This is large and spectacular Cladocyclus sp. fish fossil from the Santana Formation of Brazil is THE FINEST EXAMPLE WE HAVE EVER SEEN ANYWHERE! Cladocyclus is a member of the ICTHYODECTIFORMS, a group of large predatory extinct fish that lived in marine environments from the Late Jurassic through the Cretaceous Period. Many had large teeth and all were effective hunters of other fish including those from their own group. Cladocyclus is one of the longest and most impressive fish from the Santana Formation. Most examples that have been on the market are horrible composites of multiple fish glued together to make a "complete" fossil. This specimen is one of the largest and certainly, THE FINEST we have ever seen or handled.
The size, overall detail and quality of this specimen is impeccable. The mouth is preserved in a stunning, open manner with large, visible teeth. Fin and scale detail is as good as it gets with ALL FINS preserved and complete. Geode has been reinforced to protect the fossil and fossil fish is 100% ORIGINAL AND AUTHENTIC WITH NO COMPOSITING OF OTHER FISH PARTS OF FABRICATION.
If you wish to own probably the finest example of a Cladocyclus, then this is a once-in-lifetime chance to make it happen. This prehistoric, dinosaur-era marine predator fossil is EXCEPTIONALLY RARE, huge and one of the most impressive fossil fish you will ever experience.
Our past purchase of a very 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. 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 specimen we offer here, far exceed sthe quality of the finest specimens shown from the American Museum 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. 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.
Caution must be exercised in Brazil concretion fish fossils. MANY are pieced together with parts of multiple fish to make a single fish but THIS species of fish is one of the MOST COMMONLY FAKED type because of its long length and nature of being found broken and incomplete or poorly preserved. All too often, we see examples on the market that are the tail of one fish, body of another and the head of a third, all glued together to make a single fish. Compare this one above to ones in suspect and you may see the incontinuity of the fossil's anatomy and shape, in question.
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.