Fish – shark

A spiny defence

Primitive sharks like Asteracanthus have hard spines on the leading edge of their dorsal fins (the fins along the top of the body). These were to provide protection from predators; if attacked, the shark would stick up these spines, making it very difficult for the attacking animal to swallow its prey. The Horn Shark, found along the California coastline, does exactly the same thing today.

Find out more on the fish page.

Common name

Fish - shark

Scientific name

Asteracanthus verrucosus

Type

Vertebrates > Fish


Strata

Purbeck Limestone Group, Middle

Time period

Lower Cretaceous

Age

142 million years

Where found

Swanage

Found by

Unknown

Museum

Dorset County Museum, Dorchester

Accession number

DCM.G.06325