A large marine gar fish (Ginglymodi, Lepisosteiformes) from the Turonian Akrabou Formation of Asfla, Morocco

Samuel L. A. Cooper, David M. Martill, Thomas Beevor, James Gunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Upper Cretaceous (Turonian) Akrabou Formation at Asfla in south east Morocco is a marine carbonate succession well-known for its exceptionally preserved, often three-dimensional marine vertebrate fossils. It is perhaps best known for its diverse ichthyological assemblage comprising both cartilaginous and bony fishes, notably teleosts and pycnodonts. However, holostean fishes (Holostei), particularly gars (Ginglymodi, Lepisosteiformes) are previously unreported from the formation. Described here is a partial specimen consisting the articulated squamation of a notably large marine lepisosteiform (Gar). Fossil and extant gars are predominantly recorded in freshwater environments and therefore the occurrence of the new specimens in an outer shelf marine deposit is unusual. The Asfla specimen is confidently assigned to Lepisosteidae based on its characteristic squamation which differentiates it from all other gar families. Specimen biostratinomy and taphonomy is discussed with revision of the lepisosteiform fossil record of Morocco.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104839
Number of pages10
JournalCretaceous Research
Volume125
Early online date15 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

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