Gymnoichthys Triassic Fish Morphotype 2

Gymnoichthys inopinatus

Order Amiiformes, Superfamily Caturoidea

Geological Time: Middle Triassic

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fish fossil is 134 mm by 52 mm tall (with fins) Matrix: 225 mm by 175 mm

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

Fossil Code: CF487

Price: Sold

Gymnoichthys inopinatus Fish FossilDescription: 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 dorsal fin preserved on this specimen, and compare it with the other one I have on offer, the first I have seen with such a flaglike dorsal. In many cases with extant fish the male has the more flamboyant finnage. Until a gravid female is found which will end the mystery I will hedge my bets and just refer to this one as Morphotype 2. The repaired matrix cracks detract little from such an impressive specimen. See my other offerings for the type I am calling Gymnoichthys inopinatus Morphotype 1.

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

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