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Multicuspid tooth morphology in a gigantic Palaeocene pycnodont fish: evolutionary and palaeoecological significance

Abstract : A pycnodont premaxilla bearing a large incisiform tooth with an unusual crown morphology is described from the Palaeocene (Thanetian) phosphate deposits of Morocco. This peculiar tooth shows a broad, fan-shaped multicuspid crown with nine cusps, well adapted for benthic macroalgal scraping. This morph, assigned to a new species of Pycnodus (P. multicuspidatus sp. nov.), emphasizes the phenotypic plasticity of the group and documents an additional trophic specialization among Palaeogene pycnodontiform fishes. In the post-K/Pg boundary marine ecosystem of the Ouled Abdoun Basin, P. multicuspidatus sp. nov. may have opportunistically replaced Maastrichtian fish taxa with a similar front dentition and feeding behaviour, such as the putative specialized pycnodontiforms Stephanodus and Hadrodus.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-02179055
Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 1:47:46 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 13, 2020 - 4:00:08 PM

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Romain Vullo, Nathalie Bardet, Emmanuel Gheerbrant, Nour-Eddine Jalil. Multicuspid tooth morphology in a gigantic Palaeocene pycnodont fish: evolutionary and palaeoecological significance. Geological Magazine, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2019, 156 (9), pp.1618-1622. ⟨10.1017/S0016756819000736⟩. ⟨insu-02179055⟩

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