Happy Fossil Friday!                 

 

Friday February 19, 2021

Instructor: Arthur Reed, P.G.

 

 

Myliobatoid stingray (tail)

 

Today we have a fossil "stinger" of an unidentified myliobatoid stingray from the Paleocene Midway Group (about 60 million years old) in Wilcox County, Alabama. Like modern stingrays, these bony protrusions located at the base of the tail were used for defense against predators and were likely also covered in venomous slime. The serrations or barbs along the edge of the stinger are directed backward from the tip, ensuring that the stinger would become firmly embedded in the attacker and very difficult to remove. It is important to note that not all modern stingrays have stingers and those that do only use them if they are highly provoked. Scale is in centimeters (2.54cm/inch)

 

Short video by National Geographic

 

 

 

 

Adapted from Geological Survey of Alabama

 

NOTE: Fossil Friday materials will not be included in exams or quizzes.