Awesome Viper Fish Fossil Predator and Prey

RARE Shrimp within Eurypholis Viper Fish

Carpopenaeus sp. (shrimp) within Eurypholis boissieri (Viper Fish)

Geological Time: Eocene

Size: Eurypholis fish fossil: 135 mm, Carpopenaeus shrimp fossil: 45 mm (curve measure)

Fossil Site: Lebanese Lagerstatte, Haqel, Lebanon

Viper Fish FossilDescription: Eurypholis is betrayed as a predator by its wide gape and needle sharp teeth, allowing it to easily engulf smaller prey fish. The flanks carry a line of large bony scales, readily visible in the accompanying photos. This genus went extinct by the Upper Cretaceous. The shrimp is a member of the genus Carpopenaeus, a commonly-seen fossil from the region. The shrimp may have been too much for the Eurypholis to handle, leading to the death of the predator. This is a variant of my favorite fish plaque: The 4 m long Xiphactinus with a 2 m Gillicus in its stomach to be seen as the fantastic “fish-within-a-fish” at the Sternberg Museum in Hays, Kansas.

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