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200 Million-year-old Fossil of 'Lazarus' Fish Expected to Fetch Over Rs 43 Lakh at Auction

Photo: Summer Place Auctions

Photo: Summer Place Auctions

A fish that lived about 200 million years ago is all set to be sold off in an auction for £50,000 soon.

A fish that lived about 200 million years ago is all set to be sold off in an auction for £50,000 soon. While auctions are held for prized collections and unparalleled finds, the reason why a fossilized fish has managed to kick up such a high rate is because of its excellent condition in which it was found.

The fossil is of a coelacanth fish that belongs to the Lazarus taxon. It was found from Solnhofen in Germany. Another attraction point is its rarity that has prompted the auction organisers to make it the headline item. The coelacanths are massively famous for “returning” back to life in 1938 after experts believed that the species had gone extinct in the late Cretaceous period, over 65 million years ago.

This belief was shattered when a specimen was caught in an open-air market in South Africa in 1938. Thus it was included in the Lazarus taxon that refers to a taxon that disappears for one or more periods from the fossil record, only to appear again later in palaeontology.

The auction of the 200 million-year-old version is going to be held at Sussex in England on November 24. The lineup is that of ancient items, which includes various interesting items of the bygone age. There is the skull of a woolly rhinoceros for sale, along with dinosaur eggs and fossils preserved in amber. Another interesting specimen is that of a huge mammoth tusk.

Auction house director Rupert van der Werff spoke about being able to auction off such a rare item. He said, “They so rarely are uncovered and it is even more rare that they come up for sale.”

He pointed out how the particular coelacanth fossil perfectly showed limb-like structure in its fins. This points toward the evolution from fishes to amphibians. Interested people can check out the Evolution sale here.


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