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p Z) ( O ' 77- rT D red warn?, Pickaxe Teeth Food, and Swam the A bysses of Ohio Seas ' 25,000,000 Years Ago By W. H. Ballou, ScD American Society of tchthyologlits"and Herpetologlsts. SCIENCE has long been wondering what kind of creature It was that used for food the very peculiar armor-plated fishes that swam the seas some 30,000,000 years ago. Over all the world since life. began every form of life is the "meal ticket" for some other form, or, as old De Morgan put it in his "Budget of Paradoxes," and which, by the way, Dean Swift, para phased: "Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em. And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum. ' And the great fleas themselves, in torn, have greater fleas to go on; 'While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on." And so science knew that the armor plated fish, or ganoids, as they are. caljed, just naturally had to be eaten by something. But they were literally such hard nuts to crack that what it was that could do it has long been .one cf the lesser but none the less tantaliz ing puzzles of science. Everyone knows how nam it Is to break open a turtle. Not even the pow- ertul jaws of the tiger and the lion can do It, and, barring accident, the turtle ', plods on its way with ail the care free, leisurely gait of the spine-protected porcupine. That, to digress a moment, is fthy the turtle can afford to be a slow walker. Every quality we have has been devel oped' by our unwavering disinclination ,to be eaten by something else. Life is 'an active process of constant absorp ' tion. To prevent being absorbed is the one never weary ing aim of all ! creatures. Self preservation i B the first law of .nature, and it Is the law that de veloped the legs of the giraffe, the hide of the rhl .noceros, and, among ot her things, the shell of the turtle. The antelope couldn't grow a shell, so It had to specialize in speed to get away from things that wanted to eat It The turtle could grow a shell and so didn't have to bother about speed. Man grew and grows his brains for the same purpose, using them, to create both speed, as in automobiles and flying ma chines, and shells, such as houses, ships, tanks, et j. The ganoid, obeying this same law, en tirely encased itself in a coat of mail, much thicker and harder and tougher than that of any turtle ot to-day. It also had speed. What, science kept wondering, could have cracked it for a primeval' entree, and what on earth was the equipment or whatever it was that could do it? The discovery of a fossil jawbone out In Ohio, a sis-foot jawbone, a. jawbone equipped with broadases and picks in lieu of teeth and, without question, the weird est jawbone ever found, has answered the problem at last. The creature that preyed on the armor plated fish was the strangest fish, and at the same time the hugest and most terrible fish, that ever swam. Actually, it was not a fish at all, because It had no backbone. It represented the last and biggest 'crea ture to exist before backbones or vertebrae evolved. It was the first true carnivore, with all other existing water creatures its prey Backbones undoubtedly came about at last partly to keep It from eating the seas up clean. At any rate, it backbones hadn't appeared about this time there would be no scientists to-day to ponder over the fossil jaw, because the ancestors of man, which were swimming about in the same waters at that time would all have passed through that jaw and Its kin ages ago before it became a fossil. At the American Museum of Natural '2 to Crack His Armor-Plated . 5J- i-- 's ASIde View of the Lower History, New York, preparations are under nay to restore as in life this ancient monster, which has been named Titan lchthys clarkll. A literal translation would be "terrible fish." Professor Henry F. Osborn, president of the museum, says of the entire group In "The Orrgln and Evolution LIfe"i "In the fresh water deposits of the lower Devonian age there have been discovered the ancestors of heavily armored fishes, known as the Artbrodlra, a group of un certain relationships. .They had a jointed neck (that is, a hinge connecting the head with the body), dermal (skin) Jaws, cara pace and plastron (meaning armor plates, etc.). Some authorities regard them as aberrant (a departure from true form) lung flsbes. Others hare different views. They attained formidable size. They were not central in the main lines ot fish evolu- tion, but represent collateral lines." There is no evidence, no bones to, show that these monsters bad either fins or pad dles, or even a On on the end of the tall. The tail Is believed by some to have been long and tapering. In place of- backbone they had a "notochord," largely of cartil age. To protect their boneless bodies they were provided with heavy armor plates. " -aPK'. BWr5C,viivj(i--!5i wu!SssKseBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBS lw ilSX: ' Ifll The Fossil Slndl of Titsniehthys, 56 laches Broad and 8 Feet Long, Show LsssF iRd ." " ing the Terrible Pickaxe or Sheer Teeth. end Tusks. The Teeth Were UsK 4SsaJ '" " 22 Feet Long end Wojked like Pair of Shears, the Monster Having K "BtCV ' ' " No Neclc The Skull Restoration b by Major Beshmoro Dean, U. S. A W&Js" aBrmNl' ' " ' " '. in the American v i v-- ' SseeeV iv. - -"t' """?. Natural Hutory. flJgBI Vfc .gKvT5 " N -American tfiGseB5F Hf -"s-aSv b- -Sg?