7.3" Cimolichthys (Cretaceous Fish) Skull Section - Kansas

This is a 7.3" Cimolichthys nepaholica fossil skull section from the Smoky Hill Chalk in Gove County, Kansas. The skull has been depressed, meaning that the skull was flattened from top to bottom. All the teeth are broken off except one, which you can still see attached into the jaw bone. There are also a few associated vertebrae fused into the top of the specimen.

Cimolichthys is a genus of late Cretaceous fish that are considered to be closely related to salmon.‭ ‬Their bodies are known to have been covered with large scutes that may have provided a degree of protection against some predatory fish.‭ Typical of this species are narrow lower jaws with several series of teeth. Remains of undigested fishes or squids have been found in collected specimens‭

The Smoky Hill Chalk Member of the Niobrara Chalk formation is a Cretaceous conservation Lagerstätte, or fossil rich geological formation, known primarily for its exceptionally well-preserved marine reptiles. It outcrops in parts of northwest Kansas, its most famous localities for fossils, and in southeastern Nebraska. Large well-known fossils excavated from the Smoky Hill Chalk include marine reptiles such as plesiosaurs, large bony fish such as Xiphactinus, mosasaurs, pterosaurs, and turtles.
Cimolichthys nepaholica
Gove County, Kansas
Niobrara Formation
7.3" wide
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