Community College (LRCCD)
Geology & Earth Science Instructor: Arthur Reed, P.G.
Happy Fossil Friday!
Friday August 27, 2021
Helicoprion, or “spiral saw”
Happy Fossil Friday! Would you have guessed that this specimen is fossilized fish teeth? It belongs to Helicoprion, or “spiral saw.” Helicoprion had an unusual tooth arrangement in the middle of the lower jaw, where teeth were retained instead of falling out. Many isolated tooth whorls of Helicoprion have been found, such as this specimen, but complete fossil skeletons are unknown. Helicoprion lived around 280 million years ago during the Early Permian; the specimen pictured was collected in the Waterloo Phosphate Mine, near Montpelier, Idaho.
Photo: E. Louis/ ©American Museum of Natural History
Artwork by Ray Troll 2013