Hyneria lindae (lobe-fin fish)
The distinctive scales of Hyneria lindae are common at Red Hill. Numerous skull and jaw fragments as well as a tail fin have also been collected. Most of this material was recovered from shallow channel margin facies, but some smaller fragments have also been collected in the floodplain pond. Extrapolations based on Hyneria's jaw suggest that this fish measured an impressive 3-4 m in length. As such, it was probably the top predator at Red Hill.
Hyneria lindae is known only from Red Hill. It was described by Keith Thomson in 1968 based on fragments from the skull, jaw and pectoral girdle (cleithrum and clavicle). As it turns out, the fossil material described by Thomson was collected from Red Hill prior to the highway work that exposed most of the outcrop. More recent collections from the site have yielded enough material to create a relatively complete composite of the skull and jaw. With this additional material it has become unclear whether Hyneria lindae should be classified as a monospecific genus or as a distinct species of the closely related genus Eusthenodon. Unfortunately, the diagnostic characters in Eusthenodon are are located near the eye orbit, and these have yet to be collected for Hyneria.
Hyneria (and Eusthenodon) belongs to the Tristicoptereridae, the family of osteolepiform lobe-fin fishes most closely related to tetrapods and the Elpistostegalia (Elpistostege and Pandericththys).
Other lobefins, including an unidentified lungfish, Holoptychius sp., a juvenile rhizodont (c.f., Sauripterus), Red Hill rhizodont, and Red Hill megalichthyidid were also found at Red Hill. You can also learn more about lobe-fin fishes.
- Scientific Papers:
- Cloutier, R. and P.E. Ahlberg. 1996. "Morphology, characters, and interrelationships of basal sarcopterygians." pp. 445-479. In: M.L.J. Stiassny, L. R. Parenti and G.D. Johnson. (eds.) Interrelationships of Fishes. San Diego, London: Academic Press.
- Jarvic, E., 1980. Basic structure and evolution of vertebrates. Vol 1. London: Academic Press.
- Thomson, K.S. 1968. "A new Devonian fish (Crossopterygii: Rhipidistia) considered in relation to the origin of the Amphibia." Postilla 124:1-13.
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