Picture and description of fish (178) on Flickr.
Author: Heppe, Johann Christoph
Publisher: Samuel Winterschmidt
Digitizing sponsor: Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Ernst Mayr Library
Book contributor: Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Ernst Mayr Library
Collection: biodiversity; Harvard_University; americana
This Early Miocene sunfish, Austromola angerhoferi, is estimated to have a total length of 3.2 meters (10’6”), making it the largest known Cenozoic teleost fossil. Mola mola can get somewhat larger — 3.33 m — although considering Austromola is know from only three specimens (the others being 1.5–1.7 and 2.4 m), I’d imagine it was considerably larger on average. Austromola is essentially “modern” in shape, although with some minor plesiomorphic traits (more vertebrae, hexagonal scales).
Gregorova, R. et al. (2009) A giant Early Miocene sunfish from the North Alpine Foreland Basin (Austria) and its implication for molid phylogeny. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29(2) 359–371.