Looking much more slender than its distant cousin, Heliobatis,' this Rhinobato maronita example is one of the nicest we've come across. We were fortunate to visit its discoverer before several museums arrived, looking for a fine specimen. The addition of the extinct fish specimen Nematonotus Longispinus, gives this piece an extra bonus.
Plate Measurements: ~15" x 7" x 3/4" thick
Specimen Measurements: ~ 14-1/2" long
Location: Hgula, Byblos, Lebanon
Time Period: Upper Cretaceous / ~ 100 MYO
Rhinobato maronita commonly referred to as 'Guitarfish' is the only long nosed species of this genus. It is characterised by its slender form and fairly long pointed nose, by the weak lateral development of its pectoral cartilaginous rays and its long, narrow pelvic fins. Although its thorny scales are similar to other species, the dorsal ones above the pelvic fins are slightly different, having a shape that is wider than long. Embryos have also been found from Haqil. Rhinobatos still exist in our seas today. And although their teeth are significantly different, overall, anatomically they are still similar, making them an example of 'a living fossil'.
Fossils from Hgula-Byblos, Lebanon are considered some of the most beautifully well preserved on the planet. It's these fossils formed by volcanoes or rapid shifting of tectonic plates rapidly filling the waterways with landslides, submerging and killing everything in its way. An environment almost completely lacking in oxygen which led to the preservation of even cartilage being preserved in some specimens. This is very rare.