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The changing face of science.

This Xiphactinus model brings the extinct predatory fish back to life, simulating its presence as it swims in ancient waters. With a stunningly detailed paint job, its scales exhibit various shades of grey, darker on top and lighter and shinier on the sides. Its menacing open mouth reveals sharp teeth, while its large, yellow eyes remain on the lookout for unsuspecting prey.

In 1894 the fragmented skull of a teleostean fish, collected from Clutha Station near Richmond, Queensland, was classified as Portheus australis before being renamed Xiphactinus australis a few year later. This classification persisted for nearly a century before being challenged in 1987 by master’s student Tempe Lees and Dr Alan Bartholomai, Director of the Queensland Museum. After examining several well-preserved fossil fish specimens from Central North Queensland Lees and Bartholomai discovered significant morphological variations in the Richmond specimen when compared with Xiphactinus, leading them to reclassify it as a distinct genus. In homage to the traditional owners of the Hughenden and Dutton River districts, the genus was renamed Cooyoo, meaning fish in the Yirandhali language.

Measuring approximately 16.2 x 4 x 5.6cm (LWH) and suitable for ages 3+, this model is constructed from PVC and painted with non-toxic acrylics, ensuring both durability and safety during play.

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