14.2" Fossil Enchodus (Fanged Fish) Jaws - Morocco

This is an amazing 14.2" plate containing jaws from the extinct fish Enchodus from Morocco. This plate contains bones from at least three individuals as is indicated by the presence of three quadrate (part of the jaw structure) bones of different sizes. In addition to quadrate bones there are two dentaries (lower jaw) with teeth including the incisors (fang), and one maxilla (upper jaw) also with teeth including the incisor. This plate also contains several ribs, a fish vertebra and several unidentifiable bones of fish. There is one unidentified non-fish bone in this assembly. The back of the specimen has a number of bones partially visible including vertebrae.

All bones are in excellent condition and clearly show anatomical features. They are in a soft, chalk-like rock and there are multiple repaired cracks in the piece. There is restoration/gap filling to a few of the bones along one of the points of repair.

This is a tooth from the extinct bony fish Enchodus. Enchodus flourished during the Upper Cretaceous and was small to medium in size. One of the genus' most notable attributes are the large "fangs" at the front of the upper and lower jaws and on the palatine bones, leading to its misleading nickname among fossil hunters and paleoichthyologists, "the saber-toothed herring". These fangs, along with a long sleek body and large eyes, suggest Enchodus was a predatory species.

Artists reconstruction of Enchodus.  By Dmitry Bogdanov, Creative Commons License
Artists reconstruction of Enchodus. By Dmitry Bogdanov, Creative Commons License

Enchodus sp.
Laayoune Region, Morocco
14.2 x 10.7"
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