The upper cranium vault element is in a well-persevered state, having been cleaned and conserved in the United Kingdom Lab. The braincase has the typical red staining colour of the concentrated iron heavy fossil layers. The coarse-grained ferruginous sandstone was formed of different sized consolidated matrix grains, this was cleaned off the bone, as matrix obscured the fine bone details of the cranium plate.
The average body length of the bony fish was in the region of 100 centimetres. Many bony parts are found in the Taouz oases formation, however, the roof of the skull is a rare find, being such a fragile skeletal fossil bone, it is rarely found articulated. The illustrations above show the colour and preservation of the cranium element.
The discovery of this Calamopleurus fish in Morocco which is twinned to the Brazilian Calamopleurus and again alights to the amalgamation of West Gondwana by continental collision during the Brasiliano/Pan-African orogenies. A great study fish fossil element which merits further study.
The specimen originating from the lower Cretaceous fossil bed of the Taouz oases in Morocco. The fossil layers in the Kem Kem formation are around 200 feet thick. The layers at the point where this fossil fish was unearthed are marly carbonate overlaying a carbonate escarpment. The ferruginous sandstones lie midway up this section. This area was previously known as the continental Intercalaire (Lavocat, 1954; Joly, 1962; Tabaste, 1963) and is now more well known as the Kem Kem beds (Sereno al.,1996).
References; Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society (1998), 123: 179-195. Article ID:zj980134, by Peter Forey Department of Palaeontology, NHM, London and Lance Grande, Department of Geology, Field Museum of National History, Chicago.