San Cristobal de Las Casas: The fossil of a fish that lived 90 million years ago has been found in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, scientists said.
The fossil, which is that of a new genus, was discovered in El Chango, a town outside the city of Ocozocuautla, Chiapas Paleontology Museum director Marco Antonio Coutiño said.
Scientists have named the new fish Sapperichthys chiapanensis in honour of Karl Theodor Sapper (1866-1945), a German naturalist, topographer and pioneer in describing the geology and paleontology of Chiapas, a state in southeastern Mexico.
The fish lived in the Mesozoic Era, when dinosaurs walked the Earth, the biologist said.
Chiapas, whose territory was partially submerged in a deep warm sea during the Mesozoic Era, was home to a "proliferation of marine creatures, including fish that left evidence of their existence via fossils", Coutiño said.
Finds made over nearly two decades have "allowed the creation of a scientific collection of more than 250 fish fossils, of which 15 different species have been identified, all coming from fields from the late Cretaceous Period in the cities of Ocozocoautla, Palenque and San Cristobal de las Casas", Coutiño said.
The new fossil is "of high importance because it (helps) recreate the marine environments from back then", the biologist said.
The fossil of Sapperichthys chiapanensis and others are on display at the Eliseo Palacios Aguilera Paleontology Museum in Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of Chiapas.