Today’s Fossil Friday is the Xiphactinus Audax better known as the “bulldog fish”. The name “Xiphactinus” means sword-fish in Latin and Greek and is pronounced (Zy-fac-tin-us). Xiphactinus was a massive bony fish that lived during the Late Cretaceous period (100-66 million years ago). They are considered to be one of the most vicious creatures to have lived in the sea, you can imagine why! They could grow up to 15 feet long and had three inch teeth and weighed up to half a ton. Xiphactinus resembled a very large modern day Tarpon with very large fangs, however there is no relation. The first Xiphactinus fossil was found in Kansas in 1850. In 2010, a Xiphactinus fossil was found with a Mosasaur flipper between its jaws; numerous other fossils have been found with undigested and partially digested prey in their stomachs. They lived in the Western Interior Seaway which covered the center of the North America. Fossils of this fish have been found in Kansas, Alabama, and Georgia.
Xiphactinus is one of the many fossils on display in the Ancient Fossil Shop inside The Shops at Nature’s Art Village. Visit Nature’s Art Village on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to see this fossil and hundreds more!
Check back next week for another Fossil Friday!