Gymnoichthys Triassic Fish Fossil Morphotype 1

Gymnoichthys inopinatus

Order Amiiformes, Superfamily Caturoidea

Geological Time: Middle Triassic

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fish fossil is 165 mm by 62 mm tall (with fins); Matrix: 235 mm by 130 mm

Fossil Site: Guanling Formation, Luoping County, Yunnan Province of China

Fossil Code: CF486

Price: Sold

Gymnoichthys inopinatusDescription: Just described in 2010, this is Gymnoichthys inopinatus. At that time it was regarded by the authors as a basal neopterygian. Early this year, another group of researchers assigned it to the Caturoidea. As such it is the first caturoid described from China and the oldest by some 40 million years. A relative Caturus, found in the Jurassic deposits of Solnhofen is the patronymic taxon for which the superfamily was named. Other members are found in the Jurassic of Europe and North America. Unlike most Middle Triassic fish, Gymnoichthys was essentially scaleless, affording easy examination of the bony structure within; indeed, Gymoichthys means “naked fish”. Note the dramatic dorsal fin preserved on this specimen, the first I have seen with such a flaglike dorsal. In many cases with extant fish the male has the more flamboyant finnage. I will hedge my bets and just refer to this one as Morphotype 1. The repaired matrix cracks detract little from such an impressive specimen. See my other offerings for the type I have seen in the past which I am calling Gymnoichthys inopinatus Morphotype 2.

Revista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafa, Vol 116 No 2, pp161-172 July 2010. Vertebrata PalAsiatica, (1), pp1-16, 2013.

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