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Temporal range: Serpukhovian
Thrinacoselache gracia.jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Family: Thrinacodontidae
Grogan & Lund, 2008
  • T. graciaGrogan & Lund, 2008
  • T. ferox(Turner, 1982)
  • Thrinacodus feroxTurner, 1982

Thrinacoselache is an extinct genus of basal elasmobranch from the Serpukhovian-aged lagerstatte, Bear Gulch, of what is now Montana. [1]

Elasmobranchii subclass of fishes

Elasmobranchii is a subclass of Chondrichthyes or cartilaginous fish, including the sharks and the rays, skates, and sawfish. Members of this subclass are characterised by having five to seven pairs of gill clefts opening individually to the exterior, rigid dorsal fins and small placoid scales on the skin. The teeth are in several series; the upper jaw is not fused to the cranium, and the lower jaw is articulated with the upper. The details of this jaw anatomy vary between species, and help distinguish the different elasmobranch clades. The pelvic fins in males are modified to create claspers for the transfer of sperm. There is no swim bladder; instead, these fish maintain buoyancy with large livers rich in oil.

The Serpukhovian is in the ICS geologic timescale the uppermost stage or youngest age of the Mississippian, the lower subsystem of the Carboniferous. The Serpukhovian age lasted from 330.9 Ma to 323.2 Ma. It is preceded by the Visean and is followed by the Bashkirian.

Montana State of the United States of America

Montana is a state in the Northwestern United States. Montana has several nicknames, although none are official, including "Big Sky Country" and "The Treasure State", and slogans that include "Land of the Shining Mountains" and more recently "The Last Best Place".

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Western Montana

Western Montana is the western region of the U.S. state of Montana. The most restrictive definition limits western Montana only to the parts of the state west of the Continental Divide. Other common definitions add in the mountainous areas east of the divide including Beaverhead, Gallatin, Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, Madison, and Park Counties. The region is sometimes considered to be part of the Inland Northwest.

Mann Gulch fire

The Mann Gulch fire was a wildfire reported on August 5, 1949 in a gulch located along the upper Missouri River in the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness, Helena National Forest, in the U.S. state of Montana. A team of 15 smokejumpers parachuted into the area on the afternoon of August 5, 1949 to fight the fire, rendezvousing with a former smokejumper who was employed as a fire guard at the nearby campground. As the team approached the fire to begin fighting it, unexpected high winds caused the fire to suddenly expand, cutting off the men's route and forcing them back uphill. During the next few minutes, a "blow-up" of the fire covered 3,000 acres (1,200 ha) in ten minutes, claiming the lives of 13 firefighters, including 12 of the smokejumpers. Only three of the smokejumpers survived. The fire would continue for five more days before being controlled.

<i>Stethacanthus</i> genus of fishes (fossil)

Stethacanthus is an extinct genus of shark-like Holocephalian which lived from the Late Devonian to Early Carboniferous epoch, dying out around 323.2 million years ago. Fossils have been found in Asia, Europe and North America.

Alder Gulch valley in Montana, United States of America

Alder Gulch is a place in the Ruby River valley, in the U.S. state of Montana, where gold was discovered on May 26, 1863, by William Fairweather and a group of men including Barney Hughes, Thomas Cover, Henry Rodgers, Henry Edgar and Bill Sweeney who were returning to the gold fields of Grasshopper Creek, Bannack, Montana. They were on their way to Yellowstone Country from Bannack but were waylaid by a band of Crow Indians. After being ordered out of Crow hunting grounds, they crossed the East Slope of the Tobacco Root Mountains and camped for the night in Elk Park, where William "Bill" Fairweather and Henry Edgar discovered gold, while the remaining party was out hunting for meat. Agreeing to keep the new discovery quiet the group of miners returned to the town of Bannack for supplies. However, word leaked out about the new strike, and miners followed the Fairweather party out of town. The party stopped at the Point of Rocks, part way between Bannack and Alder Gulch, and established the Fairweather Mining District in a miners meeting. It was agreed that the discoverers were entitled to two claims and first choice. The first stampede of miners reached Alder Gulch June 6, 1863, and the population swelled to over 10,000 in less than 3 months. The "Fourteen Mile City" ran the length of the gulch, and included the towns of Junction City, Adobe Town, Nevada City, Central City, Virginia City, Montana, Bear Town, Highland, Pine Grove French Town, Hungry Hollow, and Summit. Upon arrival the miners lived in brush wickiups, dugouts and under overhanging rocks until cabins could be built. The first structure built in Virginia City was the Mechanical Bakery. Virginia City, and Nevada City were the centers of commerce during the height of the Alder Gulch gold rush. In the first year the area had over 10,000 people living there. Montana Territory was established in May 1864, and the first territorial capital was Bannock. The capital then moved to Virginia City, where it remained until 1875. The Alder Gulch diggings were the richest gold placer deposits ever discovered, and in three years $30,000,000 was taken from them, with $10,000,000 taken out in the first year. Nowadays, except during summertime, the streets of Virginia City are usually quiet and relatively few visitors find their way to the 16 ton granite monument that marks the spot of that incredible discovery of May 26, 1863.

