Needle Fish

 Family Aspidorhynchidae (Bleeker, 1859)
Genus Belonostomus (Agassiz, 1834)

Belonostomus sp.

Age - late Jurassic to Cretaceous (Paleocene?) - Occurrence - Scarce

Belonostomus, as the common name needle fish implies was a very slender and elongated fish. The arrangement of the teeth amongst the species is highly variable, having from  1 to 3 rows of teeth. The larger teeth have longitudinal ridges along the shaft and are fused to the underlying bone. Tips of these teeth bear light-colored acrodin caps that are distinct from the rest of the tooth (Friedman, 2012).  Belonostomus was first reported from New Jersey Cretaceous in 2016. (Oman et al., 2016)



Belonostomus muensteri from Solnhofen, Germany

By Martin Ebert, Martina Kölbl-Ebert, Jennifer A. Lane
 [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons



 Plate 1
Belonostomus sp. jaw
Woodbury formation
Specimen donated to The New Jersey State Museum


Ebert M. (2014): The genus Belonostomus AGASSIZ, 1834 (Neopterygii, Aspidorhynchiformes) in the late Jurassic of the Solnhofen Archipelago, with a focus on Belonostomus kochii MÜNSTER, 1836 from Ettling (Germany). - Archaeopteryx 32: 15-43.
Friedman, M., 2012, Ray-finned fishes (Osteichthyes, Actinopterygii) from the type Maastrichtian, the Netherlands and Belgium: Scripta Geologica, Special Issue 8, p. 113-142
Oman, L., Manning, E., Badger, R., Whitley, J., 2016. A Close Examination of An Aragonitic Upper Woodbury Formation Fauna. The Mosasaur vol 9, Delaware Valley Paleontological Society, pp 83-126.

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