Palaeontologist Jamie unearths a new species of big fish from a Fenland quarry.

11:16 03 December 2012

Fossils Galore, bones from a big unknown fish encased in clay as it was found.

Fossils Galore, bones from a big unknown fish encased in clay as it was found.

Archant

SELF taught palaeontologist Jamie Jordan has made the discovery of a lifetime - he has unearthed the bones of an enormous big fish in a Fenland quarry that is more than 160m years old and a completely new species.

Jamie - who owns Fossils Galore in March - is currently working on tons of clay to extricate the bones of the nine metre monster fish, and he expects the painstaking work to take about 10 years.

Twenty-three-year-old Jamie says experts have been astounded at the find, and it is expected that the big fish will eventually be named in honour of its founder, being called Jordanichthys.

“This find is really thrilling,” said Jamie. “It is way beyond anything I ever thought I would find. Eminent palaeontologist Jeff Liston has already had a look, and is gob-smacked by it. He has never heard of a big fish being found so deep down. It is the oldest big fish ever to be found in the world.

“The digger was excavating the clay about 500m below the surface when it hit a large bone. I then knew I had found something big, I jumped down to stop the dig. The first bone was about two feet long and nine inches wide.

“ Finding a new big fish is like finding a whole new species of dinosaur. It’s like finding a needed in a haystack the size of the world, I was just lucky to come across it. We have a picture of what we think the fish may have looked like, it would have been something like a whale.”

After the initial discovery of the skeleton, Jamie returned to the quarry a month later with a team of volunteers from Fossils Galore for a week, and were delighted that R and R Plant Hire donated a digger and a driver to ensure the quick and safe excavation of the fish.

Jamie explained: “We took out a layer about the size of a football pitch, of course the bones are all jumbled up and we are now starting the long job of preparing out the bones, so they can then be pieced together like a massive jig-saw puzzle without instructions. We have a warehouse full of clay containing the bones.

Visitors to Fossils Galore at 60 High Street, March, can see the fish being prepared by volunteers daily, entry is free.

“With the support of the public, the preparation and conservation of this amazing animal will be seen n all its glory,” said Jamie. “I plan to write a scientific paper on it and submit it to the Science Journal. This is something that should be told to the world”

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