Earliest North American articulated freshwater acanthomorph fish (Teleostei: Percopsiformes) from Upper Cretaceous deposits of Alberta, Canada

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Geological Magazine



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Acanthomorpha, Campanian, Maastrichtian, Paracanthopterygii


© 2019 Cambridge University Press. Fossil material from the Maastrichtian part of the Scollard Formation is identified as belonging to an acanthomorph fish. An articulated specimen, preserved in part and counterpart, is a member of the paracanthopterygian order Percopsiformes, based on it having a full neural spine on the second preural centrum and two epurals in the caudal skeleton (both paracanthopterygian characters), as well as six branchiostegal rays and an anterodorsal excavated margin on the opercle (percopsiform characters). We name this as a new genus and species, Lindoeichthys albertensis. A phylogenetic analysis with no prior constraints recovered a single most-parsimonious tree with the new taxon placed as the sister group to a clade containing the Palaeocene Montana genus Mcconichthys + Percopsidae. However, this analysis did not recover the traditional percopsiforms (including Aphredoderidae and Amblyopsidae) as monophyletic. A second analysis, in which we constrained the traditional members of the Percopsiformes to be monophyletic, resulted in the new species being placed as the sister group to Percopsis. The articulated percopsiform specimen from the Pisces Point locality allows isolated dentaries from vertebrate microfossil localities to be identified as being from a member of that group. These isolated elements first appear in the late Campanian Judith River Group of Alberta and the Kaiparowits Formation of Utah, documenting that percopsiform fishes were present in the Western Interior of North America at least 75 Ma ago.

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