Cyclobatis Cretaceous Lebanese Stingray Fossil Fish

Cyclobatis major

Geological Time: Middle Cretaceous, Cenomanian Stage

Size: 4 3/4 inch long

Fossil Site: Hajoula, Lebanon


The Cenomanian (97.5 - 91 million year old) sublithographic limestone deposits of Haqel, Lebanon rival the Eocene (50 million year old) deposits of Wyoming for the degree of preservation and variety of fish to be found. The other lifeforms found with them are indicative of a warm and shallow sea environment. The deposits themselves are found in basins only a few hundred meters across, and are indicative of slow deposition during a stagnant stage. They are currently to be found at depths up to 800 feet. The real diffulty in collecting is the unrest prevalent in the area. This particular fish is related to one highly-prized in Green River deposits, a stingray. This one is the unusual short-tailed ray Cyclobatis major (actually a skate). What is even more unusual is that we have both the part and counterpart presented. Cartilage does not preserve as well as bone, so the quality of preservation here is exceptional. Rays of any type are quite rare..

click fossil pictures to enlarge


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