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Bony Fish Fossils Found In Aurora, North Carolina - Miocene and Pliocene Fish Fossils



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Aurora Collecting Location Page:
PCS Mine, NC



Fossils that can be found at Aurora, NC



Printable Identification Fossil Sheets for Vertebrates and Invertebrates of Aurora, NC



View Collecting Trip Reports from the Aurora, NC



Fossil Shark Gallery



Parts of Sharks that Fossilize



Shark Evolution





Bony Fish Fossils Found at Aurora in the Pungo River, Yorktown, and James City Formations


If you are looking for Shark Fossils From North Carolina, go to the North Carolina Fossil Shark Page

Identifications of many of the fish on this page are based on Purdy et al, (2001) "The Neogene Sharks, Rays, and Bony Fishes from Lee Creek Mine, Aurora, North Carolina"



Osteichthyes Class
Bony Fish

Bony fish parts are abundant at the mine. If one takes a close look, one can easily find puffer and porcupine fish parts, as well as many other genera.


Acanthocybium solandri
Wahoo

Wahoo dentary (jaw) fragment
Formation:
  • probably Yorktown
    Age:
  • probably 2.5-5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~ 1.75" (44mm)
    Date::
  • Feb 2009 trip

  • Acipenser cf. A. oxyrhynchus
    Sturgeon

    Sturgeon scute
    Sturgeon are covered in bony scutes rather than scales. Scutes and scute fragments are relatively common in Yorktown tailings at the PCS mine.
    Formation:
  • probably Yorktown
    Age:
  • probably 2.5-5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~ 1.5" (38mm)
    Date::
  • Feb 2009 trip
  • Sturgeon dermal plate (scute) fragment
    Formation:
  • probably Yorktown
    Age:
  • probably 2.5-5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~ 1 3/4" (43mm)

  • Aluterus sp.
    Filefish

    Filefish vertebrae
    These filefish vertebrae seem to be everywhere in the mine, in both the Pungo River and Yorktown formations.
    The two vertebrae in the bottom of the image are fused together.

    Formation: Pungo River and/or Yorktown
    Age:~18-22 - 2.5-5
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: ~7/8" (22mm)

    Chilomycterus sp.
    Porcupinefish

    Porcupinefish mouthplate
    The crushing mouthplates of these fish are found in both the Pungo River and the Yorktown formations. Upper and lower mouthplates are easily distinguishable. Uppers are round, while lowers are triangular in shape.
    The first image shows an upper mouthplate. In the second image, the two left most plates on the bottom row are lowers.

    Formation: Pungo River and/or Yorktown
    Age:~18-22 - 2.5-5
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: The plate in the first image is ~1 5/8" across (41mm)

    Makaira sp.
    Billfish - Marlin

    This is lower rostrum of a Marlin. A rostrum is part of the snout.

    Formation: Yorktown
    Age:Roughly 2.5-5
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: the cone is about 4 3/4" in length (121mm)

    Megalops atlanticus
    Tarpon

    Go to the Tarpon Fossil Gallery page for more info about Fossil Tarpon
    This is a vertebra from a Tarpon.

    Formation: ? Pungo River or Yorktown
    Age:Roughly ? 15 or 2.5-5 m.y.o.
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: the cone is ~ 1 1/4" in diameter (32mm)

    Merluccius sp.
    Hake

    Jaw section of a Hake
    This is a seciton of jaw from a hake. Notice some teeth are still embedded in the jaws. Hake are common in the Yorktown formation.

    Formation: Yorktown
    Age:Roughly 2.5-5
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: Largest section is ~ 1.5" (38mm)

    Prionotus sp.
    Searobin

    Searobin skull
    This unusual looking fossil is part of the skull of a Searobin. Searobin are found in the Yorktown formation.

    Formation: Yorktown
    Age:~ 2.5-5
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: ~1.25" (32mm)

    Sarda sp.
    Bonita

    Bonita skull element "snout"
    These are parts of the snout of a Bonita fish

    Formation: Pungo River and/or Yorktown
    Age:~18-22 - 2.5-5
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: usually less than 1" (25mm)

    Sphoeroides hyperostosus
    Puffer Fish

    postcleithrum of a puffer fish
    A postcleithrum is one of the dermal bones of the pectoral girdle
    A pectoral girdle is the bony arch that supports the forelimbs of a vertebrate

    Formation:
  • Yorktown
    Age:
  • Roughly 2.5-5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~1 5/8" (41mm)
  • suboperculum of a puffer fish
    A suboperculum is the lower opercular bone
    An opercular bone is a bone that serves as the hard flap, or cover, over the gill slits in fish.

    Formation:
  • Yorktown
    Age:
  • Roughly 2.5-5 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~ 7/8" (22mm)

  • Thunnus sp.
    Tuna

    Tuna Vertebra

    This vertebra appears to be from a tuna.
    Formation:
  • ?
    Age:
  • Roughly 2.5-5 or 18-22 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~ 5/8" (16mm)
  • Tuna Hyplural Bones
    The hyplural bones are fan shaped bones where the caudal fin rays attach. They are often fused together in larger fish.

    Formation: Pungo River and/or Yorktown
    Age:Roughly 18-22 - 2.5-5
    Location:PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size: Larger one is ~ 2" tall (51mm)

    Fish Vertebra
    Bony fish vertebrae are abundant at the mine. Identifying them can be a bit tricky
    Formation:
  • ?Yorktown or Pungo River
    Age:
  • ?2.5 - 5 or 18 - 22 m.y.
    Location:
  • PCS Mine, Aurora, NC
    Size:
  • ~ 7/8" (22mm)