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Synchrotron-aided reconstruction of the conodont feeding apparatus and implications for the mouth of the first vertebrates


Goudemand, N; Orchard, M J; Urdy, S; Bucher, H; Tafforeau, P (2011). Synchrotron-aided reconstruction of the conodont feeding apparatus and implications for the mouth of the first vertebrates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 108(21):8720-8724.

Abstract

The origin of jaws remains largely an enigma that is best addressed by studying fossil and living jawless vertebrates. Conodonts were eel-shaped jawless animals, whose vertebrate affinity is still disputed. The geometrical analysis of exceptional three-dimensionally preserved clusters of oro-pharyngeal elements of the Early Triassic Novispathodus, imaged using propagation phase-contrast X-ray synchrotron microtomography, suggests the presence of a pulley-shaped lingual cartilage similar to that of extant cyclostomes within the feeding apparatus of euconodonts (“true” conodonts). This would lend strong support to their interpretation as vertebrates and demonstrates that the presence of such cartilage is a plesiomorphic condition of crown vertebrates.

The origin of jaws remains largely an enigma that is best addressed by studying fossil and living jawless vertebrates. Conodonts were eel-shaped jawless animals, whose vertebrate affinity is still disputed. The geometrical analysis of exceptional three-dimensionally preserved clusters of oro-pharyngeal elements of the Early Triassic Novispathodus, imaged using propagation phase-contrast X-ray synchrotron microtomography, suggests the presence of a pulley-shaped lingual cartilage similar to that of extant cyclostomes within the feeding apparatus of euconodonts (“true” conodonts). This would lend strong support to their interpretation as vertebrates and demonstrates that the presence of such cartilage is a plesiomorphic condition of crown vertebrates.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Uncontrolled Keywords:apical cartilage | conodont oral skeleton | early vertebrates | homology
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:06 Jun 2011 08:11
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:55
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
Publisher DOI:10.1073/pnas.1101754108
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-48316

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