Fish of the Desert

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.

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.

fish diplomystus

The attractively toned fossil limestone bedrock is referred too as the matrix, this matrix features two rare inclusions. The flora of an ‘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.

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

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.

Fossil fish

The geological age is Cenomanian age, upper Cretaceous, approximately 90 to 50 million years ago. The Cretaceous Period lasts 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 plane, these deposited over millennia 

For further reading references of this 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 palaeontologist', 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.

Birdi fish

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