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Reassessment of a large lamniform shark from the Upper Cretaceous (Santonian) of Italy
Univ Bologna, Dipartimento Sci Biol Geol & Ambientali, Alma Mater Studiorum, Via Zamboni 67, I-40126 Bologna, Italy.
Univ Bologna, Dipartimento Sci Biol Geol & Ambientali, Alma Mater Studiorum, Via Zamboni 67, I-40126 Bologna, Italy;Univ Bologna, Museo Geol Giovanni Capellini, Alma Mater Studiorum, Via Zamboni 63, I-40126 Bologna, Italy.
Museo Civ Storia Nat Ferrara, Via De Pisis 24, I-44121 Ferrara, Italy.
Univ Pavia, Museo Storia Nat, Piazza Botta 9-10, I-27100 Pavia, Italy.
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2019 (English)In: Cretaceous research (Print), ISSN 0195-6671, E-ISSN 1095-998X, Vol. 99, p. 156-168Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To date, only a few partially articulated chondrichthyan specimens are known from the Upper Cretaceous marine fossil record of northern Italy. Here, we re-evaluate the taxonomic status and geological age of selachian remains originally discovered during the 19th century from the Castellavazzo locality. The described specimen is largely embedded in matrix with minute exposure of joined and moderately deformed sequentially stacked vertebral centra. Computed tomography (CT) image-data obtained of the specimen enabled the identification of potential cranial-cartilage elements located in close proximity to teeth and are here interpreted as remnants of the jaws. Based on tooth and vertebral morphology the specimen is in all likelihood an adult lamniform shark with a measured 3.5 m length. Using ordinary least-squares regression analysis (OLS) and proportion-based calculations, we estimated a total-length (TL) of 596.27 and 632.5-672.64 cm respectively. We prefer the size estimation derived through OLS bivariate regression; however, in the present analysis, reliance on a small sample size (n = 11) and evidence for differential scaling between taxa impose limitations on the precision of our size prediction. Planktonic foraminifera examined from the surrounding matrix of the slab preserving shark vertebral centra and teeth indicate a Santonian age (Dicarinella asymetrica zone). Although, the specimen could not confidently be assigned beyond the ordinal-level, the sheer centrum size, gross dental morphology, and depositional environment, are indicative of a pelagic apex-predator comparable to coeval lamniforms, with a specific resemblance towards cretoxyrhinids, reported from elsewhere along the peri-Tethyan shelf of Europe and Western Interior Seaway of North America. Finally, the re-emergence of this historical specimen, here re-described using cutting-edge techniques, is of great importance as it contributes to the otherwise poor record of extinct lamniform shark skeletons.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 99, p. 156-168
Keywords [en]
Santonian, Lamniformes, Vertebral centra, Italy, Scaglia Rossa Formation, Upper Cretaceous, Body size estimation
National Category
Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-384055DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2019.02.011ISI: 000466823200013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-384055DiVA, id: diva2:1328323
Available from: 2019-06-20 Created: 2019-06-20 Last updated: 2019-06-20Bibliographically approved

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Bazzi, Mohamad

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