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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Revelations in the Primal Fossil Record

"New actinopterygian fossils from the Tournaisian provide an opportunity to improve our understanding of earliest Carboniferous faunas and test whether other osteichthyan lineages follow the tetrapod pattern. Here, we describe a new genus of actinopterygian from a three-dimensionally preserved partial skull from Blue Beach, Nova Scotia, a locality in the Tournaisian Horton Group. This locality has previously yielded a diverse tetrapod fauna, as well as undescribed actinopterygian and sarcopterygian material [8,15,17]. Mirroring trends in the tetrapod fauna of this locality, this specimen demonstrates close affinity to taxa more typical of the Devonian, with clear implications for end-Devonian extinction survivorship among vertebrates."
A primitive actinopterygian braincase from the Tournaisian of Nova Scotia
Conrad D. Wilson, Jason D. Pardo, Jason S. Anderson
Figure 1.
Avonichthys manskyi gen. et sp. nov. Photograph and interpretive drawing of specimen in dorsal view. Scale bar = 10 mm. br.psp, broken dorsal surface of parasphenoid; dsph, dermosphenotic; ?esc, indeterminate extrascapular; f, frontal; hm, hyomandibular; ifc, infraorbital canal; it, intertemporal; mx, maxilla; nIII, foramen for oculomotor nerve; p, parietal; por, post-orbital process; st, supratemporal.

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