Champsosaur and fish Monjurosuchus & Lycoptera
Like many Liaoning fossils, this one captures the remnants
of several animals that died simultaneously, perhaps killed by a volcanic
event. The champsosaur, a superficially crocodile-like reptile, is about a foot
long. Fish are the most common backboned animals in the fossil beds, and the
most prevalent are herring-like Lycoptera.
Fossil hunters have discovered thousands of specimens in a single layer of
sedimentary rock. Aquatic animals and plants, in general, often became
spectacular fossils, as fine-grained sediments were likely to drift to the
bottoms of lakes and ponds.