-' ' -esesesesstaev "- " vS!V ',W -sSrMeBBBeBBBBBBKLsRBBSSaW TsSaBelsSSSSSSSSSSSSeeBV v&, sStKEtYiSriJttLGxffp' '""" jnCfcifieW eeefi jjTsss wMufcy , jyi sssssssssssssssass.(s!fit7 KsesssS3ew St9:-. &'? tv hfefl.tafi' --eir 5aiP fn BHR Ve BrV 'NSe&i&c ftTfaW W flxli'AiZ&Jf&ii WteBBBB IeV M eIS Ra vz S1- LsessseBBtEPsPM'Eeap- &9efleE?iBS)BeeeeeeeeeeeesRBeeeeeeBeeeeeHHSS CfHse Jawbone Showing the Blade Pick and Saw Teeth Which Cracked and the Armor-Plated Fish. As their prey and enemies were likewise heavily armored, particularly the primor dial sharks, TItanlchthys specialized In the huge, powerful and sharp shear, or broad axe, teeth, .terminating In front with the gigantic Ice-pick shaped tusks. Of all Its forms, TItanlchthys was the longest, most gigantic and most whale llko In slzo and proportions. Tho ossll bonew in the American Museum indicate an animal thirty feet long, which in turn, always Indicates the existence ot longer and larger specimens ot fifty or more feet In length 'Having neither fins nor paddles, tho monster must have plunged through tho water by means of Its long, tapering tall and soft, sinuous body, at express train speed Snakes swim rapidly and readily enough without fins or paddles, and out swim fishes which they capture. So TItanlchthys was not the least impeded by the absence of swimming appendages, but was able to dash'after, catch and snap cleanly through the armor of his victim with his huge, heavy and sharp shear teeth. With his tusks be could then readily dig out the meat enclosed within the armor plate, as a turtle's meat Is enclosed in Its shell. There Is already In the American Museum, a model in plaster of one of the Copyright, 1918, by the Star Company. rUankhthr-rtb Monster ol 25,000,000 Years Ao That Ured on Armor Plated Fishes. He Wes Fifty Feet Lonf and , ' ' Had Hot Blades for Teeth and Hera Mr. Enrin Christian, of ttie.Aweririn Masenm ol Na tural History, New York, Has Shown H&n, Just as Science Has Keconstrncted Him, Pur subig One of His Teh Feet Lony, Hard V SheHed morseis. lesser types, Dlnlchthys lntermedlus, some eight or ten feet long, similarly equipped with shear teeth of lesser dimensions. From this model by Hussakof and Horter! It Is possible to erect In words, a fair con ception of TItanlchthys, a monster so terrible that the world was fortunate in being woll rid of him beforo the present types of animals evolved. The principal perplexity of science, after the Jaw was found, was to determine how TitanichthyB worked it. Inside were the six teeth, tho largest ever seen on earth. Now, have you ever noted a laborer's axe plck? It has a broad blade like a broad axe, terminating In front with a heavy pick. Titan's big teeth were somewhat like that The two In the lower jaw had each an axe and pick in one solid piece. In the upper jaw each axe and pick were separate, making four teeth above to two below.i Scientists, ot course, call the "picks' tusks and the "axes" cutting 1 ides or shear teeth. Then again, the beast had no facial muscles to move the teeth, such as humans and other modern animals have When a scheme was finally worked out as to how Titan used his jaws and teeth, Mr Horter made a model head of paper, easily working the jaws as the animal must have done by merely pulling Great Britain Itlehts Reserved. l!itliWseLa Bs3iSBeBBes9ePlV rism9seBB?B9B9BBBseBv99eBsHJaBeK "-Mm jJiBMrB3jBMMBMBaTWaCi- - - & A Scientific Recosutructiea of the Gigaatic .Month of Titanichthy with HU Ahsert IsWfedifely Powerful "Teeth" deduce many of the mlaslnC parts is- the a string precisely as.you'operate a jumping Jack. According to Dr. Louis Hussa kof these mon sters Inhabited most ot the waters of Europe and America. He says: "The fossil skeletons occur In the Devo . nisn rocks ot both Europe and North America. They appeared much earlier In the former than the latter. The forms were more diverse la Europe than here. The facts Indicate that the wave ot migra tion was westward, with strong support of geological evidence. It M generally recog nized that toward the close of the Silurian age and well into the Devonian age, a channel extended across the Atlan tic region be tween Europe and North Amer ica. This chan nel was tie route ot migration. "Although the sea became closed later, the Arth rodlra continued their evolution, ary specialization in their respec tive spheres. We can perhaps find a reason for the extinction of TI tanlchthys and his fellows in the great Increase In number of species and individuals which Is evi denced by the rel ative abundance of remains In such a restricted area as Ohio, and to the increased struggle for food. "Added to this we must take In Masticated to consideration the competition of sharks which just then were usurping the supremacy of the seas. Among the sharks