‘I’ve never seen anything like it’: impeccably preserved Jurassic fish fossils found on UK farm

A farm in England was the unlikely source of a Jurassic jackpot: a 183-million-year-old treasure trove of fossils. On the outskirts of Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds, beneath the ground that is currently trampled under the hooves of grazing cattle, researchers recently discovered the fossilized remains of fish, giant marine reptiles called ichthyosaurs, squid, insects and other ancient animals dating back to the early 20th century. XX. the Jurassic period (201.3 million to 145 million years ago).

Of the more than 180 fossils recorded during the excavation, one of the outstanding specimens was a three-dimensionally preserved fish head that belonged to pachycorm, an extinct genus of rayed fish. The fossil, which the researchers found embedded in a lump of hardened limestone sticking out of the clay, was exceptionally well preserved and contained soft tissue, including scales and an eye. The 3D nature of the specimen’s head and body pose was such that the researchers could not compare it to any other previous findings.

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