Hypsocormus

Name: Hypsocormus.
Phonetic: Hyp-so-cor-mus.
Named By: Wagner‭ ‬-‭ ‬1860.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Actinopterygii,‭ ‬Pachycormiformes,‭ ‬Pachycormidae.
Species: H.‭ ‬insignis,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬combesi.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore.
Size: About‭ ‬1‭ ‬meter long.
Known locations: Europe,‭ ‬including England,‭ ‬France and Germany.
Time period: Norian of the Triassic through to the Tithonian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Several individuals

       Hypsocormus was in essence a fish built for speed.‭ ‬The tail lobes were large and in approximate proportion to‭ ‬one another which meant that the tail was capable of providing strong forward thrusts for very little effort.‭ ‬Even more key to fast swimming however were the pectoral fins which are in the simplest terms of function are hydroplanes.‭ ‬Because propulsion is provided to the rear of the body,‭ ‬the nose of the animal naturally pitches down.‭ ‬The more thrust provided by the tail,‭ ‬the greater the effect,‭ ‬but proportionately larger pectoral fins mean that the pitching effect is counteracted so that the fish‭ ‬stays on a level course.‭ ‬In addition to the tails and pectoral fins,‭ ‬the body was deep with a well-developed anal fin,‭ ‬further adaptations for level swimming.‭

       All of these features together combine to portray a fish that could not only swim fast but sustain that speed for long periods,‭ ‬perhaps‭ ‬denoting a specialisation to hunting fairly fast swimming prey.‭ ‬The scales of Hypsocormus were also fairly small to allow for an increase‭ ‬in‭ ‬manoeuvrability,‭ ‬specifically a decrease in turning space.‭ ‬A possible scenario would be a Hypsocormus or several of them chasing down a shoal of fish,‭ ‬swimming alongside of them and then quickly turning into the shoal to snatch a fish.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Über die Wirbeltierfunde in der oberen Trias von Halberstadt‭ [‬On the vertebrate finds in the Upper Triassic of Halberstadt‭] ‬-‭ ‬O.‭ ‬Jaekel‭ ‬-‭ ‬1913.
-‭ ‬Les Poissons et les Reptiles du Jurassique supérieur de Fumel‭ (‬Lot-et-Garonne‭) [‬The fishes and reptiles from the Upper Jurassic of Fumel‭ (‬Lot-et-Garonne‭)] ‬-‭ ‬H.‭ ‬-E.‭ ‬Sauvage‭ ‬-‭ ‬1900.
-‭ ‬The Structure of Certain Jurassic Holostean Fishes with Special Reference to Their Neurocrania‭ ‬-‭ ‬D.‭ ‬H.‭ ‬Rayner‭ ‬-‭ ‬1948.





----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Random favourites