Messel Amphiperca Fish Fossil
Time: Eocene (~47 Million Years Ago)
mm = 1 inch): Fish fossil is 48 mm in length on a 50 mm by 85 mm resin
Messel Pit, Darmstadt, Germany
This is a fine example of fingerling of a predatory perch from
the oil shale Messel Pit deposits of Darmstadt, Germany, known
as Amphiperca multiformis. This one is exceptionally small, and
I was able to secure it from the person who collected it in the
field many years ago. Specimens have previously been found ranging
from less than 10 cm to 22 cm in length. It is similar in appearance
to the modern day Australian genera Macquaria and Maccullochcella,
but this may only be a consequence of convergence. The Messel
deposits are famous for their exceptionally well-preserved organisms,
some of which have the remains of their last meal preserved within.
Soft tissue preservation is a common event in material from the
pit, and that is seen here in preservation of much of the specimen,.
Due to this fragility of the oil shale, this specimen, like all
from the locality, has been embedded in resin to allow preparation.
The fossil is then flipped over and the matrix removed on the
opposite side. A final coating of resin serves to preserve the
specimen as seen here. See my other offerings for an example
of an adult Amphiperca.
fossil pictures to enlarge