of the period there wus a tendency to evolve 'crushing or grinding, in place of piercing, teeth which bad distinguished them in the Devonian Age. The conse quence was a rapid decrease of prey. The fharks which acquired crushing or grind ing teeth finally monopolized the waters. Some of the Placoderms commenced to specialize In such teeth, but. too late. The prey had been devoured fcy new types of sharks which wph able lo survive. hlle tho Placoderms periBhed. , The Placoderms In general had solid ropfed skulls, with few openings. TItan lchthys had two openings for his very large eyes. He had two small holes well for ward on the snout for nostrils. There was a very minute hole on the top of his skull In primitive animals, such an open ing is indicative ot the third, or pineal eye. In many early reptiles, the pineal stalk ended in this third eye. It has shrunk to a vestige in mammals and man himself." Ancestral to tho Placoderms was a more primitive type called Coccosteus. of which perfect skeletons have been found. From these fossils, Hussakof has been able to skeletons ot TItanlchthys, Dlnlchthys and the other monsters. We may Imagine, then, TItanlchthys M a gigantic monster, tome fifty feet Ions, with whale-like- body heavily armored, taperinc down In the1 tail section to a small point. HU huge jaws opened six or more' feet wide and high. Along the crest of his back were bristling spines, seen million of years later In the. MosasaurTtnd to-day in certain Ashes and reptiles. These spines were not solely "scare organs." to be erected, when In battle, but added much to his protection from rear attacks ot sharks and fellow Placoderms We see the same action in the mod era dog, its back hair arising crest like when about to growl or bark. Whether TItanlchthys was ances tral or not to later animals, it Is ap parent that many of his functions re appeared as parallels and were handed down through every succeed ing generation. To my mind, his ex tinction was due more to the absence of a neck than any other feature. The neck plays the most Important part la the high types of creatures ot to-day. The section of modern vertebra extending into the neck has seven hones so joined as to make the neck movable and graceful. Without a neck TItanlchthys could havo no glands to promote his growth, nor saliva to lubri cate his. food for swallowing. He grabbed his food and threw it directly Into his stomach , thereby losing the enjoyment given the modern' spenders, who seize a table by the restaurant window and eat slowly 40 as to bold it conspicuously for hours. In Devonian times of 25,000.000 years sgo a sort of Sargasso Sea seems to have covered the territory from northwestern New York, Ohio, Wisconsin. Michigan, parts of Kentucky, Iowa and the region of" the Great Lakes. The Ohio section must have .had abysmal depths, as it contained numerous monsters, the remains of which have not been found elsewhere on the con tinent The massive layers of shales Huron, Erie and Cleveland shales de posited are 2,600 feet thick. In these abysses TItanlchthys, Dlnlch thys and related forms reigned supreme near 2,000,000 years. The shales deposited show a high content of carbonaceous ma terial, and hence the resemblance to the Sargasso Sea. According to Williams, the fauna of the. waters included a few generally minute vertebrates, plants, spore cases of rhlzo carps and large fish. "These peculiarities Indicate quiet conditions of sedimentation not enough disturbed by currents or cave motions to affect the smoothness of the sediments on the bottom, and show that the sources of the sediments were at a considerable distance. It Is possible that a coating of the surface of the sea by living vegetation may account for the black character of the sediments," Dr. Husakoff points out the periods in which the successive forms appeared. "In the Huron, the lowest section ot the shales. Is found the fossil remains of Dlnlchthys herzeri. differing In shape but almost as large as the placoderms which followed it This monster, with powerful teeth, did not last long and Is replaced in the higher levels by placoderms with knife like cutting blades in the Jaws, without teeth. What then was the origin of the knife blades? Over In New York State section of the sea about the same time, was the placoderm Dlnlchthys newberryl. with cut ting knife blades. This species entered the Ohio section and replaced Herzeri. Was he ancestral to the two later species. Din lchthys lntermedlus and terrelll and other species of the formation with cutting knife blades? There are not enough remains him yet discovered to show. When we consider that some seven species ot Dlnlchthys are known from the Cleveland shales, and that individuals, considering the limited locality were rela tively abundant we must conclude that competition between the monsters was severe. AH of them finally became ex tinct, leaving no known relatives or de scendants that can as yet. with material so far discovered, be positively traced to .them. As a whole, they appear to stand way off on one side of the main line evollutlon of species. ' !