Name: Leptolepides.
Phonetic: Lep-toe-lep-i-deez.
Named By: Nybelin‭ ‬-‭ ‬1974.
Synonyms: Clupea sprattiformis.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Gnathostomata,‭ ‬Osteichthyes,‭ ‬Actinopterygii,‭ ‬Pachycormiformes.
Species: L.‭ ‬sprattiformis,‭ ‬L.‭ ‬haerteisi‭
Diet: Carnivore‭ (‬of small organisms‭)‬.
Size: Around‭ ‬10‭ ‬to‭ ‬15‭ ‬centimetres long.
Known locations: Germany.
Time period: Late Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Multiple individuals.

       Originally assigned to the genus Clupea‭ (‬better known as herrings‭) ‬as Clupea sprattiformis by Blainville in‭ ‬1818,‭ ‬the species was actually erected to its own genus level in‭ ‬1974‭ ‬by Nybelin.‭ ‬Leptolepides were fairly small fish but are among the most numerous known from the Solnhofen limestones of Germany.‭ ‬Aside from being similar to modern day herring in form,‭ ‬they may have been similar in ecological niche too.
       Leptolepides were quite possibly prey to many other animals including pterosaurs and other fish.‭ ‬Evidence for this come from specimen WDC CSG‭ ‬255‭ (‬described by Frey and Tichlinger in‭ ‬2012‭) ‬which shows a Leptolepides in the throat of a pterosaur called Rhamphorhynchus which in turn seems to have had its left wing speared by a fish of the Aspidorhynchus genus.‭ ‬It is not certain if the Aspidorhynchus was targeting the Rhamphorhynchus,‭ ‬or if it was actually trying for the Leptolepides when the Rhamphorhynchus simply got in the way.‭ ‬Leptolepides remains have also been found within the stomach contents of other fish.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A compendium of fossil marine animal genera‭ ‬-‭ ‬Jack Sepkoski‭ ‬-‭ ‬2002.
-‭ ‬The Late Jurassic pterosaur Rhamphorhynchus,‭ ‬a frequent victim of the ganoid fish Aspidorhynchus‭? ‬-‭ ‬E.‭ ‬Frey‭ & ‬H.‭ ‬Tischlinger‭ ‬-‭ ‬2012.


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