May 21st, 2021

A complex #FossilFriday specimen made up of broken shells, fish bones, and partially buried prehistoric shark teeth (outlined in yellow). Found near the Bad Heart River and generously donated by local Mark Pirker.

This slab of rock measures just over 10 cm long and contains at least 5 shark teeth with roots (outlined in yellow) from various species. The shark teeth range in size from 0.5 – 1.0 cm long. Whereas the fossil fish bones are much smaller millimeter-sized, black-colored material.

Knowing what kind of rock a fossil is in; helps paleontologists understand what ancient environment led to the fossilization of a specimen. The name of the rock that preserved the shark teeth is called coquina, and it only forms in a few specific environments. The presence of coquina tells us that this rock formed in a high-energy, shallow water environment, likely near a beach.

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