Herald Sun

Fish fos­sil proves an epic catch

- MERED­ITH ERIKS­SON

SOME­THING fishy has turned up at an out­back farm in the mid­dle of Aus­tralia.

The dis­cov­ery of a 100 mil­lion-year-old fos­silised fish called the cooyoo is be­ing cel­e­brated in palaeon­to­log­i­cal cir­cles as the catch of the year.

The cooyoo was an an­cient Aus­tralian gi­ant, mea­sur­ing up to three me­tres in length, with a head like a bull­dog and man­ners to match — of­ten swal­low­ing its prey whole. Cu­ra­tor of marine fos­sil mu­seum Kronosauru­s Korner, Tim Hol­land, led the ex­pe­di­tion af­ter Dun­can and Judy Fysh of Proa red­claw farm in Queens­land came into the mu­seum a month ago. “They found the bones of an Ichthyosau­r in their back pad­dock. Af­ter I ex­am­ined it, I started flip­ping over mud­stone,” Mr Hol­land said. “Sud­denly, I was look­ing straight into the cooyoo’s eye.”

Fos­sils of the cooyoo have been dis­cov­ered be­fore but have never held such de­tail. “Pre­vi­ous re­con­struc­tions showed bris­tle-like teeth, sug­gest­ing it was a large fish but not a top preda­tor.”

The cooyoo goes on dis­play to­day at the Kronosauru­s Korner in Rich­mond, Queens­land.

 ??  ?? Fos­silised cooyoo jaws.
Fos­silised cooyoo jaws.

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