Article: A carboniferous chondrichthyan assemblage from residues within a Triassic karst system at Cromhall quarry, Gloucestershire, England
Claire Behan, Gordon Walken and Gilles Cuny
Sixteen different Lower Carboniferous (Tournaisian Courceyan to Chadian age, Mississippian) chondrichthyan teeth types have been extracted from Triassic erosional/aeolian fills in shallow karst systems found in the limestone quarry at Cromhall, Gloucestershire, England. These Carboniferous teeth have been found within a much larger assemblage of disarticulated bones and teeth belonging to small late Triassic terrestrial reptiles, for which Cromhall quarry is famous. The Carboniferous teeth are derived fossils, released during subaerial dissolution of the surrounding limestones. Owing to low specimen numbers and uncertainty of intraspecific character, 10 types of teeth are left in open nomenclature, although it is likely they represent new taxa. They belong to Jalodus, Ctenacanthiformes, Protacrodus, Orodus, Chomatodus, Petalodontidae, Euchondrocephali?, Helodus and Psephodus. A new genus and species, Cromhallia parvunda, of indeterminate phylogenetic relationships, is also erected. The assemblage includes also an identified suite comprising Thrinacodus ferox, Bransonella cf. nebraskensis and Stethacanthus cf. altonensis. The identification of all fish teeth found in the Cromhall assemblages as derived fossils from the Carboniferous removes any ambiguity regarding the fully terrestrial nature of the late Triassic fauna preserved in the residue-bearing karst systems.