31.4" Cretaceous Lamniform Shark (Cretolamna) Fossil - Hjoula, Lebanon

This is an extremely rare fossil shark of the species Cretolamna appendiculata, collected from the famous Upper Cretaceous marine deposits near Hjoula, Lebanon. It's quite large measuring in at 31.4" long and is nicely centered on a 36.25" wide slab of limestone. Sharks like this are one of the rarer components of the fauna in this formation. In fact, in the last few years, this is the only full shark of this size that has been collected from the Hjoula Quarry.

The preservation of this fossil is outstanding, featuring stunning fin preservation, articulated vertebrae, and a full set of teeth, many of which have been exposed and can be seen in the cropped-in photo. Authentic shark fossils of this quality and size are seldom seen on the market.

The specimen has been backed with fiberglass and a sturdy concrete board to ensure structural integrity of the specimen. Upon request, we can install a wall hanger.

The slab of rock that contains the shark was collected in multiple pieces, so naturally there are repairs and spots of gap fill restoration where the rock crumbled away. The crack through the middle of the shark required the most touch-up restoration. The tip of the pectoral fin has been restored.

The sharks coming out of the Hjoula and Hakel deposits of Lebanon are to this date squalimorph sharks, or saw sharks. These sharks are characterized by their long, slender bodies and pointed, trident-like teeth. They were benthic in nature, shying away from open-water hunting and preferring smaller prey, which they located using vibrations and their highly developed sense of smell. Only one recognized family of saw sharks still exists: the Pristiophorids. Modern saw sharks have been observed at over nine feet long, though Lebanese fossils top out around three feet in length.

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 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 one of the quarries at Hjoula, Lebanon
A photo of one of the quarries at Hjoula, Lebanon

Cretolamna appendiculata
Hjoula, Byblos, Lebanon
Sannine Formation
Shark: 31.4" wide, Limestone: 36.25 x 15"
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