October 13, 2012
1. A large (15-20 ft long), predatory fish that lived during the Late Cretaceous.
2. A prehistoric sea monster. Seriously. What an enormous and scary looking fish.
3. A really, really cool fossil. Maybe one day I can display one in the library of my evil geologist lair.
One of the most famous fossils of Xiphactinus is the “fish within a fish” fossil located at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays, Kansas. Ron Schott visited the museum several months ago and took many pictures as well as an incredible Gigapan of the “fish within a fish” fossil and some of the associated displays. Ron describes:
The centerpiece of the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays, Kansas is the world renowned “Fish Within a Fish”. This remarkably complete sample from Gove County, Kansas is of a fourteen foot long Xiphactinus that had ingested an eight foot long Gillicus shortly before its demise in the Western Interior Seaway some 80 million years ago.
Here are some pictures that Ron took of Xiphactinus:
***Thanks to Ron Schott for suggesting this week’s word and providing all the wonderful scary pictures.***