Exquisite Atractosteus Gar Fish Fossil from Messel Pit

Atractosteus strausi

Holostei, Lepisosteiformes, Lepisousteidae

Geological Time: Middle Eocene

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fish Fossil is 245 mm in length on 300 mm by 130 mm resin matrix

Fossil Site: Messel Pit, Darmstadt, Germany (also called Messel Oil Shales)

Code: AW102

Price: Sold

Description: This is a fine example of a gar from the Messel Pit oil shale deposits of Darmstadt, Germany, known as Atractosteus strausi. The genus persists until today, with the Alligator Gar from the southern United States a typical example whose morphology is quite similar to this fossil specimen. While examples from as small as 10 cm to nearly 1 meter are known, most fall between 20-30 cm in length. Gar Fish Living FossilNotice the rhomboid armor-like scales. They are covered in ganoin which gives them a shiny appearance. The Alligator Gar is reputed to be able to turn away small caliber bullets shot at them by hunters. These ~50 million year old deposits are famous for their exceptionally well-preserved organisms, some of which have the remains of their last meal preserved within. Soft tissue preservation is a common event in material from the pit, and that is seen here in preservation of much of the specimen, including the detailed scales. Due to this fragility of the oil shale, this specimen, like all from the locality, has been embedded in resin to allow preparation. The fossil is then flipped over and the matrix removed on the opposite side. A final coating of resin serves to preserve the specimen as seen here. This fine example is offered at a price far lower than one might expect to pay for such a rare specimen.

Fish Fossils for Sale

click to enlarge

Fossil Mall Navigation:
l Home l Fossils for Sale Map l Museum and Rare Fossils l How to Buy Fossils l

Navigate by Fossil Category:
l Trilobites
l Ammonites l Fish Fossils l Invertebrate Fossils l
l Crinoids and Echinoderms l Insect Fossils l Dinosaur and Reptile Fossils l
l Cambrian Explosion Fossils l Plant Fossils l Stromatolites l
l Vertebrate Fossils l Fossil Amber l Trace & Ichnofossils l

l Fossils and Paleotological Science Information l