For over eight years I have been acquiring Polish fish from the
Oligocene, Carpathian basin. Generally they are small, no more
than a few inches in length. This magnificent Holosteus is by
far the largest, and most breathtaking specimen I have had the
pleasure of beholding. The fossil resides on a thin, fine-grained
medium/dark tan plate of shale. The formation
is highly fractured and difficult to quarry, and the image below
shows the recovered fossils, before professional preparation
-- very typical of the site. The preservation is fantastic and
the specimen is some 97%
This to the best of my knowledge is the premier fossil fish specimen
ever offered from this important world-renowned fossil site.
River Preparium, one of the premier preparation labs in the USA,
invested over sixteen hours of work to prepare
The Holesteus was broken into fifteen pieces (as shown below) and
re-glued back together. The site is such extraction of large
pieces is impossible, and shale is fratured in any case. The
surrounding matrix was
out, and the cracks skillfully covered. There
is some 3% restoration. Specifically the tip of the snout/ethmoid
(nasal) area, and a 3/8 x 5/8” oblong shaped insertion on
the top-side of the body immediately in front of the dorsal fin.
Finally, a bit of restoration where the head joins the body. The
specimen has been strengthened with a fiberboard backing plate.
Please contact me if you have any further questions. I include
the before picture to provide educational insight regarding the
fine work that expert preparators do.
is allied with the extinct Order Alepisauriformes of ray-finned
fishes closely related to extant Order Aulopiformes
that are often
called lizardfishes. See images of extant genus Bathysaurus of Order
Aulopiformes on right side as exaples of the general morphology.
Carpathians offer one of the world’s premier collecting
sites for Oligocene salt-water fossil fish. I have a scholarly
pdf (in English)) on the general paleontology and fossil fish
of the Menilite-Krosno Series that I would be happy to email
procurer of this Holosteus.