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Temporal range: Jurassic
Lybis superbus.JPG
Lybis superbus, at the Jura Museum, Eichstaett
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sarcopterygii
Subclass: Actinistia
Order: Coelacanthiformes
Family: Latimeridae
Genus: Libys
Münster, 1842
  • Libys polypterus (Münster 1842) (type)
  • Libys superbus (Zittel, 1887)

Libys is a genus of the prehistoric coelacanth lobe-finned fish, an intermediary form between sea and land animals. It belongs to the family of Latimeridae, which is also the family of the living coelacanth, Latimeria. These fishes lived during the Upper Jurassic period (Kimmeridgian - Tithonian, about 150 to 145 million years ago).


Libys had an exceptionally squat body, especially when compared to other coelacanths of the same period as Undina and Holophagus species. Libys could reach 60 centimeters in length and was therefore a medium-sized coelacanth, with a short and high skull. The pectoral fins were quite long, while the tail was remarkably short and high


Fossils of these fishes have been found in Germany, in the famous deposits of Solnhofen.


  • Libys superbus Reis, 1888
  • Libys polypterus

Genus Libys has been described for the first time in 1842 by Muenster. The species Libys polypterus was then established as the type species, on the basis of fragmentary remains. Later has been described another species (Libys superbus), on the basis of a complete large specimens, but most authors believe that these two forms have in reality to be considered conspecific.

Libys superbus at the Teylers Museum, Haarlem
Libys superbus at the Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien