This fish fossil is an ULTRA RARE example of the species Araripelepidotes. This fish was a member of the SEMIONOTID family, very primitive armored fish that survived for millions of years without changing much in their anatomy. This family is first found in Triassic rocks or North America and Europe and thrives for 150 million years with virtually no evolutionary changes. Their fossils occur in marine deposits but some were believed to be able to live in brackish and even freshwater. Dinosaur remains have been found with large numbers of the scales of these types of fish in their body cavity indicating they must have been a preferred dinosaur delicacy. The entire body of Araripelepidotes was covered in very heavy scales and bony structures. The majority of fossils of this species are found only in fragments rather than complete, articulated examples such as this one.
This specimen possesses complete and full preservation with very high three-dimensional relief. 100% COMPLETE AND ORIGINAL with NO FABRICATION OR REPAIR. Fossil has been placed in reconstructed geode for stability. 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.
From a 40+ year old private German collection. The method of preparation for the concretion 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.
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.
We guarantee 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.
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.
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.