About 20 thousand species or 95% of all known fishes belong to the class of ray-finned, which emerged about 400 million years ago, and after another 200 million has undergone the biggest revolution in its history. The diversity of ray-finned fish large, among them there are real sea monsters, but scientists have recently discovered two unusual species, however, are already extinct. Probably even better, because they are distinguished by the presence of large teeth and extremely aggressive.
In 1946, Belgium was found fossilized remains of a strange fish which was called Clupeopsis straeleni. Then in the 1977th in Pakistan found its near relative – Monosmilus chureloides. For a long time the samples were buried in the vaults until recently, a team of paleontologists from the University of Michigan took up their study. They also proved the relationship of the two ancient species, finding that both lived 55 million years ago.
It was dangerous carnivores about a meter long with large sharp teeth, which was supplemented by a single huge, jutted from the upper jaw canine. The only version about its purpose – to pin the prey to get away. Interestingly, both species are related with modern anchovies – a very popular range of commercial fish species, among which there is no predator. And this suggests that a fierce temper and sharp tooth was assisted by the ancient anchovies bad service.
The period of existence of the Sabretooth anchovy is at the beginning of the Paleogene, when the ray-finned fish began to flourish and dominate in the aquatic environment. Between them was a tough competition for a place under the sun, and the fact that small anchovies safely survived until our days, and from the toothy giants were only fossils, clearly indicates that the evolutionary superiority of small non-aggressive fish.
Source — Royal Society Open Science