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Cole Xiphactinus Site

This is the new jaw, under cut and ready to plaster.

Finally, the pectoral fin is ready to plaster.

All the bones have been collected. These are some of the vertebra after cleaning.

The site "surprise" is visible in this photo, but will keep it a secret till the end.

These are two of the three groups of bones collected.

This view illustrates all the bones collected from the site.

This is the finished display. The vertebra in the upper right corner are from the same type fish, but were collected from Paul Smith's rock pit, southwest of Lebanon, Kansas. The display is 59 x 40 inches.

These are the jaws found at the site. I had to leave the site exposed overnight once, and that was enough that the cows decided to investigate the site and walk on the bones.

Now for the surprise. Note at the tip of the white arrow one can see another very small vertebral column. The column length is about equal to 4 1/2 of the larger vertebra.

This seems to be a case of prey and predator. Evidently the larger fish swallowed the smaller one. According to recent scientific publications, there are only six other "fish-in-a-fish" in the world. Well, now there are at least seven.

Nearby Extra Bonus Site

While waiting for plaster to dry I wandered a couple hundred yards to the southeast of the Xiphactinus site and stumbled onto another fish site.

This is the pectoral fin of another Cretaceous fish called Protosphyraena. The bones are in very bad shape, but it was collected. I haven't determined at this time if I will try and reconstruct the fin.

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