Fish from dinosaur age discovered in Canada

This video is about Tiktaalik roseae, from long before the dinosaurs.

´Paleontologists at the University of Chicago have discovered a fossil fish that is the missing link between fish and land vertebrates.´

From the Canadian Press:

Unique fish fossil in northern Alberta may help explain migration patterns


September 04, 2007

They went drilling for oil in northern Alberta and instead dug up a one-of-a-kind, 96-million year-old fossilized fish small enough to fit in your palm, but big enough to yield clues on how sea critters migrated in the age of Tyrannosaurus rex.

But to fish paleontologist Alison Murray, the Tycheroichthys dunvenganensis is also a big question mark.

“It’s complete fossil, which means it must have been killed and buried very, very quickly,” said Murray, who now researches at the University of Alberta.

“It wasn’t scavenged or broken apart in wave action. It must have been some sort of sudden event that killed it and trapped it in mud.”

But based on the biology of its living relatives, the herring family, it is not the type of fish to have swum in muddy waters, she said.

“So I’m not sure what it was doing there. He is an anomaly.”

It’s a member of the extinct fish family Paraclupeidae. While other members of this family have been found in Lebanon, Morocco and Brazil, the Alberta find is a new genus entirely.

The fossil, written up recently in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, was actually unearthed two decades ago south of Grande Prairie in a core sample taken 1,325 metres below the surface by now-defunct Cequel Energy Inc.

The fish was not found because Cequel was not interested in the sediment at the bottom of the core sample.

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that geology student Michael Hay, checking out the core samples for his own research, came across the fossil and passed it on to Murray and others.

It is now at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

See also here.

Conodonts: here. And here. And here.

A study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, shows that the teeth of conodonts, a group that first appeared around 500 million years ago, were easily able to bite through the animal’s food despite measuring only a millimeter in length: here.

Fish evolution, gills, limbs, fins: here.

Identifying Canadian Freshwater Fishes through DNA Barcodes: here.

†Knightia brasiliensis, a small clupeoid fish found in the Tertiary beds of Nova Iorque, State of Maranhão (Brazil), is morphologically redescribed in detail. It is separated from nominal species of †Knightia, including the type-species †Knightia eoceana from the Lower Eocene of Wyoming, mainly by the absence of dorsal scutes, presence of two supramaxillae, and one epural, and is therefore placed in a new genus, †Paleopiquitinga gen. nov: here.

1 thought on “Fish from dinosaur age discovered in Canada

  1. Pingback: How prehistoric fish learnt to walk | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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