Sharks tend to be much harder to find preserved in fossil form than their bony dinosaur buddies. Shark cartilage breaks down, which is one reason a spectacular shark fossil found in Bavarian limestone is worthy of celebration. It's big, it's nearly complete and it's a rare window into the sharky side of the Jurassic past.
The shark measured in at 8.2 feet (2.5 meters) long, making it "a giant among Jurassic sharks." The animal was previously known, but not in the kind of detail scientists now have after this fossil find.
"Asteracanthus was scientifically described more than 180 years ago by the Swiss-American naturalist Louis Agassiz on the basis of isolated fossil dorsal fin spines," the university said. "However, articulated skeletal remains have never been found -- until now."