This remarkable specimen here really should be called "better than" Museum Grade because the few we have seen in museum exhibits are not anywhere near as nice as this example. It is important to note that this fossil is 100% NATURAL AND ORIGINAL WITH NO PAINTING OR RESTORATION. Fossils from Lebanon are notorious for their artificial painting in areas that were originally missing. Many dealers have no idea that many Lebanese fossils they are selling, from shrimp to fish and rays, are actually heavily restored with paint. We received this specimen in its completely natural state, did some further preparation work and added a layer of epoxy on the reverse side to strengthen the original limestone plate. ALL COLOR AND DETAIL YOU SEE IS ORIGINAL and nothing was painted or restored on this magnificent example. At nearly TWO FEET LONG, this is not only a top quality specimen but it is an exceptionally large one, as well. The limestone slab it was found on was fractured in the extraction and splitting process which is typical so only repair was performed to the piece.
Shown on the limestone slab are other associated fish fossils that were in a higher layer than the Eubiodectes. These fossils too, are 100% natural with no restoration. The detail of the skull bones and plates as well as the entire body skeleton, is remarkable. The fins are really a treat to see, the tail fin being perfect in its preservation with all original spines and salmon pink color as well as three-dimensional detail. The body shows every skeletal and fin spine including a complete spinal column. Color is a beautiful white in the lower half of the body with a darker upper half outlined in black dendrites.
This is one of the finest large specimens of this RARE Mesozoic fish we have seen anywhere. A local quarry owner and curator of the region where this fossil was found shared the same sentiment, saying it was one of the finest he had ever seen. These fish fossils are rare and are the largest of the bony fishes found in the deposits. Finding any specimens of Eubiodectes is a rare occurrence. Maybe a quarry where they can be found will yield only a few a year, if that. Finding any COMPLETE AND FINE QUALITY specimens of Eubiodectes is another story - most often, the fins are damaged and/or missing. This is a key to finding a good example because this fish has an incredibly beautiful large, deeply forked tail and a long graceful pectoral fin.
Eubiodectes was a voracious and lightning fast predator of the Cretaceous seas and is an extinct member of the Ichthyodectidae family. The name Ichthyodectidae translates into "fish biters" and these "Bulldog fish" included some of the largest and most dangerous fish of the Cretaceous like the monstrous Xiphactinus. Eubiodectes fish was alive when Tyrannosaurus rex was ruling the land in North America and pterodactyls the size of small airplanes ruled the skies. Eubiodectes died during the Cretaceous Period but it could be compared today to the living Wolf Herring. Eubiodectes was likely a very dangerous and swift hunter based on the profile of its body and large pug-shaped head. Like the Wolf Herring of today, Eubiodectes probably fed on fish and the occasional crustacean.