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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Superclassis/Classis: Actinopterygii
Classis/Subclassis: Actinopteri
Subclassis/Infraclassis: Neopterygii
Infraclassis: Teleostei
Megacohors: Osteoglossocephalai
Supercohort: Osteoglossocephala
Cohort/Superordo: Osteoglossomorpha
Ordo: †Ichthyodectiformes

Subordines: †Allothrissopoidei – †Ichthyodectoidei

Familiae: †Allothrissopidae – †Chuhsiungichthiidae – †Cladocyclidae – †Ichthyodectidae – †Saurodontidae

Genera: †Aidachar – †Allothrissops – †Antarctithrissops – †Ascalabothrissops – †Chuhsiungichthys – †Cooyoo – †Faugichthys – †Garganoichthys – †Heckelichthys – †Mesoclupea – †Occithrissops – †Ogunichthys – †Pachythrissops – †Proportheus – †Sultanuvaisia – †Thrissops – †Unamichthys – †Vallecillichthys

†Ichthyodectiformes Bardack & Sprinkle, 1969

Type family: †Ichthyodectidae Crook, 1892


Bardack, D. & Sprinkle, G. 1969. Morphology and relationships of saurocephalid fishes. Fieldiana Geology, 16: 297–340. Reference page.


Paleobiology Database

Ichthyodectiformes is an extinct order of marine stem-teleost ray-finned fish. The order is named after the genus Ichthyodectes, established by Edward Drinker Cope in 1870. Ichthyodectiforms are usually considered to be some of the closest relatives of the teleost crown group.[1]

They were most diverse throughout the Cretaceous period, though basal forms like Thrissops, Occithrissops and Allothrissops are known from the Middle-Late Jurassic of Europe and North America. Most ichthyodectiforms ranged between 1 and 5 meters (3–15 ft) in length. All known taxa were predators, feeding on smaller fish; in several cases, larger ichthyodectiforms preyed on smaller members of the order. Some species had remarkably large teeth, though others, such as Gillicus arcuatus, had small ones and sucked in their prey. There is evidence that at least one species, Xiphactinus audax, may have been endothermic ("warm-blooded").[2]

The basal phylogeny is badly resolved, leading to many ichthyodectiforms that are simply known to be rather primitive, but where nothing certain can be said about their precise relationships.


†Africathrissops Taverne, 2010[4]
†Allothrissops Nybelin, 1964
†Altamuraichthys Taverne, 2016[5]
†Antarctithrissops Arratia et al., 2004[6]
†Ascalabothrissops? Arratia, 2000[7]
†Capassoichthys Taverne, 2015[5]
†Dugaldia Lees, 1990
†Faugichthys Taverne & Chanet, 2000
†Furloichthys Taverne & Capasso, 2018[5]
†Garganoichthys Taverne, 2009[5]
†Occithrissops Schaeffer & Patterson, 1984
†Ogunichthys Alvarado-Ortega & Brito, 2009
†Pachythrissops? Woodward, 1919
†Prymnetes Cope, 1871[8]
†Thrissops Agassiz, 1843
†Sultanuvaisia Nesov, 1981
†Verraesichthys Taverne, 2010
†Chuhsiungichthyidae Yabumoto, 1994[9]
†Chuhsiungichthys Lew, 1974
†Jinjuichthys Kim et al., 2014
†Mesoclupea Ping & Yen, 1933
†Bardackichthyidae Hacker & Shimada, 2021[10]
†Amakusaichthys? Yabumoto et al., 2020
†Bardackichthys Hacker & Shimada, 2021
†Heckelichthys? Taverne, 2008
†Cladocyclidae Maisey, 1991
†Aidachar Nesov, 1981[11]
†Chirocentrites Heckel, 1849
†Chiromystus Cope, 1885
†Cladocyclus Agassiz, 1841
†Eubiodectes Hay, 1903
†Ichthyodectidae Crook, 1892
†Cooyoo Bartholomai & Less, 1987
†Ghrisichthys Cavin et al., 2013
†Ichthyodectes Cope, 1870
†Postredectes Kaddumi, 2009[12]
†Xiphactinus Leidy, 1870
†Saurodontidae Cope, 1870[13][14]
†Amakusaichthys? Yabumoto et al., 2020
†Gillicus Cope, 1875
†Gwawinapterus Arbour & Currie, 2011[15]
†Heckelichthys? Taverne, 2008
†Prosaurodon Stewart, 1999
†Saurocephalus Harlan, 1824
†Saurodon Hay, 1830
†Unamichthys Alvarado-Ortega, 2004
†Vallecillichthys Blanco & Cavin, 2003


