‘Never seen anything like it’: Perfectly preserved Jurassic fish fossils found on British farm – Livescience.com | Gmx Pharm

A farm in England was the unlikely source of a Jurassic jackpot: a trove of 183-million-year-old fossils. On the outskirts of Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds, beneath earth currently being trampled under the hooves of grazing cattle, researchers have recently uncovered the fossilized remains of fish, giant marine reptiles called ichthyosaurs, squid, insects and other ancient animals from the early Jurassic period (before 201.3 million to 145 million years ago).

Of the more than 180 fossils logged during the excavation, one of the standout specimens was a three-dimensionally preserved fish head that belonged pachykormus, an extinct genus of ray-finned fish. The fossil, which the researchers found embedded in a hardened limestone nodule protruding from the clay, was exceptionally well preserved and contained soft tissue, including scales and an eye. The 3D nature of the pose of the specimen’s head and body was such that researchers could not compare it to any previous find.

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