1.7" Fossil Flying Fish (Exocoetoides) - Lebanon

This is a 1.7" long example of the rare, fossil flying fish (Exocoetoides minor) quarried near Hakel, Lebanon. The detailed preservation on this specimen is simply beautiful and it's nicely centered on a 2.8x2.7" squared off piece of limestone. One repaired crack in the rock.

Exocoetoides is the smallest of all flying fishes and does not exceed 7 cm in length. They are actually not related to present day flying fishes that belong to a completely different and more evolved family. But, like present day flying-fishes it's thought that they were able to glide (fly) over the water to escape predators due to their body type.

The discovery of amazingly preserved marine fossils near Hakel, Lebanon dates back many centuries. In fact, they were first mentioned in writing by Herodotus, over 450 years before the birth of Christ. The first scientific work on these localities began in the 1800s: these deposits have been meticulously quarried by several Lebanese families for over a century. We purchase our specimens directly from one of these families.

These deposits represent a warm, shallow sea of the Middle Cretaceous, and have yielded over 70 types of fish and numerous other genera found nowhere else in the world. The preservation on many of these specimens is truly amazing: many examples of soft bodied preservation have been found.

A photo of the quarry at Hakel, Lebanon
A photo of the quarry at Hakel, Lebanon

Exocoetoides minor
Hakel, Byblos, Lebanon
Sannine Formation
1.7" long on 2.8x2.7" limestone
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