From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Temporal range: Middle Triassic–Late Jurassic
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Pachycormiformes
Family: Pholidophoridae
Genus: Pholidophorus
Agassiz, 1832
  • P. australis
  • P. brevis
  • P. granulatus
  • P. purbeckensis

Pholidophorus is an extinct genus of teleost fish from the Triassic and Jurassic periods of Africa, Europe, and South America.

Fossil of Pholidophorus beckii

Pholidophorus was a herring-like fish about 40 centimetres (16 in) long, although it was not closely related to modern herring. Like them, however, it had a single dorsal fin, a symmetrical tail, and an anal fin placed towards the rear of the body. It had large eyes and was probably a fast-swimming predator, hunting planktonic crustaceans and smaller fish.[1]

A very early teleost, Pholidophorus had many primitive characteristics such as ganoid scales and a spine that was partially composed of cartilage, rather than bone.[1]

A contrary view[edit]

According to T.S. Kemp, "a single species of fish from the Jurassic, Pholidophorus bechii, is thought to be the sister-group" of all fossil and living teleosts.[2]


  1. ^ a b Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. pp. 38–39. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 
  2. ^ Kemp T.S. 1999. Fossils and evolution. Oxford University Press. p122 ISBN 0-19-850424-1