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1 August 2001 Petrodentine in derived Dipnoan tooth plates
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Most lungfish tooth plates, that are arranged in radiating ridges derived from the fusion of separate cusps in young juveniles, are based on a framework of enamel, mantle dentine and bone that encloses a mass of specialized dentines forming the occlusal surface. In most taxa, the specialized dentines are interdenteonal and circumdenteonal dentine, but a few derived genera have petrodentine as well. Petrodentine, as originally defined, describes a specific form of hypermineralized dentine in adult tooth plates of the Recent African lungfish Protopterus. The ontogeny of fossil and Recent lungfish tooth plates demonstrates that petrodentine is derived by continuous enhancement of the hard tissue of the primary core of the initially isolated cusps of the tooth plate, and that interdenteonal dentine with denteons of circumdenteonal dentine is a secondary development in the tooth plate around and below the first formed cusps of the ridges. In dipnoans that lack petrodentine in adults the primary core of the cusps is not enhanced, but is removed by wear. The hard tissues of the dipnoan tooth plate provide useful characters for defining dipnoan taxa, as do the differing arrangements of the tissues in each species. Details of the arrangement of the enclosed specialized dentines are surprisingly variable among genera, and are significant for the structure and function of the tooth plate. Little regularity of structure is discernible in the histology of tooth plates of early dipnoans, but derived genera have more predictable structure. Consistent with other uniquely dipnoan characters, like the composition of the dermal skull, an evolutionary progression is evident within the group in the fine structure of the dentition, and, as with the bones of the dermal skull, little similarity is demonstrable between the dentines of dipnoans and tetrapods.

A. KEMP "Petrodentine in derived Dipnoan tooth plates," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 21(3), 422-437, (1 August 2001).[0422:PIDDTP]2.0.CO;2
Received: 21 June 2000; Accepted: 17 January 2001; Published: 1 August 2001

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