The Pelsonian fish assemblage from Monte Prà della Vacca/ Kühwiesenkopf

Andrea Tintori, Cristina Lombardo & Evelyn Kustatscher

Prà della Vacca/Kühwiesenkopf is a well-known palaeontological site mainly for invertebrates and plants remains. Now, a number of bony fishes are described from the same level yielding a rich terrestrial flora in the Dont Formation. Fishes, mostly marine, possibly died because of a sudden change in salinity as a consequence of flooding in nearby emerged land. Though few specimens have been collected, at least seven actinopterygian genera have been identified and herein described (Bobasatrania, Ptycholepis, Saurichthys, Dipteronotus, Peltoperleidus, Habroichthys, Placopleurus). Coelacanths remains are also present in the small collection. Preservation is not as good as in many other Middle Triassic fish faunas, however these specimens can be compared at least at genus level to the major Tethydian faunas, proving that during the Pelsonian actinopterygian fishes where already very well diversified all along the Tethys, this radiation representing one of the major step in the Triassic recovery in the marine environment. A new species of the miniature fish Habroichthys is erected.

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