Aquilolamna

Name: Aquilolamna ‭(‬eagle shark‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ah-kwil-o-lam-nah.
Named By: Romain Vullo,‭ ‬Eberhard Frey,‭ ‬Christina Ifrim,‭ ‬Margarito A.‭ ‬González González,‭ ‬Eva S.‭ ‬Stinnesbeck &‭ ‬Wolfgang Stinnesbeck‭ ‬-‭ ‬2021.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Chondrichthyes,‭ ‬Lamniformes‭?‬,‭ ‬Aquilolamnidae.
Species: A.‭ ‬milarcae‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Planktivore/Filter feeder.
Size: Holotype about‭ ‬1.6‭ ‬meters long,‭ ‬1.9‭ ‬meters wide between tips of pectoral fins.
Known locations: Mexico‭ ‬-‭ ‬Agua Nueva Formation.
Time period: Turonian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Almost complete individual preserved on slab.




       Aquilolamna is a genus of fish confirmed to have lived in the ocean around Mexico during the late Cretaceous.‭ ‬The name Aquilolamna means‭ ‘‬eagle shark‭’‬,‭ ‬a reference to the long‭ ‘‬wings‭’ ‬formed by the pectoral fins and the general shark-like body.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬at the time of the naming of the genus,‭ ‬Aquilolamna was only tentatively placed with the sharks as key anatomical features to prove or disprove a link to sharks such as teeth were yet to be discovered and described.
       In general Aquilolamna had a long round body,‭ ‬wide mouth and large pectoral fins.‭ ‬Pectoral fins are basically like hydrofoils and large fins are commonly seen in fast swimming fish.‭ ‬It is uncertain though if Aquilolamna was a fast swimmer,‭ ‬it could just as likely be that the enlarged pectoral fins allowed for energy efficient swimming,‭ ‬a real bonus if Aquilolamna was a planktonic filter feeder as is popularly thought.‭ ‬Many sharks,‭ ‬rays and other types of fish are known to be dedicated plankton feeders,‭ ‬and the evolution of Aquilolamna does seem to be convergent with these in terms of ecological niche.‭ ‬The late Cretaceous seas however were‭ ‬dangerous places with other larger sharks and mosasaurs possibly being predators of Aquilolamna.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Manta-like planktivorous sharks in Late Cretaceous oceans.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Science.‭ ‬371‭ (‬6535‭)‬:‭ ‬1253‭–‬1256.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Romain Vullo,‭ ‬Eberhard Frey,‭ ‬Christina Ifrim,‭ ‬Margarito A.‭ ‬González González,‭ ‬Eva S.‭ ‬Stinnesbeck & Wolfgang Stinnesbeck‭ ‬-‭ ‬2021.



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