Abstract

X-ray CT scans at two different energies of three articulated specimens of Spathelopsis oakvalensis n. sp., a bivalve from the Bluefield Formation of the Mauch Chunk Group (Mississippian, Chesterian) from southeastern West Virginia, permitted observation and description of poorly known internal features of the shell, resulting in a reversal of the shell orientation alleged by past authors and concomitant reassignment of this problematic genus to the palaeotaxodont family Nuculanidae Adams and Adams. Distinctive posterior and anterior gapes in Spathelopsis suggest separation of inhalant and exhalant water streams, a characteristic associated with derived but not primitive palaeotaxodonts.

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