Abstract

Bulk screening of Lower Cretaceous Wessex Formation (Wealden Group, Barremian) plant debris beds exposed on the south-east and south-west coasts of the Isle of Wight, southern England, has resulted in the recovery of large quantities of isolated chondrichthyan and osteichthyan fish remains. Among these are teeth representing five species of hybodontoid sharks: Egertonodus basanus, Lonchidion breve, Lonchidion crenulatum, Vectiselachos ornatus, and Parvodus heterodon. Six additional hybodontoid tooth morphs have also been identified. Three are assigned to Hybodus sp. and three to Lonchidion sp. At least two of the latter may represent new species. Three neoselachian teeth were also recovered, two of which represent a protospinacid shark and the third a rhinobatid ray. Osteichthyan remains pertaining to four orders, Pycnodontiformes, Lepisosteiformes, Amiiformes and Aspidorhynchiformes, and the genera Coelodus, ?Scheenstia, Caturus, and Belonostomus have also been recorded. A further pycnodont represented by isolated teeth is also present in the assemblage together with other bony fish remains possibly representing additional taxa. Scanning electron micrographs were obtained of specimens representative of each taxon and these, together with a taxonomic list of the fish assemblages recovered from each of the two plant debris beds considered here, are presented. These assemblages are discussed in terms of community structure and the palaeoenvironments they represent. © 2014 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2014, 113, 872–896.

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