Physical appearance and biologyEdit
Behaviour and traitsEdit
Stethacanthus was a predator; but its relatively small size would have restricted its diet to small fish, cephalopods and perhaps some types of arthropod, such as trilobites. It would have been capable of swimming at moderately fast speeds, and would have hunted by chasing small fish or grabbing animals from the seabed, as many modern reef sharks do.
The most obvious feature on Stethacanthus is its strange-shaped dorsal fin, which has a wide, flattened top covered in hundreds of rough, tooth-shaped scales. A patch of the same rough scales was also found on the top of its head.
Only males had this strange-shaped fin, which means that it probably played a role in mating, possibly as part of a courtship display or to intimidate rivals. However, it has also been suggested that when viewed from certain angles the fin and the rough-shaped scales could make Stethacanthus look as though it had a gigantic, tooth-laden mouth. This might have served to scare off potential predators. Nonetheless, even though Stethacanthus was a reasonable-sized shark for its time, it would have stood little chance if confronted by some of the giant placoderms like Dunkleosteus and large fish like Hyneria with which it shared the seas.
Behind the scenesEdit
List of appearancesEdit
- Sea Monsters
- 101. Dangerous Seas
- Walking with Monsters
- 101. Water Dwellers
- Sea Monsters book
- The Complete Guide to Prehistoric Life