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    Description

    UNCOMMONLY LARGE MESSEL GARFISH
    Atractosteus strausi
    Eocene
    The Messel Pit, Messel, Germany

    The Messel Pit, near the town of Messel, Germany, was the source of very important fossils providing a view into the Eocene, 47 million years ago. Fossils were preserved in a soft oil shale with a surprising amount of detail; most fossils were found complete and even included feathers, fur, and the outline of skin. Fossils of all major fauna were found there; many types of fish, birds, snakes, insects, and mammals; including rare early primates. Before it was nearly turned into a landfill, the Messel Pit was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995; meaning that while the site is protected, no more fossils will ever likely be collected. Fossils from the site are often prepared using a method called the "transfer technique" which involved covering an exposed fossil with resin and preparing it from the other side to create a distinctive three-dimensional fossil. The present specimen was professionally prepared using that technique; the specimen is a very large garfish prepared from the ventral view. The details on the gar are remarkable; every individual diamond-shaped scale is distinct, the fins are three-dimensional, and the underside view of the skull shows the full extent of the lower jaw; there are a few needle-sharp teeth present and the snout is evident, complete with nostrils. The overall length of the gar is 32 inches embedded in a resin slab measuring 47 x 17 ½ inches.


    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. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. 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
    October, 2010
    17th Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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