After 2 years of preparation in our lab, we are proud to present one of the finest scientific-grade specimens of this extremely rare primitive shark. This is a large COMPLETE and IMPECCABLY prepared Lebachacanthus shark from the Permian Period, 260 million years ago before the first dinosaur walked our planet. Any experienced paleontologist or well-traveled museum visitor of all the major institutions in the world will recognize that this piece ranks with with best known fossils of this apex predator for a number of reasons. The preservation you see is 100% original with NO FABRICATION to the skeleton or compositing of multiple skeletons to make one.
Some unique features are special to this piece. The shark is twisted on its back in a way that the underside of the head and jaws are in full view. All the teeth have been exposed and are still amazingly articulated in the jaws. This ventral view also gives the appearance of the shark flying with spread pectoral fins. When we exposed the shark during the lab preparations, there was an area of yellow shale around the head giving the effect of a "halo". That yellow rock is still bordering the skull and inside the jaws which contrasts with the jet black teeth. The head was also on a higher layer of shale and is angled slightly on its back so the skull protrudes dramatically off the rock plate. You will not find a nicer large Permian shark fossil with a skull showing all its teeth and jaws with the impressive anatomy of this specimen.
Typical to this type of fossil, the shark was excavated in pieces in the shale layers so the cracks have been filled and blended to the fossil. Several hundred hours of grinding, pneumatic abrasive and acid-preparation yielded this stunning specimen, revealing all anatomy in a RARE three-dimensional perspective as opposed to typical flat grinding of the fossil. This method of preparation we used retained and exposed all of the anatomical detail in its original multi-dimensional nature. That said, many of these fossils do not possess such high relief in the skeleton but this particular example shows such eye-popping relief and inflation of the bones.
The original dark brown hue to the fossil contrasts wonderfully with the aesthetic banded shale of the plate. Every fin is present and in stunning, complete preservation. This is a MALE shark and is identified by the claspers, seen on the ventral region just anterior to the anal fins. These claspers, like every other bit of skeletal detail, were prepared by our staff with very high 3D relief as seen above in the images.
As stated, we performed the entire preparation to this fossil so we can fully attest to all the work done. The nature of how these fossils are prepared are most time and work intensive. Every little detail must be ground out by hand, carefully removing all matrix covering the fossil skeleton. Many of these specimens are hastily prepared by simply grinding a level layer off of the top of the fossil, often destroying much of the original anatomy. Unlike such an expedient but inferior method, we carefully removed the overlying matrix completely around the three-dimensional anatomy of the entire fossil surface, exposing superb multi-layered detail of the original exquisitely preserved skeleton and skull.
Entire slab is reinforced with fiberglass and varies from 1" - 1.5" in thickness, overall. The slab is secure and safe for a custom wall mount application.
This specimen represents an investment opportunity in acquiring what few if any national museum in the world possesses in their collection inventories not to mention a private collection. When a rare fossil is of the finest grade from a scientific perspective AND presents an unforgettable experience in its visual magnificence to all that stand before it, then this is the making of a true treasure of any realm of rare objects. Many rare fossils are not visually impressive and many visually impressive fossils are not rare. This is one of those RARE prize discoveries that is BOTH! A rare fossil of this caliber that appeals and intrigues ALL viewers, even those with not a care for natural history, translates into a piece that will be an investment every bit as promising as the rarest gem or original work from a famous art master. Pieces like this shatter the normal boundaries of buyer demand for natural history objects alone - they are simply treasures of world interest and intrinsic value. Even the rarest objects of man-made art cannot boast of having the perfect marriage of PRICELESS INTRINSIC VALUE AND IMMEASURABLE BEAUTY that once was a living and breathing creature of our planet. This shark was an APEX PREDATOR WITH NO EQUAL, from a time before the dinosaurs.
From a period in time BEFORE the dinosaurs even walked the earth, the giant Lebachacanthus shark thrived in prehistoric swamps and bayous in Europe and North America. The Lebachacanthus was an ancient freshwater shark that is no longer in existence. It had a very long spine protruding from the back of the head followed by a long ribbon-like dorsal fin that gave it the appearance of an eel. The double forked teeth were another unique characteristic.
SPECIAL NOTE: The current laws in this state of Germany have forbid the collection of these remarkable fossils since 1986. This legislation has permanently ended the supply of such magnificent specimens such as this one being offered here. This rare example was originally collected years prior to the ban but remained unprepared until very recently when we acquired the specimen from the original collector and performed all the preparations ourselves. With digging in the formation now off-limits, a specimen such as this is sure to appreciate in value as an incredibly promising investment as well as leave speechless everyone who has the pleasure to experience it in person. Specimens like this are true international natural history treasures - exceedingly rare in any collection of this quality of preservation as well as execution of its preparation.