Cretaceous Lebanese Needle Fish Fossil

Dercetis triqueter

Aulopiformes, Dercetidae

Geological Time: Middle Cretaceous, Middle Cenomanian Stage (95 million years ago)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): 65 mm in length (if straightened) on a 70 mm by 65 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Lebanese Lagerstatte, Haqel, Lebanon

Dercetis triqueterDescription: A rarely seen member of the Order Aulopiformes, Family Dercetidae, it is a member of the bony fishes known as a “needle fish” due to its body shape. The upper and lower jaws have been extended into a rostrum; these fish were predators of smaller fish. At 65 mm in length, this is a juvenile example, one with preservation of fine detail. The genus went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous, passing the way of the dinosaurs.

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