Taxon profile


Roundhead-Roundtail Lebanon Coelacanth
Macropoma libanus Khalaf, 2015

kingdom Animalia - animals »  phylum Chordata - chordates »  class Sarcopterygii »  order Coelacanthiformes - coelacanth »  family Latimeriidae - coelacanths »  genus Macropoma

Other names

= Lebanon Coelacanth

Temporal range:Upper Cretaceous
Etymology / Derivation of the Scientific Name

The genus name “Macropoma” in Greek means “big apple” or “large fruit” which refers to the big sized head and tail of the Genus Macropoma. The species name “libanus” refers to “Lebanon” in Greek where the new species was discovered.


The Roundhead-Roundtail Lebanon Coelacanth fossil species († Macropoma libanus Khalaf, 2015) from the Upper Cretaceous (Middle Cenomanian) of the genus Macropoma (Class Sarcopterygii, Subclass Crossopterygii, Order Coelacanthiformes, Suborder Latimerioidei, Family Latimeriidae) was found in the Limestone of Haqel (Hakel) and Hajula, Lebanon. It belongs to the Family Latimeriidae and therefore closely related to the living coelacanth Latimeria.

The new fossil species is distinguished from the four different Macropoma species : † Macropoma lewesiensis Agassiz, 1835; † Macropoma mantelli Agassiz, 1843; † Macropoma speciosum Reuss, 1857 and † Macropoma willemoesii Vetter, 1881 by its slightly different skeletal, skull and fin features. It is morphologically a distinct species. † Macropoma libanus Khalaf, 2015 was named by the Palestinian-German Zoologist Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Khalaf-von Jaffa.


Measurements of the Holotype: Total length: 8.00 cm; Head from mouth tip to gill cover: 1.75 cm; Tail length: 2.58 cm; Head width at the gill cover: 2.16 cm; Body width in the middle (dorsal-ventral): 2.33 cm, tail base width: 1.66 cm; Anterior dorsal fin: 1.75 cm; Posterior dorsal fin: 1.50 cm; Pectoral fin: 1.66 cm; Tail rays: 2.58 cm.

Links and literature

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2015). † Macropoma libanus Khalaf, 2015 : A New Coelacanth Fish Fossil Species from Lebanon. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. ISSN 0178 - 6288. Number 122, February 2015. pp. 12–27. Dubai and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. [as Macropoma libanus]

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extinct taxon