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Lepidotes is an extinct genus of neopterygian, ray-finned fish from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Fossils have been found worldwide.
Lepidotes inhabited both freshwater lakes and shallow seas; Lepidotes was typically about 30 centimeters (12 in) long. The body was covered with thick, enameled scales. Batteries of peg-like teeth enabled Lepidotes to crush the shells of its Mollusca prey.
Lepidotes elvensis was one of the earliest fish in which the upper jawbones were no longer attached to the jugal bone. This allowed the jaws to be stretched into a 'tube' so that the fish could suck in prey from a greater distance than in previous species. This system is still seen in some modern fish, such as carp.
Lepidotes is frequently pictured as the prey of the large dinosaur Baryonyx because its scales were found in the stomach region of a fossil Baryonyx.
23.5" fish on 28x10.5" matrix
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