Direct evidence of cannibalism in the Oligocene cutlassfish Anenchelum glarisianum Blainville, 1818 (Perciformes: Trichiuridae)

 

Authors: Přikryl T, Novosad B

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 84, issue 3; pages: 569 - 572; Received 26 November 2008; Accepted in revised form 2 March 2009; Online 28 July 2009

Keywords: Trichiuridae, cannibalism, feeding habits, fish, paleobiology, cutlassfish,

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Abstract

Cannibalism in ancient fishes is an interesting paleobiological fact which has rarely been identified in the fossil record. One such case is described here. The specimen of a partly preserved Trichiuridae fish, Anenchelum glarisianum, contains the remains of prey inside the body cavity. Two types of prey can be identified, one of which is A. glarisianum. The heads of the prey are oriented posteriorly inside the body cavity. On the basis of analogy with recent populations of trichiurid fish from Taiwan, cannibalism most likely resulted from a paleoecologic imbalance in the population of A. glarisianum in Litenčice. Other known data on the feeding habits of fossil Trichiuridae are mentioned.

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