An enigmatic jaw fragment from the Late Carboniferous of Nýřany (Czech Republic)


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Year of publication 2023
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description The locality of Nýřany represents a limnic deposits of the late Carboniferous (Moscovian) age, containing a well-known vertebrate assemblage. The convenient depositional conditions, persisting in the lake basin for a relatively short period of time, enabled an extraordinary preservation potential, thus providing an important insight into the late Carboniferous faunal association occurring in the lake deposits of the Central Europe. The site has been known since the late 19th century and yielded hundreds of vertebrate specimens, including numerous fish and amphibian forms, as well as rare remains of early reptiles and synapsids (Fritsch 1870; Milner 1980). Here, we report on a new, well-preserved, large fragment of a probable lower jaw with teeth from the locality of Nýřany, which represents so far unknown morphotype in the vertebrate assemblage of the locality. The jaw fragment measures 55 mm and preserves the posterior portion of the dentary with teeth in lingual view. The mandible is dorsoventrally deep and possesses a prominent coronoid process. The lateral surface of the jaw bears a distinct ornamentation restricted to the central part of the bone, which consists of elongate ridges and grooves. The homodont, upright, smooth marginal teeth have bulbous bases, lingually recurved crown tips, and are implanted in shallow sockets. The suite of characteristics present in the mandible and dentition, as well as the large proportions of the jaw, distinguishes the newly reported specimen from all other vertebrates known from the late Paleozoic deposits of the Czech Republic. Consequently, a possible taxonomic attribution of the jaw is discussed.
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