Living eels are a fish in the order Anguilliformes. Most eels are predatory fish. Eels are widely distributed over tropical and temperate waters. They inhabit many differing habitats from fresh to brackish and marine waters, only breeding in marine waters.
Hayenchelys is found in Upper Cretaceous sediments in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Hayenchelys germanus is one of the oldest eels, and is probably related to living eels. Their bodies are long and slender. The shallow head features a pointed snout. The dorsal and anal fins are probably fringe-like with a clearly distinct caudal fin.
The fossil eel, Hayenchelys germanus, is a species of fish in the Angulliformes order, originally published under the family Urenchelydae. Oliver Perry Hay first described this fish in 1903 under the name Urenchelys germanus. In 2003 Belouze and Gayet published a new description of Urenchelys germanus. Their efforts to clarify relationships among the Anguilliforms brought about a revision of the genera. They honored Hay by renaming this Eel Hayenchelys germanus. The information they gathered indicates that further study of these Cretaceous eels may give us insight into the evolutionary process of this order.
This a a perfect addition to your classroom study set. An eel that lived at the same time as the dinosaurs. Contrast and compare this ancient specimen with its living relatives.