Exceedingly rare Diplomystus birdi pycnodont fish and fossil plant, this plate is a solid limestone plate which once formed the bottom silts of an ancient lagoon and is now part of the geology of the northern Sahara desert of western Morocco.


Diplomystus birdi pycnodont fish and fossil plant plate of fossilised limestone on stand


The location of the find of the fossil plate is from the Silex layers near a fossil site formation of kem-kem, Taouz. This limestone plate is of the, Cenomanian age, upper Cretaceous period, Mesozoic era. The Fossil Store is based in Lancashire, from here we continually expedition in North Africa to discover more fossil fishes.


The attractively toned fossil limestone bedrock is referred too as the matrix, this matrix features two rare inclusions. The flora of a ‘as yet undescribed’ sectioned stem of a Cretaceous period plant, appearing like a slender branch with iron stained limbs and a bony pycnodont type fish.


detail of fossil fish limestone plate from the cretaceous period of morocco


The fish having a round sunfish type anatomy. Some close up pictures featured show the details of the fishes anatomy quite clearly, each bone of the skeleton has petrified and fossilised in the limestone matrix creating a still life of natural art.


fossil limestone fish and plant plate from Morocco


The Cenomanian deposits are roughly contemporaneous with the fossil beds of Jebel Tselfat, Lebanon. This particular find was from the region of Taouz, North Africa. These similarities further prove the tectonic plate movement from Pangea, Gondwanaland and Laurasia.


The geological age is Cenomanian age, upper Cretaceous, approximately 90 to 50 million years ago. The Cretaceous Period last for approximately 70 million years from 135 to 65 mya, when a mass extinction event ended the period. Below the individual sections or strata of the fossil bedding plain, these deposited over millennia.


fossil limestone plate detail showing the sections or strata of limestone deposited over millennia


For further reading references of these fossil fishes see Yovanovitchi Arambourg 1954. The prehistoric fossil fish is of the pycnodont family, a type of Aipichthyoides, bony fish, another genus of this region was described by Arthur Smith Woodward, Natural History Museum, London circa 1895, as Diplomystus birdi. For recent research on this region and the fossil fishes and fauna search 'Alison Murray paleontologist', the department of biological sciences, Alberta, extensively researching the links between North Africa and the Middle East fauna, including that of freshwater fishes, parachanna fayumensis, Anchichanna kuldanensis, commonly snakehead fish.