The Amazing Atopodentatus unicus for Fossil Friday

By |2024-05-12T09:26:06+01:00December 4th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Atopodentatus unicus for Fossil Friday

Aware of the hastag “#FossilFriday”, it seems appropriate that we should post up a picture of a fossil on Friday, as we approach the busiest time of year for the packing and despatching of models and figures that have been inspired by the fossil record.  Team members at Everything Dinosaur have chosen to post up a photograph of the bizarre, marine reptile, known from the Middle Triassic of south-western China called Atopodentatus.  It seems appropriate that with all the amazing fossils that are in museum collections around the world, we should post a photograph of one of the strangest Mesozoic vertebrates known to science.

The Fossilised Remains of Atopodentatus unicus

Atopodentatus fossils.
Bizarre Triassic marine reptile!   The beautifully preserved and articulated remains of Atopodentatus unicus from Yunnan Province in south-western China.  Note the close-up view of the strange skull and jaws, that were originally interpretated as being a zipper-like feeding apparatus.  Further fossil discoveries made two years after the initial description of this marine reptile, revealed that Atopodentatus had jaws shaped like a hammerhead.

Picture credit: Long Cheng/Wuhan Institute of Geology and Mineral Resources


Scale bar in main photograph equals 20 centimetres, scale bar for close-up of skull equals 3 centimetres.

Named in 2014 (Long Cheng et al), Atopodentatus had jaws shaped like a hammerhead, superficially similar to that seen in an extant Hammerhead shark.  Unlike the shark, Atopodentatus is believed to have been herbivorous.  It used its comb-like teeth to rasp away at rocks, feeding on algae and seaweed.

When the scientific paper was published, it was noted that Atopodentatus represents the oldest known record of herbivory within marine reptiles.

Chinese model and figure manufacturers PNSO will be introducing a mid-size replica of this strange animal.  This figure will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in a few weeks (estimated to be in stock by the end of December 2020).  It is great to see PNSO adding a second replica of the bizarre Atopodentatus to their model range.

PNSO Have Made Another Model of the Strange Chinese Marine Reptile Atopodentatus (A. unicus)

PNSO Zewail the Atopodentatus model.
PNSO Zewail the Atopodentatus marine reptile model.  This figure, along with numerous other PNSO mid-size models will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur very soon (late December 2020).  The model displays that unique jaw structure which is unknown in any other reptile.

It therefore seems appropriate to post up pictures of the Middle Triassic record-breaker Atopodentatus unicus for Fossil Friday.

To view the range of PNSO prehistoric animal models and figures in stock at Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Models and Figures.

The user-friendly Everything Dinosaur website: Dinosaur Models and Toys.