Eel-Like Mississippian Bear Gulch Fossil Shark Harpagofututor

Harpagofututor volsellorhinus

Class Chondrichthyes, Order Chondrenchelyiformes, Family Chondrenchelyidae

Geological Time: Mississippian (~320 m.y.a.)

Size: 100 mm

Fossil Site: Heath Shale Formation, Bear Gulch Limestone, Fergus County, Montana

Harpagofututor volsellorhinusDescription: The Bear Gulch Limestone is a deposit of some 70 square km in extent and 30 m in depth that has been a source of one of the most diverse assemblages of fossil fish with some 110 species having been described over the past 30 years. Most were new to science, and provided a unique view of the marine environment of Mississippian times. Fine preservation of both fish and invertebrates is a hallmark of these deposits, presumably due to an anoxic depositional environment. This is a fine example of the chondrenchelyoid Harpagofututor Harpagofututorvolsellorhinus. It is an unusual eel-like species which was first described in 1982 whose name is derived from the word for grappling hooks, referring to the antler-like structures possessed by the males. This is a fine female with exquisite detail; note the preserved body outline and eye pigments. As a rule, preservation of fossil pigment is a rare phenomenon, again pointing out the remarkable preservation of material from the Bear Gulch Fauna.

Journal of Paleontology, Volume 71, Number 2 pp337-342.

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l Paleontology & Fossils l Paleobiology and Geologic Timeline l
l Fossil Amber l Ammonite Fossils l Dinosaur and Reptile Fossils l Fossil Kits l
l Crinoids and Echinoderms l Fish Fossils l Fossil Dealers l Insect Fossils l Invertebrate Fossils l
l Plant Fossils l Stromatolites l Trace & Ichnofossils l Trilobite Fossils l Vertebrate Fossils l