Last updated

Temporal range: Lower Ladinian, 240.91  Ma
Ticinepomis peyeri.JPG
Ticinepomis peyeri reconstruction.jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Coelacanthiformes
Family: Latimeriidae
Genus: Ticinepomis
Rieppel, 1980
Type species
Ticinepomis peyeri
Rieppel, 1980
Marine life of the Early and early Middle Triassic: Ticinepomis (13) Triassic marine vertebrate apex predators.png
Marine life of the Early and early Middle Triassic: Ticinepomis (13)

Ticinepomis is an extinct genus of coelacanth lobe-finned fish which lived during the Middle Triassic period in what is now Switzerland. It contains a single species, T. peyeri. T. peyeri specimens are most common in the Besano Formation (or Grenzbitumenzone) of Monte San Giorgio in Ticino. [2] Other coelacanths from Monte San Giorgio include a larger species (tentatively referred to Holophagus picenus ) from the Besano Formation, [3] and a species of Heptanema from the Meride Limestone. [4] Larger Ticinepomis specimens have been found in the Prosanto Formation of Graubünden. [5]

Ticinepomis was originally described as being a member of the family Coelacanthidae, being similar to Coelacanthus , Holophagus and Undina . [2] Later, T. peyeri was placed in Latimeriidae. [5] The bizarre Prosanto Formation latimeriid Foreyia is thought to be T. peyeri's closest relative, as they share many features despite their drastically contrasting appearances. [6]

Related Research Articles

<i>Tanystropheus</i> Extinct genus of reptiles

Tanystropheus is an extinct 6-meter-long (20 ft) reptile that dates from the Middle to Late Triassic epochs. It is recognizable by its extremely elongated neck, which measured 3 m (9.8 ft) long—longer than its body and tail combined. The neck was composed of 12–13 extremely elongated vertebrae. With its very long but relatively stiff neck, Tanystropheus has been often proposed and reconstructed as an aquatic or semi-aquatic reptile, a theory supported by the fact that the creature is most commonly found in semi-aquatic fossil sites wherein known terrestrial reptile remains are scarce. Fossils have been found in Europe. Complete skeletons of small individuals are common in the Besano Formation at Monte San Giorgio in Italy and Switzerland; other fossils have been found in the Middle East and China, dating from the Middle Triassic to the early part of the Late Triassic.

<i>Ceresiosaurus</i> Extinct genus of reptiles

Ceresiosaurus is an extinct aquatic genus of lariosaurine nothosaurid sauropterygian known from the Middle Triassic of Monte San Giorgio, southern Switzerland and northern Italy. Ceresiosaurus, meaning "Lizard of Ceresio". The type species, Ceresiosaurus calcagnii, was named by Bernhard Peyer in 1931. C. calcagnii is known from both the Cava superiore and Cava inferiore beds of the Lower Meride Limestone at Monte San Giorgio, dating to the latest Anisian of the Middle Triassic. Rieppel (1998) suggested that the back then monospecific genus Ceresiosaurus, is a junior synonym of the better known Lariosaurus, yet he kept it type species as a separate species under the new combination L. calcagnii. In 2004, however, this synonymy was objected by Hänni who described and name a second species of Ceresiosaurus, C. lanzi - a separation supported by several other authors since. This species is known only from the stratigraphically younger Cassima beds of Monte San Giorgio, although also from the Lower Meride Limestone, dating to possibly the lowest Ladinian age. The species in a subtropical lagoonal environment with varying open marine influences, and alongside many related but smaller species of nothosaurids and pachypleurosaurids. Ceresiosaurus represents one of the largest vertebrate of up to 3 m snout-tail length from the very diversified paleoenvironment of the Middle Triassic Monte San Giorgio.

<i>Ticinosuchus</i> Extinct species of reptile

Ticinosuchus is an extinct genus of pseudosuchian archosaur from the Middle Triassic of Switzerland and Italy.

