The diet of the Early Cretaceous coelacanth †Axelrodichthys araripensis Maisey, 1986 (Actinistia: Mawsoniidae)
The paleohistological study of a crushed specimen of the coelacanth †Axelrodichthys araripensis Maisey, 1986, coelacanthiform from the Early Cretaceous (Santana Formation) of the Araripe Basin, North-East Brazil, reveals various fossilized bony elements corresponding to an actinopterygian fish. These scattered skeletal elements are localized near, but outside, the calcified lung of †A. araripensis, in a preserved soft tissue patch with distinctive physical characteristics of the limestone matrix surrounding the specimen. Based on the position of these scattered bones and on the soft tissue patch that surrounds these structures, we infer that it corresponds, probably, to the dietary content found in situ of this articulated specimen of A. araripensis. Our contribution describes the dietary habits of this species of coelacanth and infers some details regarding its paleoenvironmental habitat.