HUGE PREDACEOUS "BULLDOG" FISH
Upper Cretaceous, Santonian stage
Upper Smoky Hill Chalk, Niobrara Formation, Kansas USA
Framed in dark-stained wood, the fossil fish measures 15 feet, 10 inches in length, and the complete framed specimen measures 17 x 5 feet.
Shaped like a modern tarpon (though no relation), the Xiphactinus roamed the warm shallow waters of the Western Interior Seaway that split the continent of America in two halves for a large proportion of the Upper Cretaceous period. They are distinguished by their heavy bony skull bristling with frightful long teeth and long robust body. All are perfectly represented in this outstanding museum display specimen. The detail of preservation, texture and three-dimensionality to the skull is quite outstanding and is further highlighted by expert preparation.
Displayed in a natural death pose, the jaws have been opened to showcase its fearsome teeth which are mostly original. Extremely large for this species, the present specimen is largely from a single individual animal and not a composite ― which is quite rare as most large Xiphactinus displays have been composited from several different specimens ― only a few vertebrae have been replaced and were carefully matched for size and scientific accuracy. Due to the unstable nature of the original chalk matrix, this huge fossil has been remounted into a faux matrix slab designed to duplicate the original matrix in color and texture.
The Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center of Woodland Park, Colorado, 2002 – 2009
Private Florida collection from 2009 till the present.