Swiss palaeontologists have discovered a fish jaw featuring rows of reserve teeth with a clever rotating replacement system.
The fossil is one of thousands of finds unearthed during excavation work along the A16 motorway near Courtedoux in western Switzerland. Many dinosaur remains have been found there over the years, and the Jurassic Period gets its name from the region’s Jura Mountains.
On Tuesday, the canton Jura authorities released images of the left lower jaw of a 155 million-year-old fish called Scheenstia (Bavarian for beautiful animal). Researchers discovered that each molar had a rotating replacement tooth. They assume that the fish, which is considered a mussel lover, sometimes lost all its teeth at once. The replacement teeth could have been replaced within a few days by turning around in the jawbone.
Canton Jura’s Paléontologie A16external link project wrapped up at the end of June 2019. But that doesn't mean the end of scientifically significant discoveries, as the cantonal chancellery has pointed out. Earlier this month, they found a crushed sea turtle.