Historic fish fossil discovered in Comanche National Grassland

Next with Kyle Clark. 9NEWS @ 6. 3/7/2017

KUSA - Wandering around,  just hoping to find something special, rarely pans out for most people. Unless you are a local paleontologist out looking for fossils.

U.S. Forest Service Paleontologist Bruce Schumacher discovered the fossil of a large fish that lived 94 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period, in the Comanche National Grassland in February.

We can chalk it up to the fact that he knew exactly where to look - within the chalky layers of greenhorn limestone.

Schumacher had worked in the area before. After more of the stone eroded after time, he gave it another look hoping to discover something unique and he lucked out.    

He found the fossilized tail and vertebrae of the tuna-like fish called Pachyrhizodus. 

Schumacher says the fish was about 7 feet long and between 500 or 600 pounds.

It is on display at the Comanche National Grassland office, but will eventually go to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science where it will be stored in the permanent research collections. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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