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Roundhead Roundtail Lebanon Coelacanth ( † Macropoma libanus Khalaf, 2015)

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  • 84382_88_88 Eucarya Woese et al. 1990 > Coelacanthidae Agassiz, 1843

    Macropoma

    Abstract: A new fossil species of Coelacanth Fish from the Upper Cretaceous (Middle Cenomanian) of the genus Macropoma (Class Sarcopterygii, Subclass Crossopterygii, Order Coelacanthiformes, Suborder Latimerioidei, Family Latimeriidae) was found in the Limestone of Haqel (Hakel) and Hajula, Lebanon. The new fossil species is distinguished from the four different Macropoma species : † Macropoma lewesiensis Agassiz, 1835; † Macropoma mantelli Agassiz, 1843; † Macropoma speciosum Reuss, 1857 and † Macropoma willemoesii Vetter, 1881 by its slightly different skeletal, skull and fin features. It is morphologically a distinct species. The new species was named † Macropoma libanus Khalaf, 2015. Keywords: Sarcopterygii, Coelacanthiformes, Latirmeriidae, Macropoma libanus, Coelacanth, Lebanon Coelacanth, Roundhead Roundtail Lebanon Coelacanth, Fossil, New species, Upper Cretaceous, Middle Cenomanian, Haqel, Hakel, Hajula, Lebanon, Near East, Middle East. Introduction When I was writing some articles about the Coelacanth Fishes, I noticed that there were some Lebanese Coelacanth fish fossil specimens for sale on the internet and other specimens were in Museums or Private Collections. One coelacanth fish fossil specimen was for sale on eBay. It looked peculiar. It was from the Upper Cretaceous (Middle Cenomanian) Limestone in Haqel (Hakel) and Hajula, Lebanon. This specimen was examined and measured. The total length was 8.00 cm. The new fossil species is distinguished from the four different Macropoma species: † Macropoma lewesiensis Agassiz, 1835; † Macropoma mantelli Agassiz, 1843; † Macropoma speciosum Reuss, 1857 and † Macropoma willemoesii Vetter, 1881 by its slightly different skeletal, skull and fin features. It is morphologically a distinct species. The new species was named † Macropoma libanus Khalaf, 2015. Genus Macropoma Macropoma (meaning big apple or large fruit in Greek) is an extinct genus of coelacanth in the class Sarcopterygii. These fishes have apparently been extinct for over 70 million years and are most closely related to the modern coelacanth Latimeria (Wikipedia). Fossils of Macropoma have been found in both England and Czechoslovakia. Recorded fossils have bodies less than two feet in length. A modern coelacanth measures five or more, but in other respects the two genera are remarkably similar, and share the same body plan with a three-lobed tail and stalked fins (Wikipedia). Macropoma grew to a length of 22 inches (55 centimeters) and would have preyed upon smaller aquatic species (Wikipedia). Measurements of the Roundhead Roundtail Lebanon Coelacanth Fossil Holotype: Total length: 8.00 cm; Head from mouth tip to gill cover: 1.75 cm; Tail length: 2.58 cm; Head width at the gill cover: 2.16 cm; Body width in the middle (dorsal-ventral): 2.33 cm, tail base width: 1.66 cm; Anterior dorsal fin: 1.75 cm; Posterior dorsal fin: 1.50 cm; Pectoral fin: 1.66 cm; Tail rays: 2.58 cm. Etymology / Derivation of the Scientific Name The genus name Macropoma in Greek means “big apple” or “large fruit” which refers to the big sized head and tail of the Genus Macropoma. The species name libanus refers to “Lebanon” in Greek where the new species was discovered. Conclusion: After studying the Macropoma fish fossil specimen from Haqel (Hakel) and Hajula, Lebanon and comparing with the four different Macropoma species : † Macropoma lewesiensis Agassiz, 1835; † Macropoma mantelli Agassiz, 1843; † Macropoma speciosum Reuss, 1857 and † Macropoma willemoesii Vetter, 1881 and referring to many zoological references, and searching the Internet, I came finally to a conclusion that we are in front of a new Coelacanth fossil species. I gave it the scientific name † Macropoma libanus, new fossil species. The species name “libanus” is for Lebanon, from where the fossil specimen was found. † Macropoma libanus, new fossil species: Scientific Binomial name: † Macropoma libanus Khalaf, 2015. Authority: Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa. Common Name: Roundhead Roundtail Lebanon Coelacanth, Lebanon Coelacanth Holotype Fossil: ML-1, eBay specimen. Origin: Haqel (Hakel) and Hajula, Lebanon.

    References:
    Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2015). † Macropoma libanus Khalaf, 2015 : A New Coelacanth Fish Fossil Species from Lebanon. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. ISSN 0178 - 6288. Number 122, February 2015. pp. 12–27. Dubai and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. http://animals-of-lebanon.webs.com/
    Classification: Taxon Profile: Species Roundhead-Roundtail Lebanon Coelacanth † Macropoma libanus Khalaf, 2014. BioLib. Biological Library. http://www.biolib.cz/en/taxon/id1141461/