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Terapod - Fish ?


hack999

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Hello everyone, great site.

I came across this at a local auction, and I could not just let it disappear it seemed too unique, very three dimensional. I know how many of you feel about the sale of and the cycle created by ill-gotten fossils, but I do not believe this is a recent find because of the papers that were with it dated from the 1840’s. They seemed to be sales, banking records but because of the cursive handwriting I cannot read them or determine the language they are written in at this time. These will be going to an archivist (friend) at our local university.

As for back ground on this fossil I have nothing yet, I have the name of the consigner and will see what I can ‘dig up’ from that angle.

322 mm. long 155mm at the widest. unusually round and three dimentional for a fossil. The head seemed fish like, almost the shape of a gill to the back of the skull. The scales are more reptile (long articulated belly plates) . No obvious signs of fins or legs although there is something just under the background stone near the end of the tail. I did read that early terapods had scales rather than amphibian skin, general shape similar but I have not been able to find any fossil records that match. I was leaning my investigation in that direction. I look forward to any insights. I can add more pictures, via digital microspe if wanted. Thank you (love the site)

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This looks like a typical specimen of the fish Vinctifer comptoni, from the Cretaceous Santana Formation of Brazil. The papers are probably written in Portuguese. These fish, and others from the Santana Formation, are remarkably three-dimensional in their preservation.

Don

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Seconded. The fins of V. comptoni are typically small and can be easily and inadvertently removed by an overzealous preparator. They'd also have to be in the exact plane of preparation to be exposed, so don't worry about that. The scales you picture are quite typical, and a rule-of-thumb to tell if they're from a fish or a higher reptile/amphibian is that these here are discrete and singular (i.e. fish) whereas those of reptiles and amphibians sensu lato are portions of scaly skin (think of a crocodile skin handbag - you wouldn't be able to isolate individual scales from this).

All in all, a lovely specimen :)

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Nice save! That's a good one :wub:

"There has been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about." - Ashleigh Ellwood Brilliant

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” - Thomas Henry Huxley

>Paleontology is an evolving science.

>May your wonders never cease!

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Hey, I just noticed this is your first post, and that you are from BC. First, welcome to the forum! Second, where in BC are you located? We have a few BCites who post here regularly. I used to live in Vancouver, and I collected on Vancouver Island and in the interior around Princeton plus other places here and there.

Don

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Don, 4circle thank you so much for the info . Brazil hadn't even been a consideration.

Thanks Don, This is a great forum, I'm in a small town up the valley 'Aldergrove'. As kids we used to vacation in the old ghost towns around princton, we would scale the rock walls looking for plant fossils.Did some collecting in Manitoba, Northern and Cental BC.

Kev

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You're not too far from some Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous around Harrison Lake and Harrison Hot Springs.

Where did you collect in Manitoba? I also used to live in Winterpeg and collected around Garson, Stoney Mountain, and a few more distant sites.

Don

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As kids we were usually taken to the interlakes are Lundar, when my brother got tired of us digging up his driveway. The crushed limestone had scores of shells in it. Yes been in the Harson area from the gravel beaches and into the back country we used to 4x4 past the air strip, some of the spur roads got really rough.

Kev

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I collected some Silurian corals, mainly, from the quarries in Lundar, plus some Devonian brachiopods from the Dawson Bay Formation up there. The Lundar quarries were flooded then, I had to pick my way around the edge without falling in. That was quite a while ago, back around 1976 or so. Still have all that stuff.

Don

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The last time I was back there was in the early 70's anything that was a complete shell was a cherished prize. Although I would recognize coral now, then it would have been brushed aside as an insignificant oddity. Unfortunately most of that collecting has long since dispersed.

Kev

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