This bony fish appears to have been a food choice of a ferocious dinosaur called Baryonyx, as a number of Lepidotes scales and bones have been found in the fossilized stomach area of this dinosaur. It was quite big itself, reaching lengths of up to 6 ft (1.8 m), and it was widespread— fossil remains have been found all over the world.
■ When 199—70 million years ago (Jurassic to Early Cretaceous)
■ Fossil location Worldwide
■ Habitat Lakes of the northern hemisphere
■ Length 6 ft (1.8 m)
Fabulous Lepidotes fossils have been found, with clear skin impressions. Lepidotes had thick, diamond-shaped scales. In life, this fish would have had a glossy appearance, thanks to a hard coating over the scales that reflected light.
Lepidotes had a trick when it came to feeding. It could push out its jaw, in the same way a carp does today, and would then suck in prey such as shellfish. Shells proved no barrier to this fish’s hard, peglike teeth.
DID YOU KNOW…?
Our teeth and the teeth of all vertebrates evolved from the scales of prehistoric fish. The scales of Lepidotes were covered in dentine and coated with enamel, the same material that makes up our teeth. Even the structure of these scales looks similar to human teeth.