A marine Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) coelacanth from North Africa

Paulo M. Brito, David M. Martill, Ian Eaves, Roy E. Smith, Samuel L. A. Cooper

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An isolated, articulated, but crushed ossified lung of a mawsoniid coelacanth is reported from uppermost Cretaceous (upper Maastrichtian) of Oued Zem, Morocco. The specimen is the last record of a coelacanth before their pseudo-extinction at the end of the Mesozoic. The specimen is also the first record of a marine coelacanth in the Mesozoic of Morocco and the first occurrence of coelacanths in the phospahte deposits of North Africa. The large size of the lung suggests a fish estimated at between 3.65 m and 5.52 m total body length.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104768
Number of pages8
JournalCretaceous Research
Early online date23 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


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