Rhabdoderma, A Rare Pennsylvanian Coelacanth from Ohio

Rhabdoderma elegans

Sarcopterygii, Coelacanthiformes, Rhabdodermatidae

Geological Time: Middle Pennsylvanian (~310 m.y.a.)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fish: 95 mm long Matrix: 145 mm by 120mm

Fossil Site: Channel below Upper Freeport #7 coal, Ohio Diamond Mine, Allegheny Group, Linton, Jefferson County, Ohio

Fossil Code: AW05

Price: $895.00

RhabdodermaDescription: Fine preservation of both fish and invertebrates is a hallmark of these deposits, presumably due to an anoxic depositional environment. The channel was an oxbow lake (abandoned river meander) some 15 meters deep which was infilled with vegetation that slowly decomposed free of scavengers and predators, to ultimately become coal. The site was open 1855-1921, Rhabdoderma Pennsylvanian Coelacanthand rediscovered in the 1980s, with little material collected. The site was closed for good earlier in 2007. This specimen is a coelacanth known as Rhabdoderma, and is well-represented in these deposits, along with Palaeoniscoid fish and Xenacanthid sharks. The taxon went extinct in the upper Carboniferous, leaving no descendants. The only extant coelacanth is Latimeria found off the coast of Madagascar and Indonesia. It will come in a Riker box to protect the thin fragile matrix. The specimen is nearly complete; a small area of the tails is missing. To make it easier to see a dark fish on a dark coal matrix, I have included a color negative photo which highlights the detail (above right).

Fossils Purchase Information

click fossil pictures to enlarge

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