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218

Fossilized Moonfish Plaque

Fossilized Moonfish Plaque

Fossilized Moonfish Plaque

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Fossilized Moonfish Plaque

Mene rhombea

Mid Eocene (approx. 45 million years ago)

Monte Bolca, Italy


Mene rhombea: 7 by 3 inches (17.8 x 7.6 cm); 26½ by 20 by 1½ inches (67.3 x 50.8 x 3.8 cm) in matrix. 28 pounds (12.7 kg).


This well-preserved Mene rhombea fossil displays its diagnostic compressed body, extremely long pelvic fins, and wide triangular tail. The specimen has been meticulously prepared in fine detail, exhibiting eye orbits and spinal column. Its irregularly shaped rock plaque is highlighted with soft tan and light gray color tones.

To request a condition report for this lot, please email science@sothebys.com

Monte Bolca—an uplifted ancient sea floor created during the formation of the Alps—has been the source for remarkably well-preserved fish fossils for hundreds of years. These natural works of art include the beautifully fossilized Mene rhombea offered here, an extinct perciform (perch-like fishes) with a flattened body, triangular tail fin, and an upturned mouth. Today, only one species of these planktivorous moonfish remain in existence, with Mene maculata thriving in the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea.


The delicately preserved, extinct moonfish fossil offered here boasts both aesthetic appeal and scientific value, making it an impressive specimen worthy of attention.