Taxonomy of extinct fishes is mostly based on the shapes of their bodies, teeth and skeletons and sometimes the coverage of the body. Analysis of modern fishes shows that sometimes even single-scale morphology can also be used as a taxonomic tool. In spite of the fact that variation in scales character in one species can be broad, some specific features distinguish species of the same genus. Analysis of the fossilized scales of fishes found in the Late Triassic deposits of Krasiejów (SW Poland) shows that the microstructure of the external surface of scales can also be considered as a taxonomic tool in the fossil record. Description of the ornamentation pattern of several scales of fishes from the same group shows diversity of the sculpture, which might be assigned to variation in morphology between several genera or species. Among the scales from Krasiejów there occur the oldest known ctenoid scales (sensu stricto) belonging to acanthopterygians.
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Vol. 22 • No. 1