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Cladocynodon - Record of a Lost World

First formal description of a vertebrate from the "Batateira Beds" of the Barbalha Formation, Araripe Basin (Lower Cretaceous): Cladocynodon araripensis, a predatory fish approximately 30 cm long. The only earlier record for vertebrates in the environment was probable tracks of sauropod dinosaurs.

Among the unique characters that define this new genus and species, its pair of large "tusks" in the lower jaws is impressive. These hypertrophied fangs appear to be direct extensions of the dentary and lack enamel - i.e., they were not true teeth. The mouth still had true teeth, all much smaller than the pair of fangs.

Cladocynodon is part of the Cladocyclidae family and is the sixth fish of the Ichthyodectiformes order to be found in Brazil, all of them from the Cretaceous and discovered in basins from the Northeast region. The description of this new member increases the diversity of the group and brings reflections about its paleoenvironment, still so little known, and about the coherence in the classification of ichthyodectiforms.

At the invitation and supervision of Alexandre Ribeiro, I had the pleasure of creating the illustration to accompany the article!

Check the link for the full research: