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1 November 2015 The Eocene Sardine †Bolcaichthys catopygopterus (Woodward, 1901) from Monte Bolca, Italy: Osteology, Taxonomy, and Paleobiology
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Clupeid fishes are abundant in the Eocene fossiliferous limestone of Monte Bolca, representing by far the most common group from this celebrated locality. However, despite of their abundance, the clupeid fishes from Monte Bolca have seldom been investigated. An analysis of about 300 well-preserved clupeid specimens from Monte Bolca housed in several institutions clearly indicates that more than 95% of the available material belongs to different developmental stages of a single taxon, traditionally referred to as †Clupea catopygoptera Woodward. †Bolcaichthys, a new genus of clupeid fish, erected to contain †Clupea catopygoptera Woodward from the Eocene of Monte Bolca, Italy, is described and compared with extant and fossil genera of the family Clupeidae. This new genus shows a unique combination of characters (head length approximately one third to one quarter standard length; skull roof with 10–14 frontoparietal striae; mouth terminal; two supramaxillae; edentulous jaws and palate; complete series of about 20–22 abdominal keeled scutes with ascending arms; no dorsal scutes; five or six branchiostegal rays; eight supraneurals; 40–42 vertebrae and 20–22 pleural ribs; three epurals) supporting its recognition as a new genus of the family Clupeidae. Paleobiological considerations suggest that the presence of a very large number of schooling clupeids belonging to the genus †Bolcaichthys at all stages of development (larval, juvenile, and adult) support the hypothesis that the sediments were deposited close to the coast in a context subject to the ecological influence of the open sea.
© by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Giuseppe Marramà and Giorgio Carnevale "The Eocene Sardine †Bolcaichthys catopygopterus (Woodward, 1901) from Monte Bolca, Italy: Osteology, Taxonomy, and Paleobiology," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 35(6), (1 November 2015).
Received: 5 April 2014; Accepted: 1 January 2015; Published: 1 November 2015

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