The Telbesmi Formation, at the northern margin of the Arabian Plate, Turkey, is composed of alternating darkbrown, pinky-brown fluvial arkosic sandstone/mudstones with thin-bedded cherty limestones and channel conglomerates. The formation contains rare and poorly diversified trace fossils. The siltstone/sandstone beds of levels 1 and 2 of the formation yielded, however, a moderately diverse assemblage composed of: Cochlichnus isp., Palaeophycus isp., Planolites beverleyensis, Teichichnus isp. and ?Treptichnus rectangularis. This assemblage, made up of traces left by deposit feeding organisms, represents the Scoyenia ichnofacies. Treptichnus rectangularis and Palaeophycus isp., of the assemblage, can be considered markers for the base of the Cambrian in southeast Turkey.
The long-ranging Early to Middle Triassic coniform conodont form-genus Cornudina Hirschmann occurs abundantly in the Anisian of NW Turkey, Northern Tethys. Although suggested to represent the P1 element of an apparatus of the Order Ozarkodinida Dzik, questions concerning the apparatus of Cornudina remain. A description of the probable phylogenetic trends in the P1 elements of Cornudina is attempted and the role of the form-genera Ketinella Gedik and Kamuellerella Gedik, as the alternative ramiform skeletal elements in the Cornudina multi-element apparatus, is investigated. The newly described, Gedikella quadrata gen. nov., sp. nov., is an S element, Kamuellerella rectangularis sp. nov., is either an S3 or an S4 element, and Ketinella goermueshi sp. nov., is an M element.
The Maastrichtian sediments of northern Iraq are rich in larger benthic foraminifera. Among them, the genus Loftusia is well-known one because of its significant palaeogeographic distribution across the Mediterranean and Middle East. In this study, observations of abnormal test shapes, species recognition criteria and endoskeleton characteristics of Loftusia are discussed, based on the new material from north-eastern Iraq. The following species of Loftusia are described: Loftusia elongata Cox, L. persica Brady, Loftusia morgani Douvillé, L. anatolica Meriç, L. matsumarui Meriç and Görmüs, L. minor B Cox, L. ketini B Meriç and L. kahtaensis Meriç, Loftusia minor A Cox, L. oktayi Meriç and L. baykali Meriç. The predominant species are Loftusia elongata, L. morgani and L. baykali. Skewed abnormal individuals and epidermal parts of the endoskeleton structure are also interesting aspects to note. Quantitative data obtained for Loftusia allow us to better understand and interpret species identification criteria, abnormal occurrences and the endoskeleton structure.
The Indian Cave Sandstone (Upper Pennsylvanian, Gzhelian) from the area of Peru, Nebraska, USA, has yielded numerous isolated chondrichthyan remains and among them teeth and dermal denticles of the Symmoriiformes Zangerl, 1981. Two tooth-based taxa were identified: a falcatid Denaea saltsmani Ginter and Hansen, 2010, and a new species of Stethacanthus Newberry, 1889, S. concavus sp. nov. In addition, there occur a few long, monocuspid tooth-like denticles, similar to those observed in Cobelodus Zangerl, 1973, probably representing the head cover or the spine-brush complex. A review of the available information on the fossil record of Symmoriiformes has revealed that the group existed from the Late Devonian (Famennian) till the end of the Middle Permian (Capitanian).
The Cleveland Shale fauna represents a unique view of the time after a major Devonian extinction event (Frasnian–Famenian) with the recovery of arthrodires (Placodermi) best represented by this most specious North American fauna. This time was followed by an additional event (Hangenberg Biocrisis) leading to the extinction of arthrodires (and all other placoderms). An understanding of the diversity and interrelationships of North American arthrodires can aid our understanding of this critical time in vertebrate evolution. A new aspinothoracid arthrodire Hlavinichthys jacksoni gen. et sp. nov. is described from the Late Devonian of northern Ohio, U.S.A., which adds to our knowledge of this group. It provides a point of comparison to other members of the fauna whose interrelationships are poorly known. A phylogenetic analysis supports an assignment of Hlavinichthys jacksoni gen. et sp. nov. among the aspinothoracid arthrodires. This work has drawn attention to the continued need for descriptive and phylogenetic analyses of this unique fauna. Decades old species descriptions need revision along with preparation and description of new taxa. The work on Hlavinichthys jacksoni gen. et sp. nov. here is one step in that process.
