The Cookie Maker


Palatoquadrate (upper jaw) and hyomandible (lower jaw) of Isistius brasiliensis (Quoy & ?, 1854).

Palatoquadrate (upper jaw) and hyomandible (lower jaw) of the 1m dalatiid squaliform shark, Isistius brasiliensis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1924). Jaw in closed (retracted) and open (protracted) positions. Darker grey indicates the chondrocranium, while lighter grey represents the softer tissues including muscles and skin.

I produced this image above intended to eventually add it to my growing list of “Incredulous Teeth” series of posts, but never fully finished that. The impetus faltered and relative brevity of research on the anatomy of the taxon hampered the hunt for something substantive on the functional use of the jaws. The descriptions and evidence of its passing, however, is rather well-documented, as Ed Yong notes in the link, and it can be gruesome (you tend to survive attacks from these small sharks, but they take a “hockey puck-sized” chunk of you with them).

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