Named By: Michael D. Gottfried, R. Ewan Fordyce & Seabourne Rust - 2006.
Classification: Chordata, Actinopterygii, Lampriformes, Lampridae.
Species: M. keyesi (type).
Size: About 4 meters long.
Known locations: New Zealand.
Time period: Oligocene.
Fossil representation: Partial skeleton.
fish under the Lampris genus (a.k.a. moonfish,
haddock, kingfish and cravo) are known for their deep round
bodies, brilliant sheen to their scales and the fact that they can
easily grow up to two meters in length. Then in 2006 a fossil
relative of the Lampris was named, and comparison
partials skeleton and modern Lampris led to the
revelation that this
ancient relative could grow to at least double the size of even the
largest Lampris, hence the creation of the name,
Modern Lampris are predators of smaller fish as well as squid, but in turn they are prey to larger pelagic (open water) sharks like makos and great whites. The same was probably true for Megalampris, but with the additions megatoothed sharks like C. angustidens and C. chubutensis as well as predatory cetaceans like Waipatia, Megalampris was far from being a top predator.
- Megalampris keyesi, a Giant Moonfish (Teleostei, Lampridiformes) from the Late Oligocene of New Zealand. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 26(3):544-55. - Michael D. Gottfried, R. Ewan Fordyce & Seabourne Rust - 2006.