Diplurus was a 3 foot long freshwater coelacanth fish which lived in the northeastern United States during the late Triassic and early Jurassic Periods, approximately 220-190 million years ago. It is divided into three species: D. longicaudatus, D. newarki, and D. uddeni. Fossils of this fish have been found in Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the Virginia / North Carolina border.

Diplurus shared its environment with other fishes including Semionotus, as well as with the dinosaurs Anchisaurus and possibly Coelophysis and Dilophosaurus. In contrast to the thickened gar-like scales of Semionotus, Diplurus had rather thin scales. Fossilized coprolites which are believed to have come from Diplurus were full of fish remains and indicate that Diplurus was a carnivore.

Diplurus newarki. © Jason R. Abdale (October 30, 2022).


Schaeffer, Bobb (1952). “The Triassic coelacanth fish Diplurus, with observations of the evolution of Coelacanthini”. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, volume 99, article 2 (April 17, 1952). Pages 25-78.

LeTourneau, Peter M.; McDonald, Nicholas G.; Olsen, Paul E.; Ku, Timothy C.; Getty, Patrick R. (2015). “Fossils and facies of the Connecticut Valley lowland: Ecosystem structure and sedimentary dynamics along the footwall margin of an active rift”. New England Intercollegiate Geology Conference at Middletown Connecticut (October 2015). Pages 107-151.

GBIF – Global Biodiversity Information Facility. “Diplurus Newberry, 1878″. https://www.gbif.org/species/8328305. Accessed on July 18, 2022.

Categories: Paleontology, Uncategorized

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1 reply

  1. This is a beautiful reconstruction of Diplurus. I always love learning about new fossil creatures, and I always like to see illustrations of unusual animals like fish. Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

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