Early Silurian chondrichthyans from the Tarim Basin (Xinjiang, China)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

  • Plamen Andreev
  • Wenjin Zhao
  • Nian-zhong Wang
  • Moya Smith
  • Qiang Li
  • Xindong Cui
  • Min Zhu

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Qujing Normal University
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • KINGS COLLEGE LONDON

Abstract

The Sinacanthida ordo nov. and Mongolepidida are spine- and scale-based
taxa whose remains encompass some of the earliest reported fossils of
chondrichthyan fish. Investigation of fragmentary material from the Early Silurian
Tataertag and Ymogantau Formations of the Tarim Basin (Xinjiang Uygur
Autonomous Region, China) has revealed a diverse mongolepidid and sinacanthid fauna dominated by mongolepids and sinacanthids in association with abundant dermoskeletal elements of the endemic ‘armoured’ agnathans known as galeaspids. Micro-computed tomography, scanning electron microscopy and histological sections were used to identify seven mongolepid genera (including Tielikewatielepis sinensis gen. et sp. nov., Xiaohaizilepis liui gen. et sp. nov. and Taklamakanolepis asiaticus gen. et sp. nov.) together with a new chondrichthyan (Yuanolepis bachunensis gen. et sp. nov.) with scale crowns consisting of a mongolepid-type atubular dentine (lamellin). Unlike the more elaborate crown architecture of mongolepids, Yuanolepis gen. nov. exhibits a single row of crown elements consistent with the condition reported in stem chondrichthyans from the Lower Devonian (e.g. in Seretolepis, Parexus). The results corroborate previous work by recognising lamellin as the main
component of sinacanthid spines and point to corresponding developmental patterns shared across the dermal skeleton of taxa with lamellin and more derived chondrichthyans (e.g. Doliodus, Kathemacanthus, Seretolepis and Parexus). The Tarim mongolepid fauna is inclusive of coeval taxa from the South China Block and accounts for over two-thirds of the species currently attributed to Mongolepidida. This demonstrates considerable overlap between the Tarim and South China components of the Lower Silurian Zhangjiajie Vertebrate Fauna.

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoSONE
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Feb 2020