Unusual Heteropetalus elegantulus Bear Gulch Shark Fossil

"Part & Counterpart"

Heteropetalus elegantulus

Class Chondrichthyes, Order Petalidontiformes

Geological Time: Mississippian (~320 million years ago)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fish fossil: 105 mm long on a 150 mm by 120 mm and 70 mm long on a 130 mm by 80 mm matrix pair

Fossil Site: Heath Shale Formation, Bear Gulch Limestone, Fergus County, Montana

Fossil Code: BGF748

Price: Sold

Heteropetalus elegantulus Bear Gulch Shark FossilDescription: The Bear Gulch Limestone is a deposit of some 70 square km in extent and 30 m in depth that has been a source of one of the most diverse assemblages of fossil fish with some 110 species having been described over the past 30 years. Most were new to Heteropetalusscience, and provided a unique view of the marine environment of Mississippian times. Fine preservation of both fish and invertebrates is a hallmark of these deposits, presumably due to an anoxic depositional environment. This specimen is an unusual shark known as a petalodont. Most of these sharks are known only from their distinctive teeth, with this being one of two genera known by the body form as well. They have features such as the possession of an operculum (gill cover) that distinguish them from any known group of extant chondrichthyes. This one is seen in lateral view missing only the tip of the snout in the positive side. It can be seen to be a male as shown by the claspers.

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Heteropetalus elegantulus

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