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GIANT 33 INCH MUSEUM GRADE VINCTIFER ASPIDORHYNCID FISH IN THREE DIMENSIONAL FORM

Santana Formation - Ceara, Brazil

LOWER CRETACEOUS PERIOD:  110 million years ago

Of all the richest fossil-bearing deposits ever known, Brazil's Santana Formation is ranked among the world's greatest.  Santana fossils are known for not only their extreme diversity but more importantly, for the nature of their breath-taking preservation - considered by scientists to include the finest examples of fossils in existence.  The formation provides an amazing window into the paleobiota of a prehistoric world from the Lower Cretaceous, 110 million years ago.  The Santana fossils of Brazil were first recorded in the year 1828 by two natural historians, Dr. J. B. von Spix and Dr. C. F. P. von Martius, commissioned by the king of Bavaria.  To this day, they are still being studied with many new discoveries coming to light. 
 
Our recent purchase of a 70+ year old private European collection of vertebrate Santana fossils has provided us with numerous spectacular quality specimens that go well beyond the quality and completeness of anything we have seen in either private hands or in museum collections.  While these specimens were originally collected in the 1930's before the ban enacted in 1942, they had remained in their raw state "as collected" up until only recently, whereby they were prepared utilizing the most modern laboratory techniques and equipment hence their remarkable state of display.  In comparison, the definitive illustrated work on these fossils, written by curator John G. Maisey titled "Santana Fossils", is illustrated with numerous prized specimens owned by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York.  The specimens we acquired and offer here, far exceed the quality of the finest specimens shown from the American Museum in this publication.  The method of preparation for the concretionary specimens we obtained utilized procedures that produce whole, fully exposed fossils without splitting the concretions open and destroying the specimen as most others have done.  The collection we acquired encompasses a variety of extremely rare vertebrates including fish and reptiles such as pterosaurs, in stunning degrees of preservation that rivals or even surpasses  the finest acid-prepared examples housed in the American Museum of Natural History. 
With these specimens we are offering, there is no comparison to the "butchered" concretionary Brazilian fossils that are crudely split with chisels to reveal the fossil inside.  Our collection has not been subjected to such treatment and are whole, fully three dimensionally examples prepared with the most advanced paleontological lab techniques and equipment.

This fish fossil is a RARE example of the species Vinctifer.  It is unusually large at a length of 33" if straightened!  This fish was a member of the ASPIDORHYNCHID family, a highly specialized extinct group that lived from the Middle Jurassic Period 160 million years ago to the end of the Cretaceous Period 65 million years ago.  Based on their long, torpedo-like design and fin anatomy and location, they were likely very swift hunters much like a modern barracuda is today.  One of their most obvious anatomical features is their long, rectangular enameloid scales running all down their body.  This specimen possesses complete and full preservation with very high three-dimensional relief.  The scale detail is impeccable with massive body armor anatomy due to the fish's ENORMOUS BODY SIZE for this species.  The amazing preservation and state of this specimen can be compared to the American Museum's specimens seen on page 176-177 of Maisey's publication.  The museum specimens greatly lack in the quality of preservation when compared this this complete specimen offered for sale.  Vinctifer is classified by curator Maisey as a RARE fish yet several specimens can sometimes be found in the market.  This is a VERY popular fish to fake or build from parts of multiple fish and many "junk" examples populate the commercial fossil market from time to time.  Finding a 100% COMPLETE AND 100% AUTHENTIC specimen is rare.  Even the American Museum of Natural history specimens are lacking in the quality of this specific Vinctifer we are offering here!  The full, lifelike relief throughout of this amazing specimen must be seen in person to appreciate.  Furthermore, it is 100% COMPLETE AND ORIGINAL with NO RESTORATION.  A single repair runs across the body of the fish about one-third of the overall length from the tail, but this is the only fracture that was incurred.  Fractures to these nodules are common and occur in the environment over time.  Considering the rarity of this investment-grade fish fossil and the fact that it exceeds the finest museum specimen featured in this #1 publication on Santana Formation fossils, this stunning Vinctifer makes for a highly important addition to any collection.  It is a magnificent specimen to display the finest possible, rare life-like 3D state of breath-taking preservation.  Dinosaurs ruled the earth and pterosaurs ruled the skies when this fish swam amidst the depths of a Cretaceous sea. 

SPECIAL NOTE:

In John Maisey's book titled "Santana Fossils", he cites the prevalence of fake, composite and enhanced fossils from this formation that are on the market.  The local artisans at the sites produce a wide variety of artificially created fossils - some horribly obvious yet some, extremely convincing out of carefully matched composite pieces.  These composite examples are very convincing because they are made up of all real pieces but not necessarily of the same species!  Often, missing parts are carved or sculpted from a mixture of plaster, rock dust and epoxy and then painted to disguise the work.  A number of these handcrafted "fossils" have in the past, and continue to, make it into the mainstream fossil market.  Describing a variety of techniques and types of fakes, Maisey even shows photographs of some fakes for reference to illustrate the breadth, creativity and skill of some of these workers.  He also addresses the prevalence of fake insect and other rare fossils within the text.  With all Brazilian fossils, collectors should approach prospective purchases with caution for not only the legality of the specimen but also, for accurate disclosure by a qualified and experienced preparator of any artificial enhancement to the specimen.  PALEO DIRECT guarantees every Santana Formation specimen we offer to be AUTHENTIC and "as described" with a written unlimited lifetime guarantee / certificate of its authenticity and data sheet.
 

Rarely do fossils possess the preservation of those found in Brazil's Santana Formation located on the Araripe Plateau.  The magnificent fossils include a vast selection of fish, insects and plants along with rare occurrences of the remains of pterosaurs, dinosaurs, frogs, turtles, crocodiles and miscellaneous marine invertebrates.  Santana fossils are predominantly made up of two kinds of fossils which are classified as two different strata - the earlier Crato members which are found in shales and thin limestone layers and the later Romualdo members which are found in round limestone concretions.  The lower or older Crato member strata occur as fossils in laminated limestones that were deposited on an undisturbed lakebed.  These types include small fishes and a diverse fauna of insects and other animals suggesting a dry open terrestrial environment.  A frog has been found in the Crato deposits along with the impression of a feather and pterosaur remains.  Romualdo member fossils include a wide variety of fish, plants and rare occurrences of reptiles such as crocodiles, turtles, dinosaurs and pterosaurs.  Most impressive are the fact that these concretionary fossils are preserved in a full three dimensional perspective and when prepared with the utmost care and skill, reveal features and anatomy that are akin to the animal being alive. 
 
The exact dating of these two members remains enigmatic although the Crato members are known to pre-date the Romualdo members.  It is possible that both are within the same time zone of the Lower Cretaceous.  Despite the long period of time these fossils have been known, much work remains in the study and determination of dating and the full breadth of the flora and fauna from the Santana Formation of Brazil. 

 

TRULY AMAZING DETAIL, COLOR, PRESERVATION - FISH IS OF RARE, ENORMOUS SIZE - RAISED UNUSUALLY HIGH OFF MATRIX WITH 3D RELIEF!!!

Concretion is 30" straight-line length x 11" maximum width, fish alone is an ENORMOUS 33" in length!

SOLD     F015     INCLUDES STAND     Actual Item - One Only

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