This is a wonderfully preserved specimen of one of the uncommon
species from the Solnhofen Limestone. Caturus was a predator as
evidenced by it’s mouth full of sharp teeth. It was a notable
fast swimmer. This genus was a member of the extinct Halecomorpha
family Caturidae. Once a diverse major group of bony fishes, the
Halecomorpha have only one suviving member, the bowfin (Amia calva)
of eastern North America. Living bowfins are remarkably hardy since
they have a swim bladder that opens into their esophagus so they
can gulp air, and hence survive in water with low oxygen.
the excellent preservation of the head, scaly skin and the fins.
Especially of interest is the arm-like pelvic fin. The caudal, or,
tail-fin has been reconstructed. Otherwise, there has been no other
enhancement or reconstruction to this specimen.
unusual aspect of this specimen is the Specific Solnhofen quarry
from which it was excavated. Generally fossils from the well-known
quarries have little color, and many are enhanced to show better.
This specimen is a deep sweet chocolate color which is totally natural,
and uniquely found at this quarry site and the hall mark of its
fame. Very few specimens from this quarry have been available to
the public, especially in the USA. Fossils from the Plattenkalk
Formation at Painten are also some 9 million years older than those
from the traditional Solnhofen Limestone sites.
see: Solnhofen Fossils