Large Rhinobatos hakelensis Cretaceous Guitarfish
Exquisite Preservation

Rhinobatos hakelensis

Class Chondrichthyes, Order Rajiformes, Family Rhinobatidae

Geological Time: Middle Cretaceous, Middle Cenomanian Stage (93 million years ago)

Size: 128 mm across, 278 mm in length

Fossil Site: Lebanese Fossils Lagerstatt, Hajoula, Lebanon

Rhinobatos hakelensis GuitarfishDescription: An unusually large, rare example of a ray commonly called a guitarfish, this is a well-preserved member known as Rhinobatos. There are some 7 genera and 45 species of extant Rhinobatids, most of which have similar morphology to this one. The degree of preservation for a cartilaginous fish is amazing; there is NO paint commonly seen restoring the fin rays or anything else. There are repairs to the matrix; typically, larger specimens do not come out as easily as the far younger Green River fish, and the material is quarried by hand. Typically, all that remains of members of the Chondricthyes are teeth, since they are the only real hard parts to the entire specimen. Preservation such as this is a rare event, with this one more than 95% complete. The 2 smaller fish are Gaudryella (tailless) and Hemisaurida.

click fossil pictures to enlarge

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