Hybodont dentition from the Upper Jurassic of Monte Nerone Pelagic Carbonate Platform (Umbria-Marche Apennine, Italy) and its ecological implications


Here we describe a number of articulated teeth of a hybodont shark from Upper Jurassic deposits of the Monte Nerone Pelagic Carbonate Platform, in the Umbria-Marche-Sabina Palaeogeographic Domain (Northern Apennines, Central Italy). The material has been referred to as Asteracanthus cf. A. magnus, a quite well-known taxon already reported from Middle to Upper Jurassic deposits of Europe. Teeth indicate an extreme crushing feeding behaviour, suggesting as putative prey both infaunal and epifaunal hard-shelled invertebrates dwelling the sea-floor, such as large bivalves, brachiopods, gastropods as well as vagile crustaceans. The finding represents, to date, the first formal report of hybodont shark in the Umbria-Marche-Sabina Domain, throwing further light on the ecology within Pelagic Carbonate Platform settings, and on the occurrence of Asteracanthus in the Late Jurassic of the Western Tethys.

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