Extraordinary Atractosteus strausi Messel Gar Fish Fossil

Exquisite Messel Soft Tissue Preservation

Atractosteus strausi

(Leidy 1873)

Class Actinopterygii, Order Lepisosteiformes, Family Lepisosteidae

Geological Time: Middle Eocene, Lutetian ~ 50 mya

Size: The gar fossil fish is 12” (one foot) in length on a 6 x 16 ¼” resin plate

Fossil Site: Messel Pit, Darmstadt, Germany

Fossil Code: PFF468

Price: $1950.00

Atractosteus Messel GarDescription: The Messel Quarry is famous for the life-like preservation of the fossils found. This Atractosteus strausi is no exception. The primitive look and thick rhomboid diamond shaped scales of gars gives them an undeniable cache and unique visual appeal. They were, and still are, stealthy predators whose scaly armor provides excellent protection. This specimen about as good as it gets, exhibiting remarkable soft tissue Modern Gar Fishpreservation. The Messel Pit was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site on the 9th of December 1995. Significant scientific discoveries are still being made there. Commercial Exquisite Messel Soft Tissue Preservationcollecting is prohibited. Any fossils from there, including this offering, were collected years before the prohibition.

These 50 million year old 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, including the detailed scales. 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.

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