Fossil of Earliest Flesh-Slicing Fish from the Jurassic

The fossil of a fish much like a piranha appears to be the earliest flesh-eating fish. It was found in Germany. Having teeth similar to a piranha it lived 150 million years ago. Remains of its victims were found nearby. It mainly ate the fins of fish.

Piranha teeth

Evolving to consume only fins was a survival mechanism. Fish that were attacked did not die immediately. They survived to provide a meal another day. The hunter's teeth were triangular. With serrated edges, they were ideal for cutting flesh.

Initially, bony fish could only bite chunks of flesh out of prey or swallow them whole. Slicing of flesh appeared much later. The hunting method of the fossilized fish was identical to modern-day piranhas. Injuries to the attacked were the same.

The ancient specimen was a sea dweller. Piranhas live only in fresh water. Oddly, some piranhas are vegetarians mainly eating seeds. They are a normal food for South American people who say they taste like any other fish.

It is not understood why they live in shoals. Being able to readily attack could be the reason. Some believe that it is to gain protection from larger predators who feed by killing the tiny piranha. The fossil indicates that piranha-like fish have been around a long time.




martin ebert david r bellwood christian schulbert piranha-like pycnodontiform fish late jurassic current biology 2018 doi 0.1016 j.cub.2018.09.013 cite page mla apa chicago cell press piranha-like specimen 50 million years earliest known flesh-eating fish sciencedaily october 2018 cell press 2018 october piranha-like specimen 50 million years earliest known flesh-eating fish retrieved october 21 2018 releases 2018 81018141129.htm cell press piranha-like specimen 50 million years earliest known flesh-eating fish sciencedaily www.sciencedaily.com releases 2018 81018141129.htm accessed october 21 2018 advertisement related topics plants animals fish fisheries sea life marine biology earth climate environmental policy weather earth science caving advertisement related terms piranha fish ichthyosaur deep sea fish fish farming channidae timeline evolution fishery.

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