Six enigmatic fossils from the Famennian (Devonian) Cleveland Shale in Ohio, U.S.A., are interpreted here as arthrodiran (Placodermi) egg cases. Recognition as egg cases is confirmed based on the observation of layered collagen fibers. The presence of a tuberculated bone fragment preserved within one case confirms a vertebrate source. The nature of the tubercles and the unique morphology of the egg cases supports the interpretation of an arthrodiran source. Reports of Devonian egg cases are limited to either assumed chondrichthyan producers or a putative ‘egg sac’ with a morphology atypical for any vertebrate. The Cleveland Shale egg cases thus represent the first record for a non-chondrichthyan producer. Among placoderms, behaviors of a pelagic life style with obligate nesting sites, reef fishes with live birth, and estuarine and fluvial nurseries, along with eggcase oviparity testifies to the diversity of reproductive strategies. As with modern fishes these strategies may be ecologically driven and the derived and variable reproductive biology of extant chondrichthyans is actually a primitive condition among gnathostomes. One consequence of the diversity of reproductive strategies (dependent on the topology of relationships) is the independent origin of internal fertilization within placoderms, possibly suggesting external fertilization as the primitive gnathostome reproductive mode.
Campyloprion Eastman, 1902 is a chondrichthyan having an arched symphyseal tooth whorl similar to that of Helicoprion Karpinsky, 1899, but less tightly coiled. The holotype of Campyloprion annectans Eastman, 1902, the type species of Campyloprion, is of unknown provenance, but is presumed to be from the Pennsylvanian of North America. Campyloprion ivanovi (Karpinsky, 1922) has been described from the Gzhelian of Russia. A partial symphyseal tooth whorl, designated as Campyloprion cf. C. ivanovi, is reported from the Missourian Tinajas Member of the Atrasado Formation of Socorro County, New Mexico, USA. Partial tooth whorls from the Virgilian Finis Shale and Jacksboro Limestone Members of the Graham Formation of northern Texas, USA, are designated as Campyloprion sp. Two partial tooth whorls from the Gzhelian of Russia that were previously referred to C. ivanovi are designated as Campyloprion cf. C. annectans. The age of Toxoprion lecontei (Dean, 1898), from Nevada, USA, is corrected from the Carboniferous to the early Permian. An alternative interpretation of the holotype of T. lecontei is presented, resulting in a reversal of its anterior-to-posterior orientation. The genera Helicoprion, Campyloprion, and Shaktauites Tchuvashov, 2001 can be distinguished by their different spiral angles.
An unusual 6–8 cm layer of prismatic cartilage and matrix containing some 8,800 teeth, coprolites, incomplete occipital spines, and denticles of Orthacanthus platypternus (Cope, 1883) occurs in the lower Permian (Artinskian) Craddock Bonebed in Texas, USA. It is the only species of shark present in the Clear Fork Group except for three worn Xenacanthus Beyrich, 1848 occipital spine fragments and two teeth of ?Lissodus (Polyacrodus) zideki (Johnson, 1981) (Hybodontoidei), both being the first occurrences in this unit. Analysis of measurements of teeth with complete bases randomly selected from 3,050 initially available teeth failed to reveal the presence of sexual dimorphism or the discrete presence of juveniles as expected, based on an independent study which identified the presence of Orthacanthus juvenile occipital spines. A few highly symmetrical small teeth are present, which had not been previously observed in the Texas lower Permian. They may be symphyseals and restricted only to juveniles. Other unusual teeth include germinal teeth and deformed teeth, both of which occur in the Clear Fork and underlying Wichita groups. One tooth displays an apparent example of the equivalent of an “enamel pearl” on one of its cusps. The most unusual teeth are those that appear to have undergone various stages of resorption. Only the lingual margin of the base is affected in which the apical button is resorbed to varying degrees until only the labial margin with the basal tubercle and the three cusps are all that remain. If the teeth were undergoing resorption, then the perplexing problem is why the apical button is resorbed and not the superjacent basal tubercle. Other vertebrate remains include palaeoniscoid scales and teeth and unidentified tetrapod bone fragments, jaw fragments, and teeth. Rare fragments of bones (scales?) bear a “comb edge” which have not been previously observed in the Texas lower Permian.
