Fossil shark vertebrae. Fossilised vertebrae (spinal column elements) from ancient sharks. Sharks are predatory fish that first evolved in the Palaeozoic era (245-570 million years ago). They now dominate present-day seas. Few fossilised remains of prehistoric sharks exist because their skeletons were formed of cartilage, a less durable material than bone. Some species are known only from their durable, enamel-coated teeth. Found in Blackheath Beds, Abbey Wood, Kent, UK.
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