The recent 2014–2017 controlled excavations carried out in quarries of Sverdlovsk and Tyumen regions, Ural and Western Siberia, are contributing to the knowledge of the middle to late Eocene marine fauna from the Turgay Strait, mainly composed of invertebrates and cartilaginous and bony fishes. Here we present a preliminary report of the bony fishes collected during the campaigns carried out in two Eocene Trans-Urals localities. The sediments of these localities were deposited in a large epicontinental marine basin during the middle to late Eocene, when the Turgay Strait connected the Arctic waters to the North and the Peritethys to the South. Most of the bony fish material examined can be assigned to codfishes (Gadiformes) according to morphological comparison with living and fossil taxa. In particular, nearly complete three-dimensionally preserved lower jaws are confidently assigned to the Merlucciidae, whereas isolated vertebrae and bones are referred to as Gadiformes incertae sedis. This report documents the easternmost occurrence of this group of fishes in the northern hemisphere during the early phases of their radiation, revealing their presence into the Turgay Strait before its closure.
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Vol. 93 • No. 5