Apr 30, 2009

Pipefish Fossil

pipefish fossil

My husband has been collecting fossils since he was a child, and that got me interested in them, too. Of course, I care most about fossils of marine origins. We have a few little shells, Trilobites, fish, and a crab. But today I received in the mail my new favorite fossil--a pipefish fossil.

You can find some pretty nice, inexpensive fossils on Ebay. I got this beauty from Billbrand11. He estimates it is from the Ecocene Epoch, about 50 million years old or older. It was found 5 miles from Buellton, California in the Santa Ynez fault that runs through the Santa Ynez river valley; The fault runs all the way to the San Gabriel Fault. He says that 50 million years ago, there was a volcanic disturbance that caused a mass extinction of these pipefish.

The complete pipefish is about 6 inches long. The shape of the body and lack of a tail remind me so much of modern pipefish from the genus Syngnathus. They could very well be relatives. What I love about this particular fossil is that in the closeup photo of the head, you can see the the trigger pretty well; it's the triangular bump just under the eye.

I took a bunch of macro shots of this fossil, you can find the fossil album on my photobucket. I also have a bunch of fossils in my Flickr fossil set.

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