How could an alien creature evolve with a set of multiple mandibles attached to a single maxilla? The mandibles would have different types of teeth, and all jaws would be planar, with some teeth attaching to the middle of the jaw, rather than the edge. The maxilla and braincase (which supports the sensory organs) are jointed, but not fused

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    $\begingroup$ I'm having a hard time picturing this, could you attach a sketch? $\endgroup$
    – rek
    Jun 23, 2021 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ related multiple jaws $\endgroup$ Jun 24, 2021 at 15:08
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    $\begingroup$ Why was this closed? What details could I add that would help in answering this question? $\endgroup$ Jun 24, 2021 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


Once upon a time there was a shark-like creature called Helicoprion

Helicoprion is an extinct genus of shark-like eugeneodont fish. Almost all fossil specimens are of spirally arranged clusters of the individuals' teeth, called "tooth whorls", which in life were embedded in the lower jaw. As with most extinct cartilaginous fish, the skeleton is mostly unknown. Fossils of Helicoprion are known from a 20 million year timespan during the Permian period from the Artinskian stage of the Cisuralian (Early Permian) to the Roadian stage of the Guadalupian (Middle Permian). The closest living relatives of Helicoprion (and other eugeneodonts) are the chimaeras, though their relationship is very distant. The unusual tooth arrangement is thought to have been an adaption for feeding on soft bodied prey, and may have functioned as a deshelling mechanism for hard bodied cephalopods such as nautiloids and ammonoids.

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They seem to be the best candidate to be the progenitor of what you are describing.


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