Middle Palaeozoic chondrichthyans and the associated ichthyofauna from southern Poland: a review

Michał Ginter, Olga Wilk


During the last sixty years, large collections of ichthyofauna, mainly isolated, microscopic, skeletal remains (ichthyoliths), from the Middle–Upper Devonian and Lower Carboniferous rocks of southern Poland have accumulated in the hands of Polish palaeontologists and in palaeontological institutions. Some parts of these collections were described in unpublished dissertations and others were published in dispersed papers, dealing mostly with selected regions or taxa. This review summarises the available data from the following regions: the Holy Cross Mountains, the Cracow Upland, the Sudetes and the Lublin Coal Basin (in the latter two cases, single localities). Altogether, 29 chondrichthyan species were identified and a few more still require classification. Of the Sarcopterygii, three species of onychodontiforms and one of the actinistians were found, in addition to a collection of dipnoans that was described much earlier. A few morphological types were distinguished among actinopterygian scales; otherwise the actinopterygian fossils are not referred to any lower-level taxon, and the same applies to the acanthodians. There were several attempts in the past to apply Polish ichthyoliths in biostratigraphy and palaeoecology, but after all these years, it appears that such propositions have only limited significance.

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