This marvelous fossil fish is from a locality of paleontological
and historical provenance. Fish fossils from the Monte Bolca Quarry
are among the most highly sought, and have for hundreds of years
been noted for their beauty, rarity, and exquisite preservation.
Sparnodus fossil was reassembled from about five large pieces, curated
by a master craftsmen using methods unchanged for hundreds of years.
Monte Bolca quarry has a fascinating and illustrious history. Here
are a few comments by the original collector:
Bolca Quarry is an Eocene Lagerstätte.
They mine these fish by boring tunnels deep into the hillside
following the seam where the fossil fish layer goes into the mountain.
The same family has owned this quarry for almost four hundred
years. When the weathered matrix is split the fish open, but the
rock ALWAYS shatters; so all but the smallest Bolca fish are "repaired."
The bigger ones (any bigger than this, and of course the REALLY
big ones) are often put back together from dozens of pieces.”
These fish have been collected for CENTURIES, and during the crusades
were considered (yep, THOSE crusades) to be remains of the last
supper and are still considered to this day by many as evidence
of the great flood. Kings of Europe collected them for their sheer
beauty and rarity. The Italian government considers Bolca fossils
to be a national treasure, and as such, while the government has
granted permission for the quarry owners to sell the fish again
after many years of prohibition, the tax collectors take approximately
half of all proceeds.”
specimen is the negative. However, all the physical structures are
present, including teeth, fins, skull and body parts. Sparnodus
from the Bolca Quarry site are represented by two species, Sparnodus
vulgaris (Blainville, 1818) and Sparnodus elongatus Agassiz, 1839.
see: Class Actinopterygii