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.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 21 • No. 3