Name: Belantsea ‭(‬Named after the legendary ancestor of the Crow Nation‭)‬.
Phonetic: Be-lant-se-ah.
Named By: Lesueur‭ ‬-‭ ‬1818.
Synonyms: Ctenopetalus occidentalis,‭ ‬Ctenoptychius occidentalis.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Chondrichthyes.
Species: B.‭ ‬occidentalis‭ (‬type‭)‬,‭ ‬B.‭ ‬montana.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Up to‭ ‬70‭ ‬centimetres long.
Known locations: USA,‭ ‬including Kansas‭ ‬-‭ ‬Zeandale Limestone Formation,‭ ‬Montana‭ ‬-‭ ‬Heath Formation,‭ ‬and Nebraska.
Time period: Baskirian to Gzhelian of the Carboniferous.
Fossil representation: Almost complete individuals.

       Belantsea would essentially‭ ‬have‭ ‬been the Carboniferous equivalent of a parrotfish.‭ ‬The body was bulky with strong muscular fins,‭ ‬and an underdeveloped tail which all indicate a preference for manoeuvrability over speed.‭ ‬The teeth are triangular and tightly packed to form a dental arrangement similar to a beak which would have easily‭ ‬broken hard exteriors of invertebrates and bryozoans.‭ ‬Altogether,‭ ‬these features suggest that Belantsea was a reef fish that manoeuvred over prey that could not escape by speed,‭ ‬while also possibly hiding amongst rocks to protect itself from other larger predatory fish,‭ ‬including early sharks.

Further reading
-‭ ‬New petalodonts‭ (‬Chondrichthyes‭) ‬from the Upper Mississippian Bear Gulch Limestone ‭(‬Namurian E2b‭) ‬of Montana.-‭ ‬Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology‭ ‬9‭(‬3‭)‬:350-368‭ ‬-‭ ‬Richard Lund‭ ‬-‭ ‬1989.


Random favourites