New ischnacanthid acanthodians from the Early Devonian of Australia, with comments on acanthodian interrelationships

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Rockycampacanthus milesi n.gen., n.sp. is described from a single jaw from the Rocky Camp member of Lower Devonian Buchan Group, E Victoria. Rockycampacanthus differs from other ischnacanthiforms in having large multicuspidate teeth with dual rows of secondary cusps forming a posteromesial flange, a mesial tooth row beginning opposite the fourth cusp of the main tooth row, and in the gnathal bone being deepest in the anterior half. Taemasacanthus errolin. gen., n. sp. is described from several jaw bones from the Lower Devonian Murrumbidgee Group, New South Wales. Taemasacanthus has a well developed posterolabial flange with secondary cusps developed, vertical rows of denticles on the cusps of the main tooth row and a well developed mesial tooth row separated from the main row by a prominent ridge. The labial face of the jaw has a circular ridge which may have supported labial cartilages. The complex mandibular joint in climatiforms, acanthodiiforms and some primitive sharks differs from the simple jaw articulation of ischnacanthids. It is suggested that ischnacanthids are the plesiomorphic sister group to climatiforms plus acanthodiiforms. The interrelationships of ischnacanthids, climatiforms and acanthodiforms are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-339
Number of pages19
JournalZoological Journal of the Linnean Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • Acanthodii
  • Early Devonian Australia
  • Ischnacanthidae
  • jaw bones
  • morphology
  • phylogeny


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