A new genus and species of triggerfish from the Middle Eocene of the Northern Caucasus, the earliest member of the Balistidae (Tetraodontiformes)
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Until now, the earliest known members of the triggerfish family Balistidae have been two genera from the Oligocene. Herein is described the new balistid Gornylistes prodigiosus gen. et sp. nov. from the uppermost Middle Eocene (Kuma Horizon) of the Northern Caucasus (Gorny Luch locality); it is as thoroughly modern in its bauplan as the taxa of balistids from the Oligocene and more recent periods, and far more advanced morphologically than the several stem taxa of the balistoid + ostracioid clade known from earlier in the Middle and Lower Eocene and from the Upper Paleocene.
Key wordsTetraodontiformes Balistidae new taxa Middle Eocene Northern Caucasus Russia
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