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This work introduces new terms for orientation in conodonts and their elements, and a modified scheme of anatomical notation, which can be applied rigorously to all taxa that are known from natural assemblages or where an hypothesis of topological homology can be inferred from secondary morphological criteria.
Non-random decay of chordate characters causes bias in fossil interpretation
It is shown, from experimental decay of amphioxus and ammocoetes, that loss of chordate characters during decay is non-random: the more phylogenetically informative are the most labile, whereas plesiomorphic characters are decay resistant.
Microwear on conodont elements and macrophagy in the first vertebrates
  • M. Purnell
  • Environmental Science, Biology
  • 27 April 1995
FEEDING mechanisms may hold the key to understanding the selective pressures that led to the evolution of vertebrates1–3. But in the absence of direct evidence, hypotheses of feeding mechanisms in
The interrelationships of ‘complex’ conodonts (Vertebrata)
It is proposed that cladistics provides an appropriate methodology to test existingschemes of classification and in which to explore the evolutionary relationships of conodonts.
Dietary specializations and diversity in feeding ecology of the earliest stem mammals
An integrated analysis using synchrotron X-ray tomography and analyses of biomechanics, finite element models and tooth microwear textures reveals previously hidden trophic specialization at the base of the mammalian radiation; hence even the earliest mammaliaforms were beginning to diversify—morphologically, functionally and ecologically.
The Apparatus Architecture and Function of Promissum pulchrum Kovacs-Endrody (Conodonta, Upper Ordovician) and the Prioniodontid Plan
Recurrent patterns of flattening shown by the assemblages reflect the orientation of the conodont head on the sediment surface prior to decay and collapse of the soft tissues; these patterns are used to model the three-dimensional architecture of the apparatus of Promissum.
Decay of vertebrate characters in hagfish and lamprey (Cyclostomata) and the implications for the vertebrate fossil record
An experimental analysis of decay of vertebrate characters based on the extant jawless vertebrates (Lampetra and Myxine) provides a framework for the interpretation of the anatomy of soft-bodied fossil vertebrates and putative cyclostomes, and a context for reading the fossil record of non-biomineralized vertebrates.
Quantitative analysis of dental microwear in hadrosaurid dinosaurs, and the implications for hypotheses of jaw mechanics and feeding
It is shown that analysis of tooth microwear orientation provides direct evidence for the relative motions of jaws during feeding in hadrosaurid ornithopods, the dominant terrestrial herbivores of the Late Cretaceous.
Distinguishing heat from light in debate over controversial fossils
The process and pitfalls of fossil interpretation are outlined as a guide to evaluating palaeontological debates, and it is accepted that some fossil organisms are simply too incompletely preserved for their evolutionary significance to be realized.
The impact of taphonomic data on phylogenetic resolution: Helenodora inopinata (Carboniferous, Mazon Creek Lagerstätte) and the onychophoran stem lineage
The presence of H. inopinata in the Carboniferous demonstrates the survival of a Cambrian marine morphotype, and a likely post-Carboniferous origin of crown-Onychophora, and demonstrates that taphonomically informed tests of character interpretations have the potential to improve phylogenetic resolution.