Fuyuanichthys wangi A New Ginklymodian Fish from the Middle Triassic of China

Xu, G., Ma, X., and Y. Ren. 2018. Fuyuanichthys wangi gen. et sp. nov. from the Middle Triassic (Ladinian) of China highlights the early diversification of ginglymodian fishes. PeerJ 6:e6054 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.6054

Abstract - A series of well-preserved fossil assemblages from the Middle Triassic marine rock succession in Southwest China provide unique evidences for studying the early evolution of holostean fishes, including Halecomorphi (e.g., bownfin) and Ginglymodi (e.g., gars). Ginglymodi have the earliest record in the early Middle Triassic (Anisian, ∼244 Ma) of China, represented by Kyphosichthys and Sangiorgioichthys sui from Yunnan and S. yangjuanensis from Guizhou. Here, we report the discovery of a new ginglymodian, Fuyuanichthys wangi gen. et sp. nov., based on 22 well-preserved specimens from the lower part of the Zhuganpo member of the Falang Formation in eastern Yunnan and western Guizhou, which documents the first discovery of convincing ginglymodians from the late Middle Triassic (Ladinian, ∼240 Ma) Xingyi biota in China. Fuyuanichthys possesses a unique combination of features that easily distinguishes it from other ginglymodians, such as presence of a median gular and short and edentulous maxillae, and absence of a supramaxilla and supraorbitals. As one of the smallest known ginglymodians with a maximum standard length of ∼75 mm, the new finding further supports that the Middle Triassic Ginglymodi have a relatively small range of body sizes compared with the Halecomorphi from the same ecosystems in China. Results of a phylogenetic analysis recover Fuyuanichthys as a sister taxon to Kyphosichthys at the ginglymodian stem, and provide new insights into the early evolution of this clade.

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