- Xiphactinus audax
- Cretaceous Age
- Kansas Chalk
- This specimen like virtually ALL Kansas Chalk specimens was taken out of the original HEAVY Matrix and prepped. It was then placed into a much lighter faux matrix made of plaster. It was then placed into a custom made wooden frame that has a hanger on the back, ready to hang on your wall. The Skull measures approx. 20″ long and the frame measures approx. 17.25″ x 25.25″ in size. This is a very affordable and manageable Xiphactinus!
Xiphactinus (from Latin and Greek for “sword-ray”) is an extinct genus of large (4.5 to 6 metres (15 to 20 ft)) predatory marine bony fish that lived during the Late Cretaceous (Albian to Maastrichtian). When alive, the fish would have resembled a gargantuan, fanged tarpon (to which it was, however, not related). Species of Xiphactinus were voracious predatory fish. At least a dozen specimens of Xiphactinus audax have been collected with the remains of large, undigested or partially digested prey in their stomachs. In particular, one 13 feet (4.0 m) fossil specimen was collected by George F. Sternberg with another, nearly perfectly preserved 6 feet (1.8 m) long ichthyodectid Gillicus arcuatus inside of it. The larger fish apparently died soon after eating its prey, most likely owing to the smaller prey’s struggling and rupturing an organ as it was being swallowed. This fossil can be seen at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays, Kansas.