SUPREMELY RARE Mazon Creek Fossil Amphibian Amphibamus

Amphibamus grandiceps

Class Amphibia, Order Temnospondyli, Family Amphibamidae

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

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fossil is 15 mm long (curve measure); Matrix: 45 mm by 40 mm nodule half

Fossil Site: Mazon Creek, Pit 11, Braidwood, Illinois

Code: UKF175

Price: Sold

Amphibian grandicepsDescription: 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 Amphibamusironstone 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. Even though the Mazon Creek biota is replete with invertebrate and fish fossils, it is poorly represented with tetrapods when compared to the younger coal swamp deposits of Linton, Ohio. This one is a larval form of the temnospondyl amphibian Amphibamus grandiceps. At the time of the publication of Richardson’s work on the Mazon Creek fauna at bit over 25 years ago only 6 adult and 3 larvae were known. This one clearly shows the skull and vetrtebral column. The very small size and lack of limbs show it to be a larval example, one that few can claim to hold in their collection.

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