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10 September 2019 A New Genus and Species of Pycnodontid Fish Flagellipinna rhomboides, gen. et sp. Nov. (Neopterygii, Pycnodontiformes), from The Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) of Lebanon, With Notes on Juvenile form and Ecology
John Joseph Cawley, Jürgen Kriwet
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Abstract

The Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) limestone quarry of Haqel, Lebanon, is home to one of the largest diversities of fossil actinopterygians in the Mesozoic, particularly of pycnodontiform fishes. Here, we describe a pycnodontiform fish, Flagellipinna rhomboides, gen. et sp. nov., from this locality based on four specimens. It is considered a member of the derived family Pycnodontidae due to the presence of a postparietal process. This taxon is distinct from other pycnodontids due to its diamond-shaped body, whip-like dorsal fin, postcloacal scales with forward-pointing spines, and acute anterior profile with a concave slope, giving it a ‘hunchback’ appearance. The prognathous snout armed with molariform teeth suggests that this pycnodont preyed on a variety of shelled animals from crevices. The smallest specimen is distinct in that it has a larger orbit size, no spines on the contour scales, poorly ossified skull roof bones, a notochord partially covered by arcocentra, and lacks whip-like filament on the dorsal fin, which suggest that it is a juvenile/subadult. The differences between the juvenile/subadult and other larger specimens suggest a change in ecological niche occupation during ontogeny, going from a generalized forager that lived in complex, reef habitats to moving into deeper waters to feed from crevices on the reef edge. These findings provide a more complete picture of the possible life history strategies that pycnodontiforms may have used in order to exploit different resources throughout their lives.

© 2019 John Joseph Cawley and Jürgen Kriwet. Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
John Joseph Cawley and Jürgen Kriwet "A New Genus and Species of Pycnodontid Fish Flagellipinna rhomboides, gen. et sp. Nov. (Neopterygii, Pycnodontiformes), from The Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) of Lebanon, With Notes on Juvenile form and Ecology," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 39(2), (10 September 2019). https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2019.1614012
Received: 4 June 2018; Accepted: 12 April 2019; Published: 10 September 2019
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