How to Preserve A Fossil Fish In The Weirdest Way Possible

Sometimes paleontology is awe-inspiring. Sometimes it's gross and hilarious. This episode is at the weird epicenter of all of those things, because it turns out the best preserved fossil sturgeons are found up the rear end of duck-billed dinosaurs. 

Click For Content Warnings

Hemorrhoids, literally anything that you can imagine happening to a butthole, maligning archeologists, misinterpreting a cloaca as a butthole for the purposes of comedy 

Images From the Episode (Kinda)

References

Grande, L., & Hilton, E. J. (2006). An exquisitely preserved skeleton representing a primitive sturgeon from the Upper Cretaceous Judith River Formation of Montana (Acipenseriformes: Acipenseridae: n. gen. and sp.). Memoir (The Paleontological Society), 1-39.

Zhao, Y., Tian, Q., Ren, G. Y., Guo, Y., & Zheng, X. T. (2023). Taphonomic analysis of the exceptional preservation of early bird feathers during the early Cretaceous period in Northeast China. Frontiers in Earth Science, 10, 1020594.

Franzen, J. L., Aurich, C., & Habersetzer, J. (2015). Description of a well preserved fetus of the European Eocene Equoid Eurohippus messelensis. PloS one, 10(10), e0137985.

Franzen, J. L., Gingerich, P. D., Habersetzer, J., Hurum, J. H., Von Koenigswald, W., & Smith, B. H. (2009). Complete primate skeleton from the middle Eocene of Messel in Germany: morphology and paleobiology. PLoS one, 4(5), e5723.

O’Connor, J., Wang, X., Sullivan, C., Zheng, X., Tubaro, P., Zhang, X., & Zhou, Z. (2013). Unique caudal plumage of Jeholornis and complex tail evolution in early birds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(43), 17404-17408.

Benton, Michael J., et al. "The remarkable fossils from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China and how they have changed our knowledge of Mesozoic life: Presidential Address, delivered 2nd May 2008." Proceedings of the Geologists' Association 119.3-4 (2008): 209-228.

National Park Service. Diatoms of the Florissant Formation. https://www.nps.gov/flfo/learn/nature/diatoms-of-the-florissant-formation.htm 

Franzen, J. L. (1985). Exceptional preservation of Eocene vertebrates in the lake deposit of Grube Messel (West Germany). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences, 311(1148), 181-186.

Gaudin, T. J., Emry, R. J., & Morris, J. (2016). Skeletal anatomy of the North American pangolin Patriomanis americana (Mammalia, Pholidota) from the latest Eocene of Wyoming (USA). Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.

https://www.fws.gov/story/sturgeon-snoots-and-scutes 

Grande, L., & Hilton, E. J. (2009). A Replacement Name for† Psammorhynchus Grande & Hilton, 2006 (Actinopterygii, Acipenseriformes, Acipenseridae). Journal of Paleontology, 83(2), 317-318.