Museum Caridosuctor Paleozoic Coelacanth from Bear Gulch

Caridosuctor populosum

Sarcopterygii, Coelacanthiformes, Rhabdodermatidae

Geological Time: Mississippian (~320 m.y.a.)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fish fossil is 135 mm long, Matrix: 255 mm by 225 mm

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

Fossil Code: BGF576

Price: Sold

Caridosuctor populosumDescription: 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 science, and provided a unique view of the marine environment of Mississippian times. Fine preservation of both fish and invertebrates is a hallmark of these Coelacanthdeposits, presumably due to an anoxic depositional environment. This specimen is a coelacanth known as Caridoscuctor (“shrimp eater”), and is well-represented in the Bear Gulch deposits. Specimens found range from 30 mm to 250 mm. They exhibit sexual dimorphism, with larger, more robust females and smaller, more gracile males, a condition found in the modern coelacanth Latimeria. The species died out in the Lower Carboniferous. Note the exceptional detail to this fine specimen which displays the diagnostic double dorsal fin and tassellated central caudal lobe.

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