Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bajaichthys

Bajaichthys elegans
Bajaichthys elegans is known only from a single juvenile fossil that was discovered back in 1987. But the fossil is enough to tell us that this interesting looking creature is a relative to the modern-day Oarfish.

Monte Bolca, near Venice Italy, is the site where the fossil was found. This site is an important trove of fossils from the Eocene, especially the Lutetian Epoch. That time period lasted between roughly 47 and 41 million ago, and it was the same timet hat our buddy Bajaichthys lived.

This creature has quite an interesting look to it-- it has an anal fin that runs the entire length of the tail, a vary tall dorsal fin, and two little wing-like pelvic fins. Because of its anatomy, it could belong to one of two different Lamprid families, which is why is currently does not belong to a family at all! We won't know more until additional, adult forms are uncovered-- which may not happen for a very long time, if at all!

Status : Extinct 41 million years
Location : Fossils found in Italy
Size : Length of 4cm
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Actinopterygii -- Order : Lampriformes
Family: incertae sedis -- Genus : Bajaichthys -- Species : B. elegans
Image : Stanton F Fink

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