Fish Fossils

Fish Fossils
For Sale


Fossil Mall maintains an extensive offering of fossil fishes for sale, including many rare and exotic specimens. Visit these fossil dealer shops currently stocking

Fish Fossils for Sale:

EDCOPE Enterprises Fish Fossils I EDCOPE Enterprises Green River Fish Fossils I Pangaea Fossils

Some of the finest fossil fish in the world come from the Cretaceous Lagerstatte in Lebanon. See a broad selection of these Lebanon Fossil Fish and those from the Bear Gulch Limestone at EDCOPE Enterprises.


 

Taxonomy for Fish Fossils

Subclass Pteraspidomorphi (early jawless fish)
    Class Thelodonti
    Class Anaspida
    (unranked) Cephalaspidomorphi (early jawless fish)
          (unranked) Hyperoartia
                Petromyzontidae (lampreys)
          Class Galeaspida
          Class Pituriaspida
          Class Osteostraci (bony armored jawless fish)
    Infraphylum Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates)
          Class Placodermi (extinct)
          Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
          Class Acanthodii (spiny sharks. extinct)
          Superclass Osteichthyes (bony fish)
                Class Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish)
                Class Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish)
                      Subclass Coelacanthimorpha (coelacanths)
                      Subclass Dipnoi (lungfish)
                      Subclass Tetrapodamorpha

Haikouichthys AgnathanFish comprise a paraphyletic group (containing taxa that are descended from a common ancestor, but not including all taxa descended from the common ancestor), including hagfishes, lampreys, sharks and rays, ray-finned fishes, coelacanths, and lungfishes. More formally, fishes are any non-tetrapod chordates. One widely accepted taxonomy is shown to the right, and some brief descriptions are given below for major groups from which fossils are known.

Haikouella fossil from Chengjiang biotaThe Agnatha are the jawless fish, and the extant varieties are the last survivors of the world's first vertebrate animals. Jawless fishes diverged from other fish during the Cambrian some 500 million years ago, and lack scales, paired fins, and jaws. They instead have a circular toothed outgrowth used to latch on to the side of another fish in order to feed on its blood. Agnatha were prominent among primitive fishes of the early Paleozoic. Haikouichthys and Myllokunmingia are notable agnathans from the Chengjiang biota of China. Another putative agnathid from Chengjiang is Haikouella. The Agnatha larvae are filter feeders, a characteristic that betrays their evolutionary kinship with invertebrate chordates. Many Ordovician, Silurian, and Devonian agnathans were heavily armored with bony, spiked plates. The Ostracoderms were the first armored agnathans, ancesctors of the bony fishes and thus to tetrapods, including humans, beings) that are are known from the middle Ordovician. Agnathans never recovered from a decline during the Devonian.Great White Shark

Coelacanth The Chondrichthyes are the cartilaginous fish having flexible skeleton of cartilage rather than bone. They evolved some 100 million years after the jawless fishes and the sharks, skates, and rays. They have jaws, teeth and scales, and are, in general, effective predators. The teeth of carnivorous sharks are not attached to the jaw, but instead are embedded in the flesh. Shark teeth of many species are constantly replaced and some sharks can lose 30,000 teeth over their lifetime, which is why shark teeth fossils are so abundant. In contrast, cartilagage poorly fossilizes, making the cartilaginous fish fossils relatively uncommon.

Osteichthyes bony fishesThe Osteichthyes are the bony fishes that evolved in conjunction with the cartilaginous fish that are by far the largest group of fishes, have paired fins, dermal scales, numerous vertebrae, and often many teeth. The bony fish (Osteichthyes) can, in turn, be divided into two categories, the lobe-finned fish and the ray-finned fishes. Lobe-finned fishes have muscular fins supported by bones. The lone surviving lobe-finned fishes is the coelacanth. Science believes that terrestrial animals evolved from lobe-finned, rather than ray-finned fishes. Ray-finned fish comprise all other fish with a flexible skeleton made of bone. Osteichthyes are the largest group of vertebrates comprising some 29,000 extant species.


Some fish fossils across geological time:

Female Echinochimaera
Echinochimaera meltoni Paleozoic Fish Fossil from Bear Gulch
Cowralepis mclachlani Devonian Placoderm Armored Fish from Australia
A museum quality Osteolepis fossil fish, an Ancient Tetrapod Ancestor from Devonian Scotland
Exotic Female Echinochimaera meltoni Paleozoic Fish Fossil from Bear Gulch
Exotic Male Echinochimaera meltoni Paleozoic Fish Fossil from Bear Gulch
Flying Fish Fossil
Exotic Cretaceous Exocoetoides Flying Fish Fossil from Lebanese Lagerstätte
Tharsis dubius Fossil Fish
from the Jurassic
Lagerstätte of Solnhofen, Germany
The highly-prized Heliobatis radians Skate (stingray) fossil fish from the Eocene
Green River Formation Lagerstätte of Wyoming
A rare showpiece Notogoneus osculus
from the Eocene
Green River Formation Lagerstätte of Wyoming
Paratriakis curtirostris Cretaceous Shark Fossil
Leptolepides fish fossils mass mortality from the Jurassic
Lagerstätte of Solnhofen, Germany
Nursallia, a new fossil fish species from the Cretaceous
Lagerstätte in Lebanon
Cephalaspid Devonian Agnathan Fossil Fish Assemblage from the Ukraine
Paratriakis curtirostris Cretaceous Shark Fossil from Lebanese Lagerstätte
Bothriolepis canadensis Armored Fish
     
Bothriolepis canadensis Armored Fish
Devonian
Escumiac Bay, Quebec

     

Also see the Fossil Mall Science Section for examples of: Mesozoic Fish Fossils and Paleozoic Fish Fossils