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Bawitius, gen. nov., a giant polypterid (Osteichthyes, Actinopterygii) from the Upper Cretaceous Bahariya Formation of Egypt

Grandstaff, BS and Smith, JB and Lamanna, MC and Lacovara, KJ and Abdel-Ghani, MS (2012) Bawitius, gen. nov., a giant polypterid (Osteichthyes, Actinopterygii) from the Upper Cretaceous Bahariya Formation of Egypt. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 32 (1). 17 - 26. ISSN 0272-4634

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A newly discovered osteichthyan ectopterygoid from the Upper Cretaceous (lower Cenomanian) Bahariya Formation of the Bahariya Oasis, Egypt, is nearly identical to the holotypic specimen of Polypterus? bartheli from the same area and geologic unit. The Bahariya ectopterygoids are referable to Polypteridae based on the presence of a robust, laterally directed process that articulates with the maxilla. Additionally, ganoid scales from the Bahariya Formation have an isopedine layer, a histological character of Polypteriformes; but differ from those of previously described members of this clade in having a discontinuous ganoin layer, rectilinear shape, and proportionally small articular processes. Both the ectopterygoids and the scales are unusually large, and are the only polypteriform remains so far identified from the Bahariya Formation. The ectopterygoids and (tentatively) the scales are herein assigned to a single species of gigantic polypterid, the morphology of which is sufficiently distinctive to warrant its placement in a new genus, Bawitius, gen. nov. Differences in scale anatomy and the enormous disparity in body size between Bawitius and Serenoichthys support the hypothesis (originally proposed on the basis of varied fin spine morphologies) that a diversity of polypterid fishes inhabited North Africa during the early Late Cretaceous. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Grandstaff, BS
Smith, JB
Lamanna, MC
Lacovara, KJ
Abdel-Ghani, MS
Date: 1 January 2012
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Volume: 32
Number: 1
Page Range: 17 - 26
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1080/02724634.2012.626823
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Geology and Planetary Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0272-4634
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2014 16:49
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 14:55


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