Rare Elonichthys Mazon Creek Paleoniscoid Fish Fossil

“Elonichthys” peltigerus

Order Paleonisciformes, Family Paleoniscidae

Geological Time: Pennsylvanian (~300 m.y.a.)

Size: Fossil fish is 48 mm long

Fossil Site: Mazon Creek - Pit 11, Francis Creek shale, Braidwood, Illinois

Code: UKF149

Price: Sold

ElonichthysDescription: The Mazon Creek deposits of the region near Braidwood, Illinois rival the other famous Lagerstatten of the Burgess Shale, Solnhofen, and Liaoning for the variety of detailed life preserved. Many exquisitely-preserved specimens are found in the ironstone nodules that make up the deposits. The majority of collecting areas are the spoil heaps of abandoned coal mines, the most famous of which is Peabody Coal Pit 11. Pit 11 now serves as a cooling pond for the Braidwood nuclear power plant, but with over 100 other localities, specimens still come to light. Known to collectors as “Elonichthys” peligerus, the actual genus is in dispute. While it strongly resembles the European genus Elonichthys, some researchers believe it and the other Mazon Creek species belong in a separate genus. As of the publication of Richardson’s book on Mazon Creek fauna some 75 examples of this fish were known.

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