<i>Belantsea</i> genus of fishes (fossil)

Belantsea is a genus of extinct petalodontid cartilaginous fish that lived during the Lower Carboniferous, about 350 million years ago. Its fossils are found in the Bear Gulch Limestone lagerstätte. Its body was leaf-shaped, with muscular fins and a small tail. Such a body plan would allow for great maneuverability, but at the cost of speedy cruising. Its few, large, triangular teeth formed a beak-like arrangement that allowed it to graze bryozoans, sponges, crinoids, and other encrusting animals. The genus contains two species, B. montana and B. occidentalis.

Symmoriida order of fishes (fossil)

Symmoriida is an extinct order of holocephalians that contains three families. It was synonymized subjectively with Cladodontida by Lund (1986); it was corrected as Symmoriiformes by Maisey (2008). It was assigned to Cladoselachii by Goto et al. (1988); to Elasmobranchii by Williams (1998), and to Chondrichthyes by Sepkoski in 2002 and by Maisey in 2008. In the fossil record, they appear at the beginning of the Carboniferous. Most of them died out at the start of the Permian; however, a single tooth described by Guinot et al. (2013) from the Valanginian of France indicates that members of the family Falcatidae might have survived until the Early Cretaceous.

<i>Falcatus</i> genus of fishes (fossil)

Falcatus is an extinct genus of Falcatidae which lived during the early Carboniferous Period in Bear Gulch bay and what is now Montana.

Stethacanthidae family of fishes (fossil)

Stethacanthidae is an extinct family of prehistoric holocephalians. It is estimated to have existed approximately between 380 and 300 million years ago. Members of this family are noted for their peculiar dorsal fin.

<i>Delphyodontos</i> species of fish

Delphyodontos dacriformes is a prehistoric holocephalid fish from the middle Carboniferous-aged Bear Gulch Limestone Lagerstätte, during the Bashkirian Stage in Montana. The adult form is unknown, as the only fossil specimens are of aborted fetuses or recently born young. Sharp teeth and fecal matter in the fossils suggests that Delphyodontos practiced intrauterine cannibalism, like some modern sharks, such as sand tiger sharks.

<i>Harpagofututor</i> genus of fishes

Harpagofututor is an extinct genus of cartilaginous fish from the Mississippian of North America.

<i>Allenypterus</i> species of fish (fossil)

Allenypterus is a genus of a prehistoric lobe-finned fish which lived during the Bashkirian stage of the Late Carboniferous period, 318 million years ago). Fossils have been discovered in Bear Gulch Limestone, Montana, USA.

Netsepoye is an extinct genus of cartilaginous fish distantly related to the modern order Chimaeriformes, containing the single species Netspoye hawesi. It lived more than 320 million years ago during the Late Mississippian.

Siksika ottae is an extinct prehistoric cartilaginous fish, lived during the Upper Mississippian. It has been discovered at the well known, Carboniferous-aged Bear Gulch Formation. It is known primarily from fossil teeth, but also from partial neurocranium and mandibles which hint a close relationship to coeval petalodontiform sharks Janassa and Netsepoye. Dentition is generally heterodont.

<i>Caridosuctor</i> species of fish (fossil)

Caridosuctor populosum is an extinct species of coelacanth that lived during the Carboniferous period. Fossils have been found in the Bear Gulch lagerstätte in Montana.

<i>Echinochimaera</i> genus of fishes

Echinochimaera is an extinct genus of fish, it was assigned to the order chimaera by Jack Sepkoski in 2002. The genus' name derives from the Greek εχινό (echino) meaning spiny, and chimaera.

Aeschronectida is an extinct order of mantis shrimp-like crustaceans which lived in the Mississippian subperiod in what is now Montana.

Confederate Gulch and Diamond City

Confederate Gulch is a steeply incised gulch or valley on the west-facing slopes of the Big Belt Mountains in the U.S. state of Montana. Its small stream drains westward into Canyon Ferry Lake, on the upper Missouri River near present-day Townsend, Montana. In 1864, Confederate soldiers on parole during the American Civil War made a minor gold discovery in the gulch, but the discovery of the sensationally rich Montana Bar the following year—one of the richest placer strikes per acre ever made—led to other rich gold strikes up and down the gulch, and touched off a frantic boom period of placer gold mining in the area that extended through 1869. From 1866 to 1869, the gulch equaled or outstripped all other mining camps in the Montana Territory in gold production, producing an estimated $19–30 million worth of gold. For a time, Confederate Gulch was the largest community in Montana. In 1866, Montana had a total population of 28,000, and of these, about 10,000 (35%) were working in Confederate Gulch.

Montana Vigilantes

The history of vigilante justice and the Montana Vigilantes began in 1863 in what was at the time a remote part of eastern Idaho Territory. Vigilante activities continued, although somewhat sporadically, through the Montana Territorial period until the territory became the state of Montana on November 8, 1889. Vigilantism arose because territorial law enforcement and the courts had very little power in the remote mining camps during the territorial period.

Hardistiella montanensis is a fossil fish and extinct species of lamprey found at the Bear Gulch Limestone site in the U.S. state of Montana.


  1. Grogan, Eileen D.; Lund, Richard (2008). "A basal elasmobranch, Thrinacoselache gracia n. gen and sp., (Thrinacodontidae, new family) from the Bear Gulch Limestone, Serpukhovian of Montana, USA". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 28 (4): 970–988. doi:10.1671/0272-4634-28.4.970.