Around 92 million years ago, the land we now know as Colorado was covered by a sea.
Also at that time, a fish known as “The Muppet Fish” swam in those waters. Paleontologists have proof that the fish was in the area at the time after finding a a fossil of it in the Comanche Grasslands in the southern part of the state.
“We know that this fish was in the Western Interior Seaway, in the middle of what is now landlocked Colorado,” says Bruce Schumacher, one of the paleontologists with the U.S. Forest Service, who found the fossil.
There are only two other fossils of “The Muppet Fish” known to exist. One is in the United Kingdom, and the other is in Japan.
According to scientists, the Colorado specimen is the most compete fossil discovered. The fossilized fish bones are “thin and flaky,” says Anthony Maltese, curator of the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center. Because of that, it took more than 150 using delicate instruments to extract the fossilized bones.
Schumacher says the discovery was a complete accident. A hammer strike just happened to reveal the fin of the fish. The specimen will be sent to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for study.