Predatory fish of North American
Jason Downs (left) and Ted Daeschler with the fossil skull of Laccognathus embryi, a large predatory fish that lived 375 million years ago.
Credit: C. Frederick Mullison/ANSP
The team discovered the 375-million-year-old fish fossil on Ellesmere Island in the remote Nunavut Territory of Arctic Canada, though back then conditions would have been subtropical, the researchers said.
In the past, the researchers also discovered Tiktaalik roseae, a transitional animal considered a "missing link" between fish and the earliest limbed animals, side-by-side with L. embryi at the same site. That suggests the two lived side-by-side as well, the researchers speculate.
"Both are predators, and there is certainly a possibility that they competed for prey, " Downs said. "It is also possible that they lived at different depths or even employed different feeding strategies that would have enabled them to establish unique feeding niches in these environments."
Though the team discovered the first L. embryi fossil some 10 years ago, they only recently described the species in the current issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, after several seasons of collecting additional samples from the field and analyzing them.
"This study is the culmination of a lot of work in the field, in the fossil lab, and in the office, " Downs said.
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Impact of spear fishing on the abundance of large predatory coral reef fishes
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You never could eat more than a couple servings2008-01-25 09:32:19 by iamlucky13
Predatory fish, being near the top of their food chain, naturally tend to accumulate mercury. The levels haven't changed, but our understanding of the risks has, hence the advisories to limit fish intake to a couple servings per week.
I'm not saying coal is all peachy and dandy, and I understand there is some significant mess from old, dirty coal plants in the NE, but it's not really as bad as most people make it out to be.
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