THE fossil of a sturgeon thought to be more than 66 million years old is the first of its kind to be discovered in Africa.
The fish — the source of caviar — was believed to have lived only in the northern hemisphere’s cooler waters.
The fossil was discovered by Prof David Martill, a palaeontologist on a trip to Morocco in the past year.
He said: “I found a piece of rock with bucklers — the bony external plates found on these heavily armoured fish – and knew straight away it was a sturgeon.”
Sturgeons were declared a “royal fish” by King Edward II in 1324.
Prof Martill, of Portsmouth University, added: “This new Moroccan species complicates models of the location of the origin of this group of fish.”
Now, the specimen has been added to a collection at a Casablanca-based university.