Named By: Zangerl & Case - 1973.
Classification: Chordata, Chondrichthyes, Holocephali, Iniopterygiformes, Iniopterygidae.
Species: I. rushlaui. I. teawhitei.
Known locations: USA, Montana, Ohio.
Time period: Pennsylvanian of the Carboniferous.
Fossil representation: Partial specimens.
a member of the same animal class as the sharks, Iniopteryx
to have been more like a chimaera. Not to be confused with the creature
from Greek mythology, Chimearas are cartilaginous fish that separated
from the sharks about four hundred million years ago and are sometimes
called ghost sharks or ratfish. Iniopteryx
probably had a very similar, if not identical, lifestyle as chimearas
today. As such Iniopteryx would have dwelled near
the bottom, most
probably in very deep water, hunting for crustaceans and invertebrates.
Not only did Iniopteryx have a very robust looking head, it had very specialised spines that rose up from the back of the head. it is uncertain what these spines were for but they would have been equally suited to both defence and display. it is these spines that superficially look like wings rising from the nape of the neck that gave Iniopteryx its name.