Named By: Louis Agassiz - 1932.
Synonyms: Ascalabos, Leptolepis affinis, Leptolepis bronni, Leptolepis constrictus, Leptolepis nanus, Leptolepis neocomiensis, Leptolepis normandica, Leptolepis pachystelus, Leptolepis pronus, Megastoma, Oxygonius, Sarginites, Tharsis.
Classification: Chordata, Actinopterygii, Leptolepiformes, Leptolepidae.
Species: L. bronni (type), L. africana, L. brodei, L. toyei, L. valdensis, L. wealdensis.
Type: Plankton feeder.
Size: 30 centimetres long.
Known locations: Worldwide.
Time period: Jurassic to Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Large numbers of specimens.
Leptolepis may just be a little unremarkable looking
fish, it is
important as it is the first true bony fish that is known in the fossil
record. Its predecessors had cartilagninous skeletons meaning they
would only preserve when conditions were absolutely right.
There are several deposits that show large numbers of Leptolepis buried together which indicates that it was a shoaling or schooling fish. The large number of fossils and there wide expanse indicates that Leptolepis had a cosmopolitan distribution.
- A revision of certain actinopterygian and coelacanth fishes, chiefly from the Lower Lias - B. G. Gardiner - 1960.
- Fish from the freshwater Lower Cretaceous of Victoria, Australia with comments of the palaeo-environment - M. Waldman - 1971.
- Redescription of Santanichthys diasii (Otophysi, Characiformes) from the Albian of the Santana Formation and Comments on Its Implications for Otophysan Relationships - Arnaud Filleul & John G. Maisey - 2004.