Piscine Pompeii – Upper Jurassic Lycoptera Fossil Fish Death Assemblage

Lycoptera sp.

Class Actinopterygii, Subclass Neopterygii, Infraclass Teleosti, Superorder Osteoglossomorpha, Order Teleocephala, Family Lycopteridae

Geological Time: Upper Jurassic

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): 50-108 mm in length on 308 mm by 198 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Lower Yixian Formation, Liaoning Province, China

LycopteraDescription: The Late Jurassic- Early Cretaceous deposits of Liaoning Province, China are world-renowned for the exceptionally-preserved fossils of feathered dinosaurs, birds, and other examples of vertebrate and invertebrate life found. The fish seen here are members of the Family Lycopteridae. This fantastic aggregation has almost 50 complete and partial specimens. They are of the genus Lycoptera, mostly L. sinensis (the largest is probably L. davidi), and are thought to have been a schooling fish in their freshwater environment. The matrix is consolidated volcanic ash, and affords a clue how this assemblage came to be. In all likelihood, a volcanic eruption overcame this shoal of fish, quickly burying them in place. The depositional environment was such that they were undisturbed during the sedimentation/fossilization process, affording the fine piece seen here. This genus died out at the end of the Jurassic, leaving no descendants.

click fossil fish images 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