Eotrigonodon - what is this?

John Bruner jbruner at GPU.SRV.UALBERTA.CA
Fri Jul 24 21:45:33 CDT 1998

On Sun, 19 Jul 1998, Willem N. Ellis wrote:
> Dear colleagues
> I obtained a sample of what was described as pharyngeal teeth of
> Eotrigonodon serratus, form the Eocene of Balegem (Belgium): nice,
> claw-like fossils of about 10 mm in height, evidently stemming from some
> fish. I am no ichtyologist, even less a palaeoichtyologist, and despite
> efforts both on the www and the literature (incl. M=FCller's Lehrbuch der
> Palaeozoologie) I did not succeed in finding the taxonomic position of th=
> species. Could someone please give my a hint? Thanks in advance! Willem
> o  Dr. Willem N. Ellis (wnellis at xs4all.nl)
> o  Jisperveldstraat 591, 1024 BD  Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
> o  tel. 020-632.80.80

Dear Dr. Williem N. Ellis:
=09{Eotrigonodon serratus} belongs to one of the eight classes of
fishes.  Its classfication is as follows:

{Eotrigonodon serratus} is usually placed in the family Eotrigonodontidae
White, 1935 but some workers place it in the Family Trigonodontidae
Arambourg, 1927. =20
=09{Eotrigonodon serratus} is known from Paleocene and Eocene
deposits from Belgium, France, Morocco, and Egypt.  The late Carl Patterson
(1993, pp. 652-653) suggested that eotrygonodontids are not teleosts but
pycnodonts. The order Pycnodontiformes is a basal order of actinopterygian,
that is, not in the division Telostei, that went extinct at the end of the
Eocene. =20
=09The common names used for living members of the ORDER
TETRAODONTIFORMES are spikefishes, triplespines, triggerfishes, filefishes,
boxers, puffers, porcupinefishes and molas.  To put it in terms that
TETRAPOD PEOPLE can understand who have never taken an ichthyology class: I=
the cartoon series "The Simpsons", Homer Simpson thought he was going to di=
when he went to a Japanese Restaurant and ate improperly prepared "fugu"
which is made from the flesh of the pufferfish.

Patterson, C.  1993.  Chapter 36: Osteichthyes: Teleostei.  pp. 621-656.
{IN:} Benton, M. J. (editor)  The Fossil Record 2.  Chapman & Hall, London.
845 pp.
*   Mr. John Clay Bruner                                     *
*   Department of Biological Sciences                        *
*   University of Alberta                                    *
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