A colossal fish that roamed the seas about 380 million years ago fed in a similar manner to basking sharks, the second biggest shark species alive today, according to scientists.
About The Creature
The specimen is known as Titanichthys, and it’s a member of the pre-historic fish class named “placoderm.” It was a suspension feeder, which means that it fed by capturing and ingesting food particles that were suspended in water.
One Titanichyhys fossil was discovered in the Sahara Desert, and it revealed that the being had a narrow lower jaw that lacked the sharp edges required for cutting through flesh that can be found on some of its descendants.
Another peculiar aspect is that its jaw wouldn’t have been capable of supporting the mechanical stress required to perform actions like chewing and biting.
It was a less resilient species than other placoderms which fed on hard-shelled victims around in the Devonian period or about 140 million years before dinosaurs started roaming Earth.
Sam Coatham, lead author and University of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences member, said: “We have found that Titanichthys was very likely to have been a suspension-feeder, showing that its lower jaw was considerably less mechanically robust than those of other placoderm species that fed on large or hard-shelled prey.”
A Giant Of Its Time
Though it would have been considered a small animal by dinosaur standards, the Titanichtys was one of the largest swimmers of the Devonian period, most likely exceeding five meters in length.
By comparison, today’s basking shark reaches almost eight meters in length, which is considerably more.
The Titanichthys was one of the main predators of its era since only the Dukleosteus (an apex predator) was one of its few direct threats.