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Article: A new vampyromorph species from the Middle Jurassic La Voulte-sur-Rhône Lagerstätte

Papers in Palaeontology - Volume 9 - Cover
Publication: Papers in Palaeontology
Volume: 9
Part: 3
Publication Date: 2023
Article number: e1511
Author(s): Alison J. Rowe, Isabelle Kruta, Loïc Villier, and Isabelle Rouget
DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1511
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ROWE, A.J., KRUTA, I., VILLIER, L., ROUGET, I. 2023. A new vampyromorph species from the Middle Jurassic La Voulte-sur-Rhône Lagerstätte. Papers in Palaeontology, 9, 3, e1511. DOI:

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Abstract Eight coleoid genera have so far been described from the Callovian-aged La Voulte-sur-Rhône Lagerstätte (c. 165 Ma; Ardèche, France), a locality noted for its unique three-dimensional preservation of soft tissues. Here, we used high resolution x-ray-based imaging methods, in conjunction with reflectance transformation imaging, to study the soft tissues of a previously undescribed coleoid from the La Voulte-sur-Rhône locality. This analysis identified both an ink sac and internal light organs, a combination of defence mechanisms present in the Recent, although not previously described from the coleoid fossil record, as well as the presence of Octobrachia-type arm musculature and Vampyroteuthis-like sucker attachments. The morphology of the gladius could not be attributed to any known coleoids and therefore justified the assignment of this single specimen to a new taxon: Vampyrofugiens atramentum. The addition of this new vampyromorph species not only increases the coleoid diversity known from the site, but also broadens the morphological variation observed in the co-occurring coleoid taxa. These findings suggest that there was a high diversity of cephalopods occupying differentiated communities during the Middle Jurassic.

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