Abstract

A primitive clupeomorph fish Ornategulum gen. nov. sardinioides (Pictet) is described from the middle Cenomanian of Hakel in the Lebanon. The caudal skeleton shows a free first hypural, a fusion between the second hypural and the reduced first ural centrum, and a complete neural spine associated with the second preural centrum. The cranial anatomy shows this genus to be the most primitive clupeomorph yet known, lacking a temporal foramen, a well-defined pre-epiotic fossa, frontal fontanelles, a pterotic bulla, and a recessus lateralis. The fish is too primitive to be placed in either suborder of the Clupeomorpha and there is no firm evidence to suggest that it belongs to a separate clupeomorph lineage; the genus is placed as Clupeomorpha incertae sedis.

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