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8 April 2019 Taxonomic Relationships and Paleoecological Significance of Two Exceptionally Large Lower Jaws of Late Cretaceous Ammonoids from Japan
Kazushige Tanabe, Akihiro Misaki, Tetsuya Ikeda, Masataka Izukura, Kazuyoshi Moriya
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Abstract

Two exceptionally large cephalopod jaws collected from the Upper Cretaceous marine deposits of the Hidaka area, Hokkaido (Yezo Group), and Awaji Island, Southwest Japan (Izumi Group), respectively, are described. Further, their taxonomic relationships and functional morphologic aspect for feeding are discussed. Based on a comparison to counterparts of modern and extinct cephalopods, they were identified as the lower jaws of ammonoids. Owing to the development of a thick calcareous tip in the large outer chitinous lamella, the lower jaw from the Yezo Group is classified as a rhychaptychus-type known from the Cretaceous Lytoceratina and Phylloceratina. The lower jaw from the Izumi Group lacks a sharply pointed calcareous tip and is characterized by a posteriorly elongated outer chitinous lamella, whose outer surface is sculptured by a median furrow in the anterior portion. These features categorize it as an intermediate-type lower jaw shared by the Cretaceous Desmoceratoidea. As determined from the co-occurring ammonoids and the relationship between the dimensions of in situ lower jaws and conchs for ammonoids previously described, the two lower jaws from the Yezo and Izumi groups were, respectively, thought to belong to large gaudryceratid and pachydiscid specimens, both of which have shell diameters greater than 40 cm. The overall shape and structure of the two lower jaws suggest a scavenging-predatory feeding habit for the gaudryceratid and a passive microphagous habit for the pachydiscid.

© by the Palaeontological Society of Japan
Kazushige Tanabe, Akihiro Misaki, Tetsuya Ikeda, Masataka Izukura, and Kazuyoshi Moriya "Taxonomic Relationships and Paleoecological Significance of Two Exceptionally Large Lower Jaws of Late Cretaceous Ammonoids from Japan," Paleontological Research 23(2), 152-165, (8 April 2019). https://doi.org/10.2517/2018PR015
Received: 28 April 2018; Accepted: 7 July 2018; Published: 8 April 2019
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KEYWORDS
ammonoids
Feeding habits
Japan
Late Cretaceous
lower jaws
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