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Cretaceous - Macropomoides: A Coelacanth Fish

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  • Neal Robbins
              This link has a fossil photo of Macropomoides orientalis. http://www.fossilmall.com/EDCOPE_Enterprises/fish/fishfossils1/L472B.jpg      
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 5, 2009
       
         
          This link has a fossil photo of Macropomoides orientalis.
       
          The fossil was found in the Haqel Limestone in Lebanon. It is 65 m. (2.6 in.) long and 15 mm. (0.6 in.) in height. This fossil dates to the Cenomanian age of the Cretaceous.
       
          Macropomoides orientalis was a coelacanth fish of the Cretaceous. The systematic paleontology of it is:
       
      Sarcopterygii Romer 1955
      Coelacanthiformes Berg 1937
      Latimeridae
      Macropomoides Woodward 1942
      Macropomoides orientalis Woodward 1942
       
          Macropomoides orientalis is in the family Latimeridae and therefore closely related to the living coelacanth Latimera. There are two species of this living genus, Latimera chalumnae and L. menadoensis. Latimera chalumnae is native to the western part of the Indian Ocean. Latimera menadoensis is found in the waters of Indonesia. Like their Cretaceous cousin Macropomoides (and other fossil coelacanths), Latimera species are lob-finned fishes. Latimera eats squid, cuttlefish, and other fishes, including small sharks.
          Latimera chalumnae has a deep blue coloration. It grows up to 2 m. (6.5 feet) in length. The eyes of Latimera chalumnae and L. menadoensis have many rods (receptors in the retina). This enables them to see well in dim light. These fishes generally live at depths of 90-200 m. (295-656 feet). However, they have been known to down as far as 700 m. (2297 feet).
          Latimera menadoensis is brown in color. As with its sister living species, L. chalumnae, the females give live birth to their young. A litter consists of 5-25 pups. The gestation period is though to be 12-15 months. It is possible that the females of Macromoides orientalis may have also given live birth to their young.
          This link has a photo of Latimera chalumnae.
       
          This publication is a reference:
       
      Joseph S. Nelson. 2006. Fishes of the World. John Wiley & Sons Inc.
       
          Neal Robbins

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