The wierd and wonderful has to be one of my favourite things in palaeontology and evolution. Today it is the sabretoothed salmon. This 2-3m long fish evolved in the Miocene (12-11 million years ago) and survived until the Pleistocene (2.6 - 0.01 million years ago). Its extinction is still somewhat of a mystery, but it is likely to have been influenced by the extreme climate fluctuations of the Pleistocene. The blog the link goes to has regular updates on the amazing fauna of the Pleistocene and should be a regular site for those interested in the diversity of life!
Almost everyone has heard about sabretooth cats, mostly thanks to the incredibly fun Ice Age movie series with the cool cat, Diego. But it wasn’t the only sabre toothed beastie of the Pleistocene. There was of course, the more unfamiliar British sabretooth, Homotherium. But there was something else….lurking in the waters…. something really, really big. I present to you one of the real oddities of the Pleistocene, Oncorhynchus rastrosus (synomyn Smilodonichthys rastrosus) – the sabre toothed salmon.