Palaeoecological implications of neoselachian shark teeth from the Bathonian (Middle Jurassic) ore-bearing clays at Gnaszyn, Kraków-Silesia Homocline, Poland

Jan Rees


Systematic sampling through the Middle and Upper Bathonian strata at Gnaszyn has resulted in the discovery of 13 neoselachian teeth. Systematically, the teeth represent five taxa including Sphenodus sp., Protospinax sp. 1, Protospinax sp. 2, Palaeobrachaelurus sp. and another, indeterminate orectolobiform. The presence of two species of the flattened and bottom-dwelling Protospinax and two different orectolobiforms that are likely to have lived near the bottom, is a strong indication of oxygenated bottom conditions at the time of deposition. The dietary preferences of these taxa included a wide variety of benthic invertebrates. The synechodontiform Sphenodus may have been the first pelagic predatory neoselachian in the Jurassic, equipped with high and slender piercing teeth that formed a tearing-type dentition. The diet of Sphenodus probably included bony fish, smaller sharks and cephalopods.


Neoselachii; Bathonian; Jurassic; Palaeoecology; Kraków-Silesia Homocline; Gnaszyn; Poland.

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