Austalosomus Triassic Fossil Fish from Madagascar

Australosomus merlei

Class Actinopterygii, Subclass Chondrostei, Order Pholidoformes, Family Pholidopleuridae

Geological Time: Early Triassic (~240 m.y.a.)

Size: 68 mm long

Fossil Site: Karroo Formation, Anaborana, Madagascar

Australosomus Triassic Fossil FishDescription: A fine example of a positive negative nodule from the early Triassic of Madagascar containing most of a very detailed fish known as Australosomus merlei. This one is thought to have lain in wait, then shot forward to catch its prey. It has a free maxilla, something that in later fish could swing forward as the fish opened its mouth, forming a “slurp gun”. Specimens such as this are rarely offered, and few are so complete. Notice the teeth, delicate fin rays and regular pattern of the large scales. This one is missing only the caudal fin, a fine example of a genus that went extinct during the middle Triassic. The most interesting aspect of theses nodules is that the two haves are not typical part/counterparts, but each retains the impressions of the opposite sides of the fish.

click fossil pictures to enlarge

l Paleontology & Fossils l Paleobiology and Geologic Timeline l
l Fossil Amber l Ammonite Fossils l Dinosaur and Reptile Fossils l Fossil Kits l
l Crinoids and Echinoderms l Fish Fossils l Fossil Dealers l Insect Fossils l Invertebrate Fossils l
l Plant Fossils l Stromatolites l Trace & Ichnofossils l Trilobite Fossils l Vertebrate Fossils l