Species: Possible Armigatus
Geologic Era: Cretaceous
Location Discovered: Possibly Lebanon
Size: 5 cm (closer to 6 cm if tail was extended)
Estimated Range: Modern Middle East
Extinction Date: Cretaceous?
I picked this little specimen up in a rock shop a few years ago. It was simply listed as “fossil fish.” The seller did not know anything further about it, not even the location it was found.
The only similar species I have come across is Armigatus, which I am choosing to use to identify our little mystery fish. The coloration is similar to Armigatus fossils coming out of Lebanon, as is the overall shape and size. Our fish is not in the best of condition, and is very compressed with the tail turned backwards. Aside from this, the vertebral column and ribs are very visible, though the skull is a bit compressed.
Armigatus was a small schooling fish that lived in what is now the Middle East. They would probably have formed the base of the local food chains, as many larger fish and marine organisms coexisted with them. They are among the most common specimens found in Lebanese deposits.