Prehistoric Chainsaw Massacre: Helicoprion
The thought of a man eating, chew-you-up-and-turn-you-into sea poo brand of Great White is frightening enough to keep us out of the ocean during spring break; however, scientists say that the sharks of our time are goldfish in comparison to this fiendish 25-foot chainsaw-toothed, prehistoric killer known as Helicoprion.
Researchers say that this half-ton monstrosity roamed the open seas nearly 270 million years ago, and used its conveyor-belt-like set of chompers to rip prey to shreds, instead of using the bite-and-chew method commonly shown during Shark Week. Yet, it wasn’t until after scientists put together a virtual reconstruction of this beasts jaw that they began to understand the complexities of the saw-like mouth.
The most perplexing question scientists had about this ancient hell-fish is how did it fit its teeth back inside of its mouth after giving its prey the old chainsaw massacre of the sea treatment. What they found was that the creatures teeth rolled back inside of its mouth and fit next to the back joint of the jaw. When it came time to get into kill-mode, all the beast had to do to unleash its aquatic Leatherface is to simply allow its jaw to unfurl and devour.
Fossils of this gargantuan chainsaw fish have been unearthed in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. Incidentally, a Helicoprion exhibit is scheduled to open this summer at the Idaho Museum of Natural History, which will have a thirteen-foot reconstructed version of the sea beast on display.
We think this creature would make one hell of a worldwide nemesis in a new ‘Jaws’ movie. Steven Spielberg, have your people call our people.