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Gladiopycnodontidae, a new family of pycnodontiform fishes from the Late Cretaceous of Lebanon, with the description of three genera

Author(s): Louis Taverne | Luigi Capasso

Journal: European Journal of Taxonomy
ISSN 2118-9773

Issue: 57;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Pycnodontiformes | Coccodontoidea superfam. nov. | osteology | Cretaceous | Lebanon

The osteology of Gladiopycnodus karami gen. et sp. nov., of Monocerichthys scheuchzeri gen. et sp. nov. and of Rostropycnodus gayeti gen. et sp. nov., three new fossil fishes from the marine Cenomanian (Late Cretaceous) of Lebanon, is studied in detail. Some of their cranial characters and the presence of a postcoelomic bone clearly refer these fishes to the order Pycnodontiformes. However, they differ from all other described Pycnodontiformes by two important characters. Their snout is elongated as a rostrum, formed by the enlarged prefrontal and the toothless premaxilla, with this premaxilla sutured by its upper margin to the lower margin of the prefrontal. Their pectoral fin is replaced by a strong spine articulated with the cleithrum. These two apomorphies justify the erection of a new family, the Gladiopycnodontidae. The skull of Monocerichthys scheuchzeri sp. nov. does not differ greatly from a classical pycnodontiform skull and this species seems to be the more primitive member of this new family. Gladiopycnodus karami gen. et sp. nov. and Rostropycnodus gayeti gen. et sp. nov. are much more specialized. They share some apomorphies not present in Monocerichthys scheuchzeri gen. et sp. nov., i. e., an extremely long rostrum and an elongated first anal pterygiophore that sustains with the postcoelomic bone a strong and long anal spine. Gladiopycnodontidae fam. nov. and Coccodontidae share a series of apomorphies that justify the erection of a new superfamily, Coccodontoidea, grouping these two families.

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