21.5" Cretaceous Sawfish-Like Ray (Libanopritis) - Lebanon

This is a stunning 21.5" long fossil sawfish-like ray (Libanopritis hiram) collected from the Sannine Formation near Hjoula, Lebanon. It shows detailed soft bodied preservation and has been nicely prepared. The limestone is quite thick and measures 24.75 x 9", creating a stable display.

There is very minimal restoration to the piece along repaired cracks where the rock broke during collection. Upon request, we can add wall mounting hardware to the back of the specimen. Otherwise, the specimen comes with a metal display stand.

Libanopritis is a member of the sclerorhynchid family of rays. Members of this family are characterized by a nose drawn out into a rostrum lined with teeth. Despite their close similarity in appearance to modern-day sawfish (Pristidae), the two are not closely related, sawfish being instead grouped with guitarfish in the order Rhinopristiformes. Libanopritis would have swam slowly along the ocean bottom looking for prey. When resting it probably covered itself with the sand of the ocean floor like modern rays.

The discovery of amazingly preserved marine fossils near Hjoula, 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 1800's and these deposits have been meticulously quarried by several Lebanese families for over a century. We purchase our specimens directly from one of these families that have worked the quarries for generations.

These deposits represent a warm, shallow sea and have yielded over 70 types of fish as well as numerous other genre found no where else in the world. The preservation on many of these specimens is truly amazing including examples of soft bodied preservation.

A photo of one of the quarries at Hjoula, Lebanon
A photo of one of the quarries at Hjoula, Lebanon
Libanopritis hiram
Hjoula, Byblos, Lebanon
Sannine Formation
21.5" long on 24.75 x 9" limestone
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