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1 June 2009 A Giant Early Miocene Sunfish from the North Alpine Foreland Basin (Austria) and Its Implication for Molid Phylogeny
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Abstract

Three extraordinarily well-preserved skeletons and skeleton parts of an Early Miocene sunfish are described. These unique fossils allow a precise osteological description of one of the largest if not the largest sunfish (320 cm) known so far and represent one of the largest teleost fossils of the Cenozoic Era. This new sunfish genus is the sister-taxon of the extant Mola Masturus clade and, together with these two genera, forms the sister-clade of Ranzania. The radiation of modern-type sunfishes therefore already had occurred during Oligocene times. The finding from the earliest Miocene narrows the gap between the oldest known Eocene primitive sunfish and the Middle and Upper Miocene records, which are all referable to extant genera. Austromola is introduced as a new genus of the family Molidae; Austromola angerhoferi is described as a new species.

© 2009 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Ruzena Gregorova, Ortwin Schultz, Mathias Harzhauser, Andreas Kroh, and Stjepan Ćorić "A Giant Early Miocene Sunfish from the North Alpine Foreland Basin (Austria) and Its Implication for Molid Phylogeny," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29(2), 359-371, (1 June 2009). https://doi.org/10.1671/039.029.0201
Received: 3 July 2008; Accepted: 1 October 2008; Published: 1 June 2009
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