Jurassic Fossil Fish Leptolepis from Australia

Name: Leptolepis talbragarensis

Class Actinopterygii, Infraclass: Teleostei, Superorder Protacanthopterygii, Order Leptolepiformes, Family Leptolepididae

Geological Time: Early Middle Jurassic

Size: 60 mm

Fossil Site: Purlawaugh Formation, Merrygoen Ironstone, Talbragar Fish Beds, Farrs Hill, Glugong, New South Wales, Australia

Australian Jurassic Fossil Fish LeptolepisThis fossil fish comes the most famous mass kill site in Australia, the Talbragar Fish Beds. Like the much younger Green River Formation deposits, large numbers of specimens that evidently died contemporaneously have been found. The preservation in ironstone is remarkable. The genus Leptolepis already shows all the characteristics of the true bony fishes, and may represent the early stages of the developmental route towards herrings of Order Clupeiformes, the Order to which the Green River Formation genus Knightia belongs. Leptolepiformes is an extinct order of small, ray-finned teleost fishes characterized by a relatively strong, ossified axial skeleton, thin cycloid scales, and a preopercle with an elongated dorsal portion, and which are to the understanding of the early evolution of the Teleostei.

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