Rhizodus

Name: Rhizodus ‭(‬Root tooth‭)‬.
Phonetic: Rie-zo-dus.
Named By: Traquair‭ ‬-‭ ‬1836‭?
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Osteichthyes,‭ ‬Sarcopterygii,‭ ‬Tetrapodomorpha,‭ ‬Rhizodontida,‭ ‬Rhizodontidae.
Species: R.‭ ‬gracilis,‭ ‬R.‭ ‬hibberti,‭ ‬R.‭ ‬ornatus.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore.
Size: Possibly as much as‭ ‬6‭ ‬to‭ ‬7‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Ireland‭ (‬Republic of,‭ ‬and Northern‭) ‬and Scotland.
Time period: Bashkirian to Gzhelian of the Carboniferous.
Fossil representation: Several individuals but usually only of partial remains.

       Rhizodus is the type genus of the Rhizodontida,‭ ‬a fairly large group of lobe-finned fishes,‭ ‬many genera of which are known from deposits in Australia.‭ ‬Most remains of Rhizodus however are known from Ireland and Scotland,‭ ‬though some reports suggest that Rhizodus might have also been active in North America as well,‭ ‬something that is plausible given that North‭ ‬America and Europe were not separated by the Atlantic during the Carboniferous.
       Out of all of the rhizodonts,‭ ‬Rhizodus seems to have been the largest of the group.‭ ‬A single jaw of Rhizodus has been measured at just a little under one meter long,‭ ‬indicating that the individual it belonged to would have been six,‭ ‬possibly as much as seven meters long.‭ ‬This means that Rhizodus might have even been just a bit longer than the largest recorded Great White shark (Carcharodon carcharias) which was accurately measured at just a bit over six meters long.‭ ‬The teeth of Rhizodus were also long and fang-like,‭ ‬and as much as twenty-two centimetres long.‭ ‬These teeth and large physical size suggest that Rhizodus were apex predators that hunted other large fish,‭ ‬primitive sharks and probably even temnospondyl amphibians.


More information on the above fish can be found on their corresponding pages; Ceratodus, Chinlea, Dipnorhynchus, Dipterus, Eusthenopteron, Gooloogongia, Griphognathus, Gyroptychius, Holoptychius, Hyneria, Macropoma, Mandageria, Osteolepis, Panderichthys, Rhizodus, Strunius, Tiktaalik (upper estimate).

Further reading
-‭ ‬On the structure of the lower jaw in Rhizodopsis and Rhizodus‭ ‬-‭ ‬R.‭ ‬H.‭ ‬Traquair.



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