ancient fish had real bite
Scientists studying fossilised fish have discovered what they believe to be the earliest-known flesh-eating fish. The petrified Piranha-like species was found in Southern Germany and lived around 150 million years ago. It’s thought it fed on the fins and flesh of living fish, as well as the carcasses of dead ones, and injuries on other fossilised fish of the same age from the same location appear to confirm this.
Until this fossil was found, predatory bony fish from this far back were thought to largely feed on invertebrates, or by swallowing prey whole. However, grabbing chunks of fin from living fish without killing them in the manner of many modern Piranha is an efficient way of feeding without destroying your food resource as their fins regrow.
What was especially unusual about the newly discovered predator is that it comes from an ancient group known as the Pycnodontids, which are known for their rounded, flattened crushing teeth, not fearsome flesh-tearing dentition.
A fossilised and extinct Pycnodontid fish.