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Devonian tetrapod from western Europe


Several discoveries of Late Devonian tetrapods (limbed vertebrates) have been made during the past two decades1,2,3, but each has been confined to one locality. Here we describe a tetrapod jaw of about 365 million years (Myr) old from the Famennian of Belgium, which is the first from western continental Europe. The jaw closely resembles that of Ichthyostega, a Famennian tetrapod hitherto known only from Greenland. The environment of this fossil provides information about the conditions that prevailed just before the virtual disappearance of tetrapods from the fossil record for 20 Myr.

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Figure 1: Lower jaw of a Late Devonian (Famennian) ichthyostegid tetrapod from Belgium (Liège University palaeontology collection, 6106a).


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Correspondence to Philippe Janvier.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Clément, G., Ahlberg, P., Blieck, A. et al. Devonian tetrapod from western Europe. Nature 427, 412–413 (2004).

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