Fish of Prey

Although the plinth lime-stones of Solnhofen became famous through the discoveries of the primal-birds the fish belong to the most beautiful species alighted from the quarries of Solnhofen and Eichstätt. Besides shark, roach, sea-cat and Holophagus the Holostei are represented quite often.

This Weigert-reproduction shows representative of the so-called Ganoid-fish. The Ganoid-fish reached the summit of their phylogenetic development already in the Perm and Trias periods therefore about 250 - 150 Mio. years ago whereas nowadays compared to the prevailing bone -fish they are strongly insignificant. 

The inner skeleton especially the spine of the Ganoid-fish still is hardly ossified. In many cases their strong body-covering scales are rhombic and show a shiny covering called ”Ganoin”. They have also been named ”Shiny-scales-fish”. The discovery of this fish-of-prey Ganoid is an especially rare one because it met death with a prey in its jaws. The shallow lagoons of the Jurassic seas ran dry during the changing of the tides. Due to this many sea-animals were surprised by death amongst them this Caturus.

The sediment of sea-mud enclosing it settled and solidified under growing pressure, de-hydration and de-mineralisation into lime-stone and the fish fossilized. Not till 150 Mio. years later the fossil was excavated through the hands of a stone-quarry and with the patience and art of a preparator finally brought to light.

Original: Quarry - Marmorwerk E. Schoepfl, Obereichstätt, Germany

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