Unusual Ichthodecthid Fish Fossil

In Concretion

Ichthyodectiformes indet

Order Ichthyodectiformes

Geological Time: Lower Cretaceous, Turonian Stage (~90 mya)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fish fossil: 170 mm in length by 80 mm high on a 180mm by 120 mm by 65 mm thick matrix

Fossil Site: Goulmima, Morocco

Fossil Code: 15076

Price: $495.00

Description: This unusual fish was a member of the Ichthyodectiformes, a group of predatory fish that arose during the Middle Jurassic. The most famous ichthyodectiforms were the gigantic (5 meters in length) examples from the Late Cretaceous of North America such as Xiphactinus. Its predatory nature was well evidenced by several examples of the species that were preserved with entire prey fish enclosed within the body cavity. My favorite is the famous Fish-Within-A-Fish on display at the Sternberg Museum in Hays, Kansas which has a 2 meter long Gillicus preserved within a 4 meter Xiphactinus. This fine example of an as-yet undescribed member of the Order shows the slender shape of a pursuit predator, and is well-displayed on a large matrix plate that would grace the wall of any private collector or museum. What is most unusual about this specimen is the fact that it is preserved in a concretion, much like contemporaneous fish from Brazil. Like all the icthyodecthids, it went extinct in the terminal Cretaceous extinction event which saw the passing of the non-avian dinosaurs.

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