Nelson, Joseph S.; Grande, Terry C.; Wilson, Mark V. H. (2016). Fishes of the World (5th ed.). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118342336.
Ferrón, H. G. (2019). "Evidence of endothermy in the extinct macropredatory osteichthyan Xiphactinus audax (Teleostei, Ichthyodectiformes)". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 39 (6): e1724123. doi:10.1080/02724634.2019.1724123. S2CID 216158318.
Cavin, L.; Berrell, R. W. (2019). "Revision of Dugaldia emmilta (Teleostei, Ichthyodectiformes) from the Toolebuc Formation, Albian of Australia, with comments on the jaw mechanics". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 39 (1): e1576049. doi:10.1080/02724634.2019.1576049. S2CID 190880286.
Taverne, L. (2010). "Les Ichthyodectidae (Teleostei, Ichthyodectiformes) des schistes bitumineux de TAptien (Crétacé inférieur) de Guinée Équatoriale et du Gabon" (PDF). Bulletin de l'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique (in French). 80: 115–143.
Taverne, L.; Capasso, L. (2018). "Osteology and phylogenetic relationships of Furloichthys bonarellii gen. and sp. nov. (Teleostei, Ichthyodectidae), a tropical fish from the Upper Cretaceous of central Italy" (PDF). Geo-Eco-Trop. 42 (1): 75–88.
Arratia, G.; Scasso, R. A.; Kiessling, W. (2004). "Late Jurassic fishes from Longing Gap, Antarctic Peninsula". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 24 (1): 41–55. doi:10.1671/1952-4. S2CID 85783766.
Arratia, G. (2000). "Remarkable teleostean fishes from the Late Jurassic of southern Germany and their phylogenetic relationships". Fossil Record. 3 (1): 137–179. doi:10.1002/mmng.20000030108.
Blanco-Piñón, A.; Alvarado-Ortega, J. (2007). "Review of Vallecillichthys multivertebratum (Teleostei: Ichthyodectiformes), a Late Cretaceous (early Turonian) "Bulldog fish" from northeastern Mexico" (PDF). Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Geológicas. 24 (3): 450–466.
Kim, H.; Chang, M.; Wu, F.; Kim, Y. (2014). "A new ichthyodectiform (Pisces, Teleostei) from the Lower Cretaceous of South Korea and its paleobiogeographic implication". Cretaceous Research. 47: 117–130. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2013.11.007.
Hacker, R. J.; Shimada, K. (2021). "A new ichthyodectiform fish (Actinopterygii: Teleostei) from the Arlington Member (mid-Cenomanian) of the Upper Cretaceous Woodbine Formation in Texas, USA". Cretaceous Research. 123: 104798. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2021.104798. S2CID 233806833.
Cavin, L.; Boudad, L.; Tong, H.; Läng, E.; Tabouelle, J.; Vullo, R. (2015). "Taxonomic Composition and Trophic Structure of the Continental Bony Fish Assemblage from the Early Late Cretaceous of Southeastern Morocco". PLOS ONE. 10 (5): e0125786. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0125786. PMC 4446216. PMID 26018561.
Kaddumi, Hani F. (2009). "Ichthyodectids of the late Maastrichtian sediments of the Muwaqqar Chalk Marl Formation of Harrana". Fossils of the Harrana Fauna and the Adjacent Areas. Amman: Eternal River Museum of Natural History. OCLC 709582892.
Cope, E. D. (1870). On the Saurodontidæ. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 11:529-538
Cope, E. D. (1873). On two new species of Saurodontidae. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 25:2-339
Vullo, R., Buffetaut, E. and Everhart, M.J. (2012). "Reappraisal of Gwawinapterus beardi from the Late Cretaceous of Canada: a saurodontid fish, not a pterosaur." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 32(5): 1198-1201. doi:10.1080/02724634.2012.681078

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