Saurichthys sp. fossil fish acid preparation

This week I have been very carefully acid preparing this rather nice Saurichthys sp. fossil fish. It is so delicate in preservation that you need a magnifying glass to see its tiny bones.


Here are some images of the fish before preparation (Please click on the images to enlarge)

Saurichthys_01Matrix size: 16.5cm(L) × 15cm(W) fossil 9.2cm(L)
Age: Middle Triassic (Anisian Stage)
The Luoping Biota
Guanling Formation
Luoxiong Town, Luoping, Yunnan Province


    Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii


    Order: Saurichthyiformes
Genus: Saurichthyidae
Species: Saurichthys sp.

Saurichthys means “lizard fish”. This slender fish with a rostrum full of sharp teeth it would have hunted or scavenged other fish. Its streamlined body and rear-mounted symmetrical fins would have made it a powerfull swimmer.


Saurichthys was a relatively common fish in the Triassic, but rare as a fossil. It is found in deposits on all continents except Antarctica.


The jaws were very long, making up a third of the total body length. This example has articulated jaws and skull which includes some very small teeth only just visible to the eye and a beak-like tip to the rostrum.