Letter | Published:

A giant conodont with preserved muscle tissue from the Upper Ordovician of South Africa

Nature volume 374, pages 800803 (27 April 1995) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

AN exceptionally preserved new specimen of the giant conodont Promissum pulchrum reveals details of the trunk musculature, feeding apparatus and eyes. High-fidelity resolution of ultrastruc-tural features of the trunk myomeres provides the first conclusive evidence of muscle-fibre organization and orientation in an extinct agnathan. The presence of fibrous extrinsic eye muscles confirms the degree of encephalization of the conodonts and is consistent with a cladistic position crownwards of the myxinoids. The soft tissues are uniquely preserved as illite and mixed-layer clay minerals.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    , , , & Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B340, 405–421 (1993).

  2. 2.

    , & Lethaia 16, 1–14 (1983).

  3. 3.

    , , & Lethaia 19, 279–291 (1986).

  4. 4.

    , & Science 228, 715–717 (1985).

  5. 5.

    , & in Palaeobiology of Conodonts (ed. Aldridge, R. J.) 91–104 (Ellis Horwood, Chichester, 1987).

  6. 6.

    & J. Micropalaeontology 12, 113–117 (1993).

  7. 7.

    , & Palaeontology 33, 577–594 (1990).

  8. 8.

    , & Geol. Today 10, 218–221 (1994).

  9. 9.

    , , & Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B347, 275–291 (1995).

  10. 10.

    & Lethaia 26, 275–287 (1994).

  11. 11.

    Lethaia (in the press).

  12. 12.

    Nature 346, 171–172 (1990).

  13. 13.

    , , & J. geol. Soc. Lond. 150, 1035–1038 (1993).

  14. 14.

    & Palaios 9, 431–456 (1994).

  15. 15.

    in Evolutionary biology of primitive fishes (eds Foreman, R. E., Gorbman, A., Dodd, J. M. & Olsson, R.) 81–112 (Plenum, New York, 1985).

  16. 16.

    , , & Science 256, 1308–1311 (1992).

  17. 17.

    , & Nature 368, 591 (1994).

  18. 18.

    & Am. Scient. 82, 554–565 (1994).

  19. 19.

    in Fish physiology Vol. VII Locomotion (eds Hoar, W. S. & Randall, D. J.) 361–424 (Academic, New York, 1978).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Geology, Leicester University, Leicester LEI 7RH, UK

    • S. E. Gabbott
    •  & R. J. Aldridge
  2. Geological Survey, PO Box 572, Bellville 7535, South Africa

    • J. N. Theron

Authors

  1. Search for S. E. Gabbott in:

  2. Search for R. J. Aldridge in:

  3. Search for J. N. Theron in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/374800a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.