Just out | First record of the knifetooth sawfish Anoxypristis (Elasmobranchii: Rhinopristiformes) from the Pliocene of Tuscany (central Italy) @ Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie – Abhandlungen

Just out @ Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie – Abhandlungen

First record of the knifetooth sawfish Anoxypristis (Elasmobranchii: Rhinopristiformes) from the Pliocene of Tuscany (central Italy)


Collareta, Alberto; Casati, Simone; Catanzariti, Rita; Di Cencio, Andrea


Sawfish are a group of cartilaginous fish characterised by a long and flat rostrum whose lateral margins bear highly derived, lancet-like scales known as rostral spines. Sawfish display a circumglobal distribution in warm marine and even freshwater habitats, and their extant biodiversity is limited to five species belonging to two genera (Pristisand Anoxypristis). We report on two fossil sawfish rostral spines discovered in Pliocene marine mudstones at Tegoliccio (Tuscany, Italy) and here identified as belonging to the extant, currently Indo-Pacific genus Anoxypristis. Calcareous nanno-plankton analyses of the sediment embedding the pristid remains, coupled with biostratigraphic data from literature, allowed us to bracket the time of deposition between 3.61 Ma and 3.19 Ma. To our knowledge, the rostral spines described herein represent the first record of Anoxypristis in Italy; as such, they expand our knowledge on the late Neogene central Mediterranean biodiversity. Moreover, our finding represents the geologically youngest occurrence of Anoxypristis in the Mediterranean basin and evokes palaeoenvironmental conditions favourable to the persistence of tropical/subtropical taxa along the Pliocene coasts of Tuscany. The definitive disappearance of Anoxypristis from the Mediterranean could be attributed to the severe climate degradation which accompanied the onset of long-term Northern Hemisphere glaciation around 3 Ma.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE  On the News | USA | The Natural History Museum's DinoFest is a dino-lovers dream come true @ Deseret News

Keywords: Anoxypristis cuspidata; blue clays; Messinian Salinity Crisis; Mid Piacenzian Warm Period; Palaeobiogeography; Palaeoecology; Pliocene; Pristidae; Tuscany; Vertebrate Palaeontology

DOI: 10.1127/njgpa/2017/0663

READ IT HERE: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/schweiz/njbgeol/2017/00000284/00000003/art00003

Explore further

Italy Placeholder
Oceans and Antarctica Overlay_small _blank Placeholder
Oceans and Antarctica Overlay_small _blank
Read more about / Italy
Read more about / Europe
Read more about / Neogene
Read more about / Cenozoic
Read more about / Vertebrate Paleontology
Read more about / Today in Publishing

Browse through Time

 Image Credit: Erwin Bolwidt

Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)