Enormous ancient fish discovered

ISLAMABAD   -  A serendipitous discovery of a fossilized bony lung reveals a massive ancient fish.Fossilized remains of a fish that grew as big as a great white shark and the largest of its type ever found have been discovered by accident.The new discovery by scientists from the University of Portsmouth is a species of the so-called ‘living fossil’ coelacanths that still swim in the seas, surviving the extinction that killed off the dinosaurs.The discovery was purely serendipitous. Professor David Martill, a paleontologist from the University’s School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences, had been asked to identify a large bone in a private collection in London. 

The collector had bought the specimen thinking the bone might have been part of a pterodactyls’ skull. Professor Martill was surprised to find it was not in fact a single bone, but composed of many thin bony plates.He said: “The thin bony plates were arranged like a barrel, but with the staves going round instead of from top to bottom. Only one animal has such a structure and that is the coelacanth — we’d found a bony lung of this remarkable and bizarre-looking fish. The collector was mightily disappointed he didn’t have a pterosaur skull, but my colleagues and I were thrilled as no coelacanth has ever been found in the phosphate deposits of Morocco, and this example was absolutely massive!”

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