Last updated

Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, Cenomanian–Turonian
Tselfatia formosa 65.JPG
T. formosa specimen
Scientific classification

Arambourg, 1944
Binomial name
Tselfatia formosa
Arambourg, 1944
Other species
  • T. dalmaticaBardack & Teller-Marshall, 1980

Tselfatia is an extinct genus of Cretaceous bony fish. Originally described from (and named after) Djebl Tselfat in Morocco, it has since been discovered at sites in several other countries (Texas/USA, Germany, Mexico, Italy and the former Yugoslavia). The type species, Tselfatia formosa, was named and described in 1944 by French paleontologist Camille Arambourg. [2] A second species, T. dalmatica, was named in 1980 from the Dalmatian Coast of Yugoslavia. [3]

The enormous dorsal fin as well as the large anal fin both feature one much enlarged ray, characteristic for the genus. These fish are never common and more work needs to be done on the known specimens.

Related Research Articles

Actinopterygii Class of ray-finned bony fishes

Actinopterygii, members of which are known as ray-finned fishes, is a clade of the bony fishes. They comprise over 50% of living vertebrate species.

Semionotiformes Extinct order of fishes

Semionotiformes is an order of primitive, ray-finned, primarily freshwater fish from the Middle Triassic (Anisian) to the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian). The best-known genus is Semionotus of Europe and North America. Their closest living relatives are gars (Lepisosteidae), with both groups belonging to the clade Ginglymodi within the Holostei.

Sclerorhynchus is an extinct genus of ganopristid sclerorhynchoid that lived during the Late Cretaceous. The genus Ganopristis is considered a junior synonym of Sclerorhynchus. It was a widespread genus, with fossils found in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and North America. While it had a long rostrum with large denticles similar to sawfishes and sawsharks, its closest living relatives are actually skates. Complete specimens of S. atavus show that its fin arrangement was similar to skates, with the pectoral and pelvic fins touching, both dorsal fins located behind the pelvic fins, and a reduced caudal fin.

<i>Carcharias</i> Genus of sharks

Carcharias is a genus of sand tiger sharks belonging to the family Odontaspididae. Once bearing many prehistoric species, all have gone extinct with the exception of the critically endangered sand tiger shark.

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

Hoplopteryx is an extinct genus of Trachichthyidae from the Cretaceous.

Stichopterus is an extinct genus of chondrostean ray-finned fish that lived during the Early Cretaceous epoch in Asia. It has been found in Russia and Mongolia.

Opsithrissops is an extinct genus of prehistoric bony fish that lived during the Thanetian stage of the Paleocene epoch. It is a small 100 centimetres (3.3 ft) nektonic opportunistic carnivore in the family Osteoglossiformes which includes other bony-tongues such as the extant species of Arowana and Arapaima. It hunted small invertebrates and fish similarly to today's trout and became a Paleogene keystone species in many habitats before its disappearance from the fossil record.

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

Retodus is an extinct genus of prehistoric lungfish found in Cretaceous-aged freshwater strata of Egypt, Algeria and Niger. The type species, R. tuberculatus, was named in 2006. It was originally named as a species of Ceratodus and Neoceratodus in 1963.

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

Coccolepis is an extinct genus of prehistoric ray-finned fish in the family Coccolepididae. Originally including most species within the family, it is now restricted to two species from the Late Jurassic Solnhofen Limestone of Germany. The holotype of C. bucklandi, designated and described by Louis Agassiz, was thought to be lost but was later rediscovered in Neuchâtel.

Cylindracanthus is an extinct genus of Cretaceous to Eocene ray-finned fish.

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

Palaeobalistum is an extinct genus of prehistoric ray-finned fish which ranged from the Cretaceous to Eocene periods.

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

Eutrichiurides is an extinct genus of prehistoric cutlass fish.

Pattersonellidae is an extinct family of primitive ray-finned fish. It is tentatively classified under the suborder Argentinoidei of the order Argentiniformes.

Sorbinichthys is an extinct genus of clupeomorph bony fish from the Cenomanian of Lebanon and Morocco.

Cretalamna is a genus of extinct otodontid shark that lived from the Late Cretaceous to Eocene epoch. It is considered by many to be the ancestor of the largest sharks to have ever lived, Otodus angustidens, and Otodus megalodon.

Chuhsiungichthys is an extinct genus of ichthyodectiform ray-finned fish that lived in freshwater environments in what is now Yunnan, China, and Kyushu, Japan, during the Cretaceous. It differs from its sister genus, Mesoclupea, primarily by having a comparatively more anteriorly-placed dorsal fin.

Plethodidae Extinct family of ray-finned fishes

Plethodidae is an extinct family of teleost fish that existed during the Late Cretaceous period. Fossils are known from North America, North Africa, and Europe.

<i>Goulmimichthys</i> Extinct genus of ray-finned fishes

Goulmimichthys is an extinct genus of ray-finned fishes in the family Pachyrhizodontidae. The genus, first described by Cavin in 1995, is known from various Turonian age formations. The type species G. arambourgi from the Akrabou Formation in the El Rachidia Province of Morocco, and other fossils described are G. gasparini of the La Frontera Formation, Colombia, and G. roberti from the Agua Nueva Formation of Mexico.

Tselfatiiformes Extinct order of ray-finned fishes

Tselfatiiformes is an extinct order of bony fishes from the infraclass Teleostei. The order represents the most important radiation of marine teleosts during the Cretaceous period. Fossils of tselfatiiforms are known from Europe, North America, central and northern South America, the Middle East and North Africa.


  1. "Crossognathiformes". Paleobiology Database. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  2. Tselfatia Arambourg, 1944 in GBIF Secretariat (2017). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/39omei accessed via GBIF.org on 2019-08-03.
  3. Bardack, David & Teller-Marshall, Susan (1980). Tselfatia, a Tethyan Cretaceous teleost; first records from North America and Yugoslavia. Journal of Paleontology . 54 (5): 1075–1083.