Abstract

Articulated cheiracanthid acanthodians are relatively rare above the Dickosteus thrieplandi biostratigraphic zone in the Orcadian Basin, with Cheiracanthus peachi den Blaauwen, Newman & Burrow the only species identified to date. Here we describe two other taxa Fallodentus davidsoni nov. gen. et sp. and Markacanthus costulatus Valiukevičius from the Mey Flagstone Formation. F. davidsoni occurs at the base of the formation, in the Osteolepis panderi biostratigraphic zone, and is readily identified by its robust fin spines which have a wide longitudinal ridge on each side below the groove separating the leading edge from the side of the spine. The taxon is most similar to Homalacanthus concinnus (Whiteaves) from the younger (Frasnian) Escuminac Formation in Quebec, Canada. The unique specimen of Markacanthus costulatus is from the top of the Mey Flagstone Formation. This taxon was previously only known from isolated scales from the upper Narva and Aruküla Regional Stages of the east Baltic region. The dorsoventral preservation of the head region in the Fallodentus davidsoni specimens reveals clearly the position of the ceratohyal cartilages in a cheiracanthid, as well as showing for the first time that there is a basihyal cartilage anterior to the ceratohyals.

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