ULTRA RARE PRESERVATION
NEEDLEFISH RHYNCHODERCETIS FOSSIL
ON LARGE LIMESTONE PLATE WITH PLANT, FISH AND SHRIMP FOSSILS
(CENOMANIAN) PERIOD: 95 million years ago
Appearing as if it is
making a sudden attack turn to swallow up two smaller fish near the end
of its sword-like beak, this magnificent fossil of the prehistoric
needlefish Rhynchodercetis is one of the finest we have ever seen
rivaling specimens on exhibit in the most prestigious museums around the
world. The preservation (the fossil is entirely original and
authentic) is of a level seldom seen in science with a very
heavily-mineralized skeleton in dark cinnabar red shown on a large slab
with other fossils including a leaf, shrimp, crab and smaller fish.
Alone, this fish is a true prize fossilized example of this species
but the composition of the plate as a whole with the other fossils makes
this a fantastic "scene" fossil showing some of the related fauna and
flora of this extinct prehistoric environment. The turning pose
imparts a lifelike action to the fossil, making it an extremely
impressive wall display piece. The back has been reinforced and a
drilled bar is mounted so that the fossil is ready for hanging on a
One prominent feature of
this specimen is the amazingly long rostrum of the fish. This
example shows one that is VERY RARE because it is
100% complete and original,
as is the entire fossil. On the rare event that this species is
found, most often only a partial rostrum or poorly preserved body is
seen. Other occurrences include much less rare finds of very small
proportions to the fish unlike the whopping 26 inch length of this
piece. The rostrum alone on this example, is an impressive 1/3 of
the entire body length and is COMPLETE. The pose of this piece
shows a beautiful spread of both pectoral fins, prominent eye orbits and
every minute spine and bone along the entire body.
It is important to note that this fossil is
100% NATURAL AND ORIGINAL
WITH NO PAINTING OR RESTORATION
and all the other fossils on the slab are in the same "as found"
un-restored original condition as well. This separates a quality
specimen from "tourist" pieces that dominate the market because many of
the shrimp and fish fossils of Lebanon are mostly paint.
Fossils from Lebanon are
for their artificial painting in areas that were originally missing.
Many dealers have no idea that many Lebanese fossils they are selling,
from shrimp to fish and rays, are actually heavily restored with paint.
We received this specimen in its completely natural state, did some
further preparation work and added a layer of epoxy on the reverse side
to strengthen the original limestone plate. ALL COLOR AND DETAIL
YOU SEE IS ORIGINAL and nothing was painted or restored on this
magnificent example. At OVER TWO FEET LONG, this is not only a top
quality specimen but it is an exceptionally large one, as well.
Rhynchodercetis was a
swift and lightning fast predator of the Cretaceous seas and is an
extinct member of the order Aulopiformes, suborder Ichthyotringoidei
suborder, family Dercetidae. The name Rhynchodercetis
translates into "beaked throat whalt". The fish is rarely
found in the fossil record and features an elongated body, small dorsal
and pelvic fins back from the head but in the anterior half, and with a
small, narrow-lobed tail. Rhynchodercetis was alive when
Tyrannosaurus rex was ruling the land in North America and
pterodactyls the size of small airplanes ruled the skies.
Rhynchodercetis died during the Cretaceous Period and has no living
Dinosaurs ruled the earth and pterosaurs ruled the
skies when this fish swam beneath the waves of a Cretaceous sea.
THIS SPECIMEN IS ONE OF
THE FINEST KNOWN, EXCEEDING MOST OF THOSE FEW THAT ARE LOCATED IN
MUSEUMS AROUND THE WORLD
A MUST FOR ANY EXHIBIT OF
MESOZOIC PREHISTORIC FISH
25" x 20" overall,
fish is 26" in length if straight
$17500 F096 INCLUDES STAND
Item - One Only