Revised May 16, 2020
with the addition of Early Jurassic Ohmdenia, a new taxon that attracts enigmatic Protosphyraena to the osteoglossiformes. They all share a spine-like pectoral fin along with matching dorsal and anal fins.
New data on the Late Cretaceous ‘swordfish with teeth’
Protosphyraena nitida (Leidy 1857; Late Cretaceous; 3m; Figs. 1) brings it up for review and reconsideration. It was originally considered a basal baraccuda and traditionally is now considered a member of the Pachycormiformes, but here nests nearby as a sister to coeval Niobrara Ohmdenia, related to the extant arowana, Osteoglossum.
Distinct from Ohmdenia
Protosphyraena had a swordfish-like body, head and tail (Fig. 1).
and most bony fish, the lacrimal + premaxilla + maxilla are essentially fused to the cranium. That added to the confusion.
The new nesting of Protosphyraena
as a highly derived taxon makes sense. This is a unique taxon leaving no descendants.
Leidy J 1857. Remarks on Saurocephalus and its allies. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. 11: 91–95.