Story at a glance

  • The findings were published in a bulletin for the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.
  • The “Godzilla” shark has been named Dracopristis hoffmanorum, or Hoffman’s Dragon Shark.
  • The shark had 12 rows of sharp teeth and two 2.5-foot fin spines.

The “Godzilla” shark whose fossils were found in New Mexico in 2013 has finally been formally named.

Researchers have named the once 6.7-foot shark Dracopristis hoffmanorum, or Hoffman’s Dragon Shark, honoring the Hoffman family, who own the land in the Manzano Mountains where the shark was found.


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Dating back 300-million years, the shark had 12 rows of sharp teeth, though somewhat shorter than the modern shark, and two 2.5-foot fin spines, its appearance leading to it being dubbed the “Godzilla” shark.

“Great for grasping and crushing prey rather than piercing prey,” said John-Paul Hodnett, then a graduate student when he discovered the first fossils of the shark in 2013.

Hodnett published his findings with other researchers in a bulletin for the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, identifying the shark as a new species.


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Published on Apr 20, 2021