Our thanks to fossil collector and dinosaur model fan Robert who sent Everything Dinosaur a coelacanth fossil to add to our collection. The specimen is an example of Whiteia woodwardi, which is known from Triassic strata. The genus was both geographically and temporally widespread. Whiteia fossils are known from Madagascar (where this specimen comes from), as well as Indonesia and British Columbia (Canada).
The Canadian and Madagascan fossils are associated with Lower Triassic strata, whereas the Indonesian material (Whiteia oishii) is associated with Upper Triassic deposits (Norian faunal stage).
Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur
A Coelacanth Fossil
The fish remains were preserved inside a concretion. When this nodule was split open the fossilised fish was revealed. The skull is present (to the left of the photograph), and scales can be observed. The impression of a fleshy pectoral fin can be seen.
Coelacanths are an ancient group of lobe-finned fish (Sarcopterygii). It is thought that these fish first evolved in the Early Devonian, around 410 million years ago. Two species are known today, in the genus Latimeria.
The picture (above) shows a model of a Coelacanth. This figure is from the Mojo Fun model series.
To view the Mojo Fun models available from Everything Dinosaur: Mojo Fun Prehistoric and Extinct Models.
Everything Dinosaur Says Thank You
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“We would like to thank Robert for his most generous gift. We did not have a Coelacanth specimen in our fossil collection. Thanks to Robert’s generosity we have this wonderful specimen, and we are looking forward to putting it into one of our fossil display cabinets.”
The spokesperson added:
“The Coelacanth fossil can be used in some of our outreach work. We highlight threats to animals today such as global warming and climate change and the Coelacanth, with its long fossil record helps us to explain about extinction and deep geological time.”
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