Mesacanthus mitchelli is an important taxon in elucidating relationships amongst stem chondrichthyans, being the best known and most abundant of the oldest known acanthodiform acanthodians. Here we note some newly recognised morphological features and describe the histological structure of the endoskeleton and dermal elements. The jaws are preserved as a single layer of irregularly tessellate bone-like mineralisations. A mandibular bone is not present, contrary to previous descriptions. Fin spines have a wide central cavity that is more than half the width at mid-spine level. Prepelvic spines have a very narrow leading edge ridge and a wide open pulp cavity. Head sensory lines are enclosed by a pair of tesserae with a smooth crown, flat base and concave sides, bordering the sensory line canal. The tiny body scales have a relatively large pulp cavity in the embryonic zone. The large size of the eyes relative to the head and body size in Mesacanthus mitchelli, the structure and small size of the scales relative to those of other acanthodians of a similar size, and the wide central pulp cavity in the spines, all indicate that the species is likely to have undergone paedomorphism.

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