Mesozoic clupeomorphs of North Africa: diversity and phylogeny

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Bouziane Khalloufi
Didier B. Dutheil
Paulo M. Brito
Théo Mora
René Zaragüeta Bagils


Clupeomorpha, nowadays represented among others by herrings, anchovies and sprats, possess a fossil record extended back at least to early Cretaceous. Until Eocene, they were mainly represented by Ellimmichthyiformes, an extinct clade of double and triple armored forms encountered in marine and continental environments. In North Africa, four Late Cretaceous localities have yielded clupeomorph remains, representing at least nine species. Their phylogenetic positions are discussed but remain unclear, mainly owing to the definition of the characters, which include several homoplastic and plesiomorphic features.

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