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

A fossilized Pachycormus, an extinct genus of ray-finned fish.
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A farm in England was the unlikely source of the Jurassic jackpot: a treasure trove of 183-million-year-old fossils. On the outskirts of Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds, beneath soil now trampled under the hooves of grazing cattle, researchers recently found fossilized remains of fish, giant marine reptiles called ichthyosaurs, squid, insects and other ancient animals. Jurassic period (201.3 million to 145 million years ago).

Among the more than 180 fossils discovered during the excavation, one notable specimen was a three-dimensionally preserved fish head. pachycormus, an extinct genus of ray-finned fish. The fossil, which the researchers found embedded in a hardened limestone nodule protruding from the clay, was remarkably well preserved and contained soft tissues, including scales and an eye. The 3D nature of the pose of the head and body of the specimen was such that the researchers could not compare it to previous findings.

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