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What's in a Name?

January 9, 2024

What's in a Name?

That which we call a shark by any other name would still be just as formidable and interesting. (With apologies to Mr. Shakespeare.)

Orthacanthus, a fascinating Paleozoic freshwater shark that looked much like an eel, is highlighted in a new article that has appeared in the journal ZooKeys. For many years, species in this shark genus have been known by a confusing set of names: three different species were all known by the same species name! In this new paper, which is based in part on specimens from the John Strong Newberry collection of Paleozoic fossil fishes in the Orton Geological Museum, this confusing tangle of names has been cleared up. Two shark species that have received new names are from Carboniferous-age (315-307 million-year-old) rocks of eastern Ohio.

Keep watching as new papers on the Orton Museum collections appear in leading scientific journals.