Dercetis Cretaceous Needle Fish Museum Fossil

with its Last Supper

Dercetis triqueter

Order Aulopiformes, Family Dercetidae

Geological Time: Middle Cretaceous, Cenomanian Stage (~ 95 mya)

Size: Dercetis - 225 mm in length (tip of rostrum to tip of tail along backbone); Hajulia: - 60 mm on a 290 mm by 125 mm matrix

Fossil Site Lebanese Lagerstatte, Haqel, Lebanon

Code: L527

Price: Sold

Description: A rarely seen member of the Order Aulopiformes, Family Dercetidae, it is a member of the bony fishes known as a “needle fish” due to its body shape. The upper and lower jaws have been extended into a rostrum; these fish were predators of smaller fish. My favorite fossils are those that show some aspect of the life of the sepecimen, with my all-time favorite the famous “fish in a fish” specimen at the Sternberg Museum of Hays, Kansas. It shows a 4 meter long Xiphactinus with a 2 meter long Gillicus in its stomach. This fossil replicates that on a smaller scale. Enclosed within the body of the Dercetis, seen here preserved ventrally, is a small herring-like fish known as Hajoulia, attesting to the predatory nature of the Dercetis. The genus went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous, passing the way of the dinosaurs.

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