Superb Jurassic Fossil Fish Death Assemblage

Coccolepis australis

Palaeonisciformes, Coccolepidae

Leptolepis talbragarensis

Leptolepiformes, Leptolepididae

Geological Time: Early Middle Jurassic

Size: Coccolepis fish fossil is 130 mm, Leptolepis fish fossil is 40 mm (tip of nose to tip of tail along backbone)

Fossil Site: Purlawaugh Formation, Merrygoen Ironstone, Talbragar Fish Beds, Farrs Hill, Glugong, New South Wales, Australia

Leptolepis talbragarensisThis fossil comes the most famous mass kill site in Australia, the Talbragar Fish Beds. Like the much younger Green River Formation deposits, large numbers of specimens that evidently died contemporaneously have been found. The ironstone has preserved all the details of the structure of the fish with remarkable fidelity. The larger fish is Coccolepis australis, one of the last Palaeoniscid fishes, while the smaller is Leptolepis talbragarensis. The genus already shows all the characteristics of the true bony fishes, and may represent the early stages of the developmental route towards herrings of the Clupeiformes, the Order to which Knightia belongs. Notice there are several leaves of the Kauri Pine Agathis.

Also see: Mesozoic Fish Fossils

click to enlarge fossil pictures

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