Monte San Giorgio

Monte San Giorgio is a wooded mountain of the Lugano Prealps, overlooking Lake Lugano in Switzerland. It lies in the southern part of the canton of Ticino, between the municipalities of Brusino Arsizio, Riva San Vitale and Meride. Monte San Giorgio became a UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2003, because it "is the single best known record of marine life in the Middle Triassic period, and records important remains of life on land as well." The Italian region west of Poncione d'Arzo was added as an extension to the World Heritage Site in 2010.

<i>Macrocnemus</i> Extinct genus of reptiles

Macrocnemus is an extinct genus of archosauromorph reptile known from the Middle Triassic of Europe and China. Macrocnemus is a member of the Tanystropheidae family and includes three species. Macrocnemus bassanii, the first species to be named and described, is known from the Besano Formation and adjacent paleontological sites in the Italian and Swiss Alps. Macrocnemus fuyuanensis, on the other hand, is known from the Falang Formation in southern China. A third species, Macrocnemus obristi, is known from the Prosanto Formation of Switzerland and is characterized by gracile limbs. The name Macrocnemus is Greek for "long tibia".

<i>Besanosaurus</i> Extinct genus of reptiles

Besanosaurus is a genus of large ichthyosaur that lived during the middle Triassic period, approximately 235 million years ago. This marine reptile came from its own family Besanosauridae and was named by Dal Sasso and Pinna in 1996. The type of species is Besanosaurus leptorhynchus meaning "long-beaked reptile from Besano."

Helmolepis is an extinct genus of ray-finned fish that lived during the Early Triassic epoch in what is now Greenland, Madagascar and Canada. Species of Helmolepis are small. This genus is closely related with Platysiagum.

<i>Serpianosaurus</i> Extinct genus of reptiles

Serpianosaurus is an extinct genus of pachypleurosaurs known from the Middle Triassic deposits of Switzerland and Germany.

<i>Heptanema</i> Extinct genus of fishes

Heptanema is an extinct genus of prehistoric coelacanth from the Middle Triassic (Ladinian) of northern Italy and Switzerland.

Nothosauridae Extinct family of reptiles

Nothosauridae are an extinct family of carnivorous aquatic sauropterygian reptiles from the Triassic time period of China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, and northern Africa.

<i>Sinosaurichthys</i> Extinct genus of fishes

Sinosaurichthys is an extinct genus of saurichthyid ray-finned fish, which existed in southwestern China during the Middle Triassic. Fossils have been found in the Upper Member of the Guanling Formation of two localities: Yangjuan of Panxian County, Guizhou Province, and Dawazi of Luoping, Yunnan Province, China.

<i>Clarazia</i> Extinct genus of reptiles

Clarazia is an extinct genus of thalattosaur from the Middle Triassic of Monte San Giorgio in Switzerland. It is represented by a single type species, Clarazia schinzi, which was named in 1936.

<i>Silvestrosaurus</i> Extinct genus of reptiles

Silvestrosaurus is an extinct aquatic genus of lariosaurine nothosaurid sauropterygian known from the Middle Triassic of Monte San Giorgio, southern Switzerland. It contains a single species, Silvestrosaurus buzzii, originally considered to be a species of the closely related Lariosaurus. The species was named by Tschanz in 1989, based solely on the holotype PIMUZ T/2804 comprising the skull, the lower jaw, and a dis-articulated partial postcranial skeleton. Cyamodus hildegardis tooth bearing elements were found in the stomach region of the specimen. The holotype was collected at Punkt 902 of Monte San Giorgio, from layer 97 of the Grenzbitumen zone, dating to the Anisian-Ladinian boundary of the Middle Triassic. Kuhn-Schnyner (1990) reassigned the species to its own genus, creating the combination S. buzzii. The generic name honors a church near the collection locality of the holotype, dedicated to Saint Sylvester, a Pope during the reign of Constantine the Great, and from Greek saurus, meaning "lizard", a common suffix for genus names of extinct reptile.

<i>Eusaurosphargis</i> Extinct genus of reptiles

Eusaurosphargis is an extinct genus of a diapsid reptile, known from the Middle Triassic Besano Formation of northern Italy and Prosanto Formation of south-eastern Switzerland. It contains a single species, Eusaurosphargis dalsassoi.

