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Belantsea
Fossil range: Lower Carboniferous
Belantsea montana
Reconstruction of the Lower Carboniferous cartilaginous fish, Belantsea montana, from what is now Bear Gulch, Montana.
Scientific classification

Order:

Petalodontiformes

Family:

Belantseidae

Genus:

Belantsea

Species:

  • B. montana

Belantsea montana (named after a legendary ancestor of the Crow Nation) was a peculiar-looking cartilaginous fish that lived during the Lower Carboniferous. Its fossils are found in the Bear Gulch Limestone lagerstätte. Its body was oddly built, being leaf-shaped, with muscular fins and a small tail.

PaleobiologyEdit

Belantsea montana-640

Belantsea montana from the Bear Gulch Limestone in Montana.

Belantsea had a bodyplan that would allow for great maneuverability, but at the cost of speedy cruising. Its few, large, triangular teeth formed a beak-like arrangement that allowed it to graze bryozoans, sponges, crinoids and other encrusting animals.

B. montana is the best known of a group of bizarre cartilaginous fish known as the "Petalodontiformes".


External linksEdit

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