Superb Cyclurus Messel Bowfin Fish Fossil

Cyclurus (Amia) keheri

Order Amiiformes, Family Amiidae

Geological Time: Eocene

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fish fossil is 258 mm in length on a 305mm by 145 mm resin matrix

Fossil Site: Messel Pit, Darmstadt, Germany

Fossil Code: GF115

Price: Sold

Cyclurus keheri Messel FishDescription: This is a fine example of a predatory bowfin from the oil shale Messel Pit deposits of Darmstadt, Germany, known as Cyclurus keheri. Specimens have been found ranging from 5 cm to 70 cm in length, with Cyclurus Messel Bowfin Fish Fossil20 cm-30 cm being typical. Interestingly, they are often found with examples of the garfish Atractosteus. It was once placed in the same genus as the recent bowfin Amia calva, but was assigned a new genus based upon differences in the teeth. The Messel deposits are famous for their exceptionally well-preserved organisms, some of which have the remains of their last meal preserved within. Soft tissue preservation is a common event in material from the pit, and that is seen here in preservation of much of the specimen. Due to this fragility of the oil shale, this specimen, like all from the locality, has been embedded in resin to allow preparation. The fossil is then flipped over and the matrix removed on the opposite side. A final coating of resin serves to preserve the specimen as seen here.

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