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1.6 in. Partial Silver Dollar Hatchetfish Argyropelecus Fossil - California

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1.6 in. Partial Silver Dollar Hatchetfish Argyropelecus Fossil - California

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Commonly known as the deep-sea hatchet fish or the silver hatchetfish the Argyropelecus group still lives off the California coastline today. In modern times these fish are seen on shore when we have offshore earthquakes or dramatic current temperature changes that force them to middle or higher sea levels.

The large pupils of these marine hatchetfishes enable them to see dim objects in the deep sea, where light barely penetrates. It has also been theorized that like their modern counterpart, the scales along the belly of these fossil hatchetfish were also for bioluminescence - the modern silver hatchetfish uses these scales and emits a blue light to deter any predators who may be looking for a meal from underneath and to blend in with the sunlight permiating through the sea.

These marine fossil fish are known from a few specific layers within the Monterey Formation in Central California. They tell the story of a tropical marine setting, found amongst the remains of sea turtles, sea weeds & palms, whale, seal lions, and dozens of other fish.



Argyropelecus bullockii (David, 1943) Monterey Formation - 12 Million years old Santa Barbara County, California, USA Argyropelecus : 1.6 in. length (1 inch = 2.54 cm) A well preserved Argyropelecus (silver hatchetfish) with complete scales and a wonderful orange color. Unfortunately, this fish is missing his tail, possibly preyed on or disarticulated in the ocean current. This specimen was collected by us in 2015, and painstakingly prepared then stabilized to prevent the scales from wearing away. It is 100% as found and has no restoration, with our personal guarantee!