Predator Fish Fossil Gluttony with Two Eaten Prey Fish
in Fossil Fish
boissieri (viper fish) with Hajulia sp.
Superclass Osteichthyes, Class Actinopterygii,
Time: Middle Cretaceous, Cenomanian Stage (95 million years ago)
115 mm Hajulia: 25 mm and 45 mm
Lebanese Lagerstätte, Haqel, Lebanon
Eurypholis boissieri fish fossil shown here is betrayed as a predator
by its wide gape and needle sharp teeth, allowing it to easily engulf
smaller prey fish. The flanks carry a line of large bony scales,
readily visible in the accompanying photos. This genus went extinct
by the Upper Cretaceous. Hajulia is a small fish that went extinct
in the Cretaceous, but is possibly related to the recent genus Pterothrissus.
The ingested Hajulia fish fossils pair could have been too much
for the Eurypholis to handle, leading to the death of the predator.
Note that while the larger eaten fish is in the usual head-first
engulfment position, the smaller was apparently eaten tail first,
with the fin spines possibly chocking the Eurypholis.
fossil pictures to enlarge