the most recent link in the evolutionary chain of Ctenacanthos, which separated from modern sharks and rays about 390 million years ago and became extinct about 60 million years later. The two-meter-long monster was named Dracopristis hoffmanorum or Hoffman dragon shark, after the family who owned the land where the find was made.