Helveticosauridae Extinct family of reptiles

Helveticosauridae is an extinct family of basal marine reptiles known from the Middle Triassic of southern Switzerland and northern Italy.

<i>Foreyia</i> Extinct genus of coelacanths

Foreyia is an extinct genus of coelacanth lobe-finned fish which lived during the Middle Triassic period in what is now Canton of Graubünden, Switzerland. It contains a single species F. maxkuhni.

Monte Prosa

Monte Prosa is a mountain in the Saint-Gotthard Massif, a mountain range in the Lepontine Alps of Switzerland.

Besano Formation

The Besano Formation is a geological formation in the southern Alps of northwestern Italy and southern Switzerland. This formation, a short but fossiliferous succession of dolomite and black shale, is famous for its preservation of Middle Triassic marine life including fish and aquatic reptiles. It is exposed in the vicinity of Monte San Giorgio and is among the formations responsible for the area being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

<i>Acronemus</i> Enigmatic extinct genus of cartilaginous fish

Acronemus is an extinct genus of euselachian shark from the Middle Triassic of Switzerland. It is an enigmatic genus of shark with uncertain relations to other sharks. Though originally placed within Ctenacanthiformes, it is now considered Euselachii incertae sedis, due to its mixture of features similar to hybodontiforms and neoselachians. Originally, teeth from this genus were attributed to "Acrodus bicarinatus" while fin spines were named "Nemacanthus tuberculatus". Associated material showed they were the same animal, with the older specific epithet (tuberculatus) taking precedence. The shark was given the new genus Acrocnemus, containing a single species. Acronemus is found in the Anisian-age Grenzbitumenzone of Monte San Giorgio.

San Salvatore Dolomite

The San Salvatore Dolomite, sometimes known as the Salvatore Dolomite or San Salvatore Formation, is a Middle Triassic geological formation in Switzerland and Italy. The primarily lithology is micritic dolomite with a high proportion of algal mounds (stromatolites). It corresponds to a thick warm-water carbonate platform on the northern edge of an island in what is now the Po Plain. This formation and its local equivalents are common in the hills around Lake Maggiore, Varese, and Lugano, preserving fossils of marine invertebrates such as ammonoids, gastropods, and bivalves. At its eastern extent, the San Salvatore Dolomite is overlain by black shales of the Besano Formation, which was deposited in a deeper and more anoxic lagoon.


  1. Scheyer et al. (2014): Early Triassic Marine Biotic Recovery: The Predators' Perspective. PLoS ONE https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0088987
  2. 1 2 Rieppel, O. (1980). "A new coelacanth from the Middle Triassic of Monte San Giorgio, Switzerland". Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae. 73 (3): 921–939.
  3. Rieppel, Olivier (1985). "A second actinistian from the Middle Triassic of Monte San Giorgio, Kanton Tessin, Switzerland". Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae. 78: 707–713. doi:10.5169/seals-165676.
  4. Renesto, Silvio; Stockar, Rudolf (2018). "FIRST RECORD OF A COELACANTH FISH FROM THE MIDDLE TRIASSIC MERIDE LIMESTONE OF MONTE SAN GIORGIO (CANTON TICINO, SWITZERLAND)" (PDF). Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia. 124 (3). doi:10.13130/2039-4942/10771. ISSN   2039-4942.
  5. 1 2 Cavin, Lionel; Furrer, H.; Obrist, C. (2013). "New coelacanth material from the Middle Triassic of eastern Switzerland, and comments on the taxic diversity of actinistans". Swiss Journal of Geosciences. 106 (2): 161–177. doi:10.1007/s00015-013-0143-7. S2CID   140189669.
  6. Cavin, L.; Mennecart, B.; Obrist, C.; Costeur, L.; Furrer, H. (2017). "Heterochronic evolution explains novel body shape in a Triassic coelacanth from Switzerland". Scientific Reports. 7 (1): 13695. Bibcode:2017NatSR...713695C. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13796-0. PMC   5651877 . PMID   29057913.