Edestus (Greek derivation uncertain); pronounced eh-DESS-tuss
Late Carboniferous (300 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
Up to 20 feet long and 1-2 tons
Large size; continuously growing teeth
As is the case with many prehistoric sharks, Edestus is known mainly by its teeth, which have persisted in the fossil record much more reliably than its soft, cartilaginous skeleton. This late Carboniferous predator is represented by five species, the largest of which, Edestus giganteus, was about the size of a modern Great White Shark. The most notable thing about Edestus, though, is that it continually grew but did not shed its teeth, so that old, worn-out rows of choppers protruded out from its mouth in an almost comical fashion--making it difficult to figure out exactly what kind of prey Edestus subsisted on, or even how it managed to bite and swallow!