|1st Species||Xenacanthus atriossis|
|2nd Species||Xenacanthus compressus|
|3rd Species||Xenacanthus decheni|
|4th Species||Xenacanthus denticulatus|
|Time Range||360-202 mya|
|Location||United States of America, Czech Republic, India|
|Name Meaning||Foreign spine|
|Physical Dimensions||1 meter long|
Xenacanthus is a xenacanthid xenacanthid cartilaginous fish from the Late Devonian-Late Triassic of the United States of America, Czech Republic, and India. It was named in 1848 by Heinrich Ernst Beyrich. It was a unique, widespread, and successful shark, fulfilling the very latter by lasting for 3 periods.
Xenacanthus was a unique shark. It was a cartilaginous fish with a long, eel-like body, a small, pointy head with big jaws, a ribbon-like tail fin, and a long spine on its head. Its body would have been covered in scaly skin.
Xenacanthus was a predator, feeding on small fish and crustaceans. Its teeth had a unique V-shape, and were used for getting a hold of struggling prey.
Xenacanthus lived in freshwater rivers, swimming around in search of prey. It swam much like a conger eel, moving its tail from side to side to propel it through the water. The long spine on its head is speculated to have stopped predators like Dimetrodon or Eryops from effortlessly biting its head off, and some may even speculate that it was venomous (like the barb of a stingray). It would have been an ambush predator, floating a meter below the surface, right before gaining a burst of speed to snatch prey.
In popular cultureEdit
Xenacanthus was featured in a special episode of the documentary River Monsters, appearing alongside Xiphactinus, Leedsichthys, Megapiranha, Helicoprion, Dunkleosteus, and Rhizodus as candidates for the most terrifying prehistoric river dweller. During the research about it, it is compared to the alligator gar, mainly as a reminder about its teeth and hunting style.