Description

    AN EXTREMELY RARE FOSSIL FISH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE - COELACANTH "THE LIVING FOSSIL"
    Caridosuctor populosum
    Carboniferous, Late Mississippian
    Bear Gulch Limestone, Fergus co., Montana
    Having existed for over 300 million years, the Coelacanth was presumed to have vanished from our planet along with the dinosaurs during the KT extinction event, 65 million years ago. Then one day in 1938, one of these "living fossils" was caught off the coast of Africa; incredible enough, but then a second species was discovered in Indonesia in the late '90s (making them officially a Lazarus taxon, a species vanished from the fossil record that reappears some time later). Predatory lobe-finned fish, they are part of the lineage of limbed fish that crawled onto land and became the ancestors of all terrestrial animals. It is incredible that they have survived every major extinction event almost unchanged in the past 375 million years, but today they are considered an endangered species. This superb specimen was discovered in the 318 million year old Bear Gulch limestone of Montana, known for its amazingly well-preserved marine life, and the coelacanths represented there are rare but exceptionally detailed; the present example is among the best ever offered from the locale, so perfectly preserved that neither preparation nor touch-up was required. Not only that but, incredibly, it has been preserved in both positive and negative impressions, a highly rare occurrence in any case, and one especially difficult to excavate with success. The body is covered by a beautiful pattern of fine scales, the tassel-tipped tail is beautifully fanned out, and the skull exhibits exquisite bone structure. Finally, in a surfeit of exceptionalness, the specimen offered here is considered to represent a new genera and species of Coelacanth and is accompanied by copies of two academic articles on its classification. An absolutely world-class "living fossil" specimen in every way, the fish itself measures approximately 7¾ inches long in a limestone matrix approximately 15 x 10 inches.


    Estimate: $6,500 - $9,000.

    Condition Report*:

    Condition report available upon request.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    6th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
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