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Article: Early Devonian acanthodians from northern Canada

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 39
Part: 2
Publication Date: June 1996
Page(s): 241 258
Author(s): Pierre-Yves Gagnier and Mark V. H. Wilson
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How to Cite

GAGNIER, P., WILSON, M. V. H. 1996. Early Devonian acanthodians from northern Canada. Palaeontology39, 2, 241–258.

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Two unusual new genera and species of acanthodian fishes are described from the Lower Devonian of the Mackenzie Mountains, Northwest Territories, Canada. Kathemacanthus rosulentus gen. et sp. nov. is a deep-bodied species that lacks a dermal shoulder girdle, but has a pectoral 'collar' or 'necklace' of large spines and enlarged scales, positioned in series with a large pectoral fin and spine inserted high on the animal's flank. K. rosulentus is assigned to the new monotypic family Kathemacanthidae. This family and the Brochoadmonidae constitute the new suborder Brochoadmonoidei, characterized by the high pectoral spine and numerous short intermediate spines. Cassidiceps vermiculatus gen. et sp. nov. is also relatively deep-bodied, and it has a heavily armoured, small head. Brochoadmones, Kathemacanthus and Cassidiceps all lack dermal shoulder girdle elements. Together they support the hypothesis that a dermal shoulder girdle is not primitive either for Acanthodii or for Climatiiformes.In the Brochoadmonoidei a complete series of ventral intermediate spines precedes the well-developed pelvic fin and spine. In Brochoadmones the pectoral spine is greatly reduced, inserted high on the flank, and lacks a fin. In Kathemacanthus an oblique row of lateral intermediate spines precedes the well-developed pectoral fin and spine, whilst an apparently separate series of ventral intermediate spines precedes the pelvic fin and spine. These data support Miles' earlier view that the prepectoral spines of other acanthodians belong to the same series as pectoral spines.
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