Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination
GEOREF RECORD

Batfishes from the Eocene of Monte Bolca

Giorgio Carnevale and Theodore W. Pietsch
Batfishes from the Eocene of Monte Bolca
Geological Magazine (May 2011) 148 (3): 461-472

Abstract

Batfishes of the family Ogcocephalidae are derived lophiiform fishes characterized by having a dorsoventrally depressed body and a distinctive series of morphological features. A new genus and species of batfish, Tarkus squirei gen. et sp. nov., is described from the Eocene (Ypresian) limestone of the celebrated locality of Monte Bolca, Italy. It is based on five well-preserved specimens that display a unique combination of characters (body moderately depressed; disk rounded in outline; caudal peduncle thick and stout; frontals with median groove for the illicium; teeth present on jaws and palate; illicial bone pitted and trilobate; body covered with thick slightly overlapping tubercles) that support its recognition as a new genus of the family Ogcocephalidae. Tarkus gen. nov. is also characterized by having distally branched pectoral-fin rays, a condition unique within the family, and by a peculiar structure of the axial skeleton, which possibly represents the plesiomorphic state for the ogcocephalids. Tarkus gen. nov. shows a certain degree of phenetic affinity with the extant shallow-water batfish genera Halieutaea and (more particularly) Halieutichthys. The specimens of this taxon are the first articulated skeletal remains of the Ogcocephalidae ever recorded as fossils, also representing the oldest members of the family known to date. The general structure of the skeleton of Tarkus gen. nov. provides unambiguous evidence that the existence of the modern ogcocephalid body plan was already established in the early Eocene, and probably originated well before that period. Palaeoenvironmental considerations suggest that Tarkus gen. nov. was a tropical batfish that inhabited the inner-shelf palaeobiotopes of the central-western Tethys.


ISSN: 0016-7568
EISSN: 1469-5081
Coden: GEMGA4
Serial Title: Geological Magazine
Serial Volume: 148
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Batfishes from the Eocene of Monte Bolca
Affiliation: Universita di Torino, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Turin, Italy
Pages: 461-472
Published: 201105
Text Language: English
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, London, United Kingdom
References: 64
Accession Number: 2011-048304
Categories: Vertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables
N44°47'60" - N46°40'60", E10°40'00" - E13°04'60"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Washington, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Cambridge University Press. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201127
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal