News & Opinion | January 22, 2019 1:00 pm

Prehistoric Shark Discovered Alongside Sue the T. Rex

The ancient killing machine's tiny, triangular teeth inspired its name.

prehistoric shark
A new prehistoric shark has been discovered. The Galagadon nordquistae roamed the earth with Sue, the most famous T. Rex dinosaur to be discovered. (Velizar Simeonovski/Field Museum)

Sue, the most famous and complete set of T. rex bones, wasn’t the only creature encased in rock when researchers discovered her remains in South Dakota. A new prehistoric shark has been discovered in the surrounding rock where Sue was excavated, Smithsonian reports.

Sharks have thrived for millions of years. The killing machines have a fossil record that stretches back about 400 million years. This new species would have thrived along side Sue, in the same world, during the Mesozoic era.

“This shark lived at the same time as Sue the T. rex, it was part of the same world,” Pete Makovicky, the Chicago Field Museum’s curator of dinosaurs and one of the authors of a study about the new species, said in a press statement. “Most of its body wasn’t preserved, because sharks’ skeletons are made of cartilage, but we were able to find its tiny fossilized teeth.”

The teeth that were found were tiny and triangular, resembling the space invaders from the 1981 classic arcade game Galaga for which the species has been named.

The Galagadon nordquistae belonged to the orectolobiformes, or carpet shark, family.

“The new study, including the recognition of the new species, sheds light on the complex evolutionary history of the freshwater system that existed in North America when T. rex roamed the Earth,” Kenshu Shimada, a paleobiologist from DePaul University explained to Smithsonian.