Unusual Paratarrasius Mississippian Bear Gulch Fish Fossil

A Rare Museum Fossil Fish

Paratarrasius hibbardi

Placodermi, Antiarcha, Bothriolepidae

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

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fish fossil is 120 mm long (tip of nose to tip of tail along backbone) on a 250 mm by 170 mm matrix

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

Fossil Code: BGF579

Price: Sold

Paratarrasius hibbardi Rare Fish 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 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 deposits, presumably due to an anoxic depositional environment. This fine specimen is an example of an unusual fish Paratarassius hibbardi with a blade-like shape. Modern fishes of such morphology are often inhabitants of extremely weedy, sheltered environments. Locomotion is by undulation of the continuous dorsal/caudal/ventral fin complex, and can be used for both forward and backward movement. The fin is quite readily seen in this fine large example.

Lund, R., and W. G. Melton jr., 1982. "A new actinopterygian fish from the Mississippian Bear Gulch Limestone of Montana." Palaeontology 25: 485-498.
Lund, R., and C. Poplin. 2002. "Cladistic analysis of the relationships of the Tarrasiids (Lower Carboniferous Actinopterygians)." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22 (3): pp480-486, Sept 2002.

Fish Fossil Purchase

click to enlarge fossil pictures


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