Newly collected and restudied earlier materials on an enigmatic fish Ventalepis ketleriensis Schultze, 1980 from the upper Famennian (postera – ? Lower expansa conodont zones) of Latvia and central and northwestern Russia support its porolepiform affinities. A new family Ventalepididae fam. nova is established for this genus upon a peculiar combination of characters, including scale structure and dermal bones ornamentation. New records extend the distribution of this genus and the Ventalepis vertebrate assemblage on the whole to a vast geographical zone along the south-eastern coast of the Old Red Sandstone continent. The habitat area of the Devonian vertebrate assemblage over such a large territory within the zoogeographical province of Baltica is established for the first time. Palaeozoogeographical analysis suggests Laurentian affinities of the Ventalepis assemblage demonstrating the major congruency to the Belgian and East Greenland ones. These and Russian localities are separated by a vast ORS continent. Presence of the dipnoan Jarvikia in all three locations, as well as an Ichthyostega-like tetrapod in the Belgian one reveals palaeozoogeographical connections, which might reflect possible dwelling not only in the near-shore continent periphery but also in the river systems of the continent itself.
The Silurian fishes from north-western Hunan, China are characterised by the earliest known galeaspids Dayongaspis Pan and Zeng, 1985 and Konoceraspis Pan, 1992, and the earliest known antiarch Shimenolepis Wang J.-Q., 1991, as well as rich sinacanth fin spines. Shimenolepis from Lixian County in north-western Hunan, which was dated as the Telychian (late Llandovery), has long been regarded as the oldest representative of the placoderms in the world. As such, in addition to eastern Yunnan and the Lower Yangtze Region, north-western Hunan represents another important area in South China that yields important fossil material for the research of early vertebrates and related stratigraphy. Here we summarise the Silurian fishes known in north-western Hunan so far, and classify them into three vertebrate assemblages (i.e., the Wentang, Maoshan, and Yangtze assemblages). Based on the updated Silurian vertebrate and stratigraphic databases, the Silurian fish-bearing strata in north-western Hunan can be subdivided into the Rongxi, Huixingshao, and Xiaoxi formations in ascending chronological order, which can be correlated with the Lower Red Beds, the Upper Red Beds, and the Ludlow Red Beds in South China, respectively. A new look at the Silurian strata in Lixian suggests that the age of Shimenolepis is late Ludlow rather than late Llandovery as previously suggested. The research on Silurian fishes and biostratigraphy in north-western Hunan not only provides morphological data of early vertebrates, but also offers new palaeoichthyological evidence for the subdivision, correlation, and age assignment of the Silurian marine red beds in South China. The establishment of a related high-precision Silurian stratigraphic framework in north-western Hunan will help to elucidate the temporal and spatial distribution of Silurian fossil fishes, deepen the understanding of the evolution of early vertebrates, and unravel the coevolution between Silurian vertebrates and the palaeoenvironment.
Fourteen symposia on early/lower vertebrates have taken place over the last 50 years, usually at about four year intervals. An average 60 participants have taken part at these symposia, with over one hundred occasionally. The results of the symposia have been published in proceedings. The symposia started honoring E. A:son Stensiö and E. Jarvik. Honors were taken up at the 11th symposium in Uppsala again. Since the 13th symposium a Stensiö award is also given to young researchers in the field.