Eel-Like Mississippian Bear Gulch Fossil Shark Harpagofututor

Bizarre Male PhenotypePart and Counterpart Specimen

Harpagofututor volsellorhinus

Class Chondrichthyes, Order Chondrenchelyiformes, Family Chondrenchelyidae

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

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fish Fossil: 130 mm Matrix: 185 mm by 120 mm and 185 mm by 110 mm pair

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

Fossil Code: BGF274

Price: $1995.00 - sold

Harpagofututor volsellorhinusDescription: 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 Harpagofututor Maledescribed 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 is a fine example of the chondrenchelyoid Harpagofututor volsellorhinus. It Harpagofututoris an unusual eel-like species which was first described in 1982 whose name is derived from the word for grappling hooks, referring to the antler-like structures possessed by the males. This is a fine male with exquisite detail; note the preserved body outline as well as both the pelvic and ethmoid claspers. The ethmoid claspers are so named because they project from the ethmoid region of the skull in mature males. Such structures are unknown among any other chordates. This is a fine part/counterpart example of this most unusual shark. I have included restorations of both sexes for comparison.

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