Fossils of New Species of Primitive Spiny Shark Discovered in Teruel, Spain

Posted on June 3, 2013

Machaeracanthus goujeti


Researchers from the University of Valencia and the Natural History Museum of Berlin have announced the discovery of a new fish species that live 408 million years ago. The fish species, Machaeracanthus goujeti, is a new species of spiny shark (Acanthodii), a primitive type of fish that shared characteristics with both sharks and bony fish. The fossilized remains of scales and bones were found in Spain in Teruel and the south of Zaragoza. The fossils are being housed at the Palaeontology Museum of Zaragoza.

Héctor Botella, professor in the palaeontology unit in the University of Valencia and the study's lead author, told the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (SINC), "The discovery of this new species, which we call Machaeracanthus goujeti and belongs to the Acanthodii group - of which very little is known - expands our knowledge of the biodiversity that existed on the peninsula 480 million years ago, when the modern-day region of Teruel was covered by the sea."

The research believed the ancient fish grew to less than one meter in length. Botella says, "This is just an estimation because there are animals that can have large bones and be small, and vice versa."

The research paper was published in the journal, Geodiversitas.

Image: SINC