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      Fauna and Predator-Prey Relationships of Ettling, an Actinopterygian Fish-Dominated Konservat-Lagerstätte from the Late Jurassic of Southern Germany

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      PLoS ONE

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          Abstract

          The newly recognized Konservat-Lagerstätte of Ettling (Bavaria), field site of the Jura-Museum Eichstätt (JME), is unique among Late Jurassic plattenkalk basins (Solnhofen region) in its abundant, extremely well preserved fossil vertebrates, almost exclusively fishes. We report actinopterygians (ginglymodins, pycnodontiforms, halecomorphs, aspidorynchiforms, “pholidophoriforms,” teleosts); turtles; and non-vertebrates (echinoderms, arthropods, brachiopods, mollusks, jellyfish, sponges, biomats, plants) in a current faunal list. Ettling has yielded several new fish species (Bavarichthys incognitus; Orthogonikleithrus hoelli; Aspidorhynchus sanzenbacheri; Macrosemimimus fegerti). Upper and lower Ettling strata differ in faunal content, with the lower dominated by the small teleost Orthogonikleithrus hoelli (absent from the upper layers, where other prey fishes, Leptolepides sp. and Tharsis sp., occur instead). Pharyngeal and stomach contents of Ettling fishes provide direct evidence that Orthogonikleithrus hoelli was a primary food source during early Ettling times. Scarcity of ammonites and absence of vampyromorph coleoids at Ettling differ markedly from the situation at other nearby localities in the region (e.g., Eichstätt, Painten, Schamhaupten, the Mörnsheim beds), where they are more common. Although the exact biochronological age of Ettling remains uncertain (lack of suitable index fossils), many Ettling fishes occur in other plattenkalk basins of Germany (e.g., Kelheim) and France (Cerin) dated as Late Kimmeridgian to Early Tithonian (eigeltingense horizon), suggesting a comparable geologic age. The Ettling deposits represent an independent basin within the larger Upper Jurassic “Solnhofen Archipelago”, a shallow subtropical sea containing scattered islands, sponge-microbial and coral reefs, sandbars, and deeper basins on a vast carbonate platform along the northern margin of the Tethys Ocean.

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          Cephalopod origin and evolution: A congruent picture emerging from fossils, development and molecules: Extant cephalopods are younger than previously realised and were under major selection to become agile, shell-less predators.

          Cephalopods are extraordinary molluscs equipped with vertebrate-like intelligence and a unique buoyancy system for locomotion. A growing body of evidence from the fossil record, embryology and Bayesian molecular divergence estimations provides a comprehensive picture of their origins and evolution. Cephalopods evolved during the Cambrian (∼530 Ma) from a monoplacophoran-like mollusc in which the conical, external shell was modified into a chambered buoyancy apparatus. During the mid-Palaeozoic (∼416 Ma) cephalopods diverged into nautiloids and the presently dominant coleoids. Coleoids (i.e. squids, cuttlefish and octopods) internalised their shells and, in the late Palaeozoic (∼276 Ma), diverged into Vampyropoda and the Decabrachia. This shell internalisation appears to be a unique evolutionary event. In contrast, the loss of a mineralised shell has occurred several times in distinct coleoid lineages. The general tendency of shell reduction reflects a trend towards active modes of life and much more complex behaviour. Copyright © 2011 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.
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            A Comprehensive Phylogenetic Study of Amiid Fishes (Amiidae) Based on Comparative Skeletal Anatomy. an Empirical Search for Interconnected Patterns of Natural History

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              Ammonite biostratigraphy as a tool for dating Upper Jurassic lithographic limestones from South Germany – first results and open questions

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                2015
                28 January 2015
                : 10
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Jura-Museum Eichstätt, Eichstätt, Germany
                [2 ]Division of Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, United States of America
                University of Oxford, UNITED KINGDOM
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: JL MKE ME. Performed the experiments: JL MKE ME. Analyzed the data: JL MKE ME. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: JL MKE ME. Wrote the paper: JL MKE ME.

                Article
                PONE-D-14-22773
                10.1371/journal.pone.0116140
                4309457
                25629970

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

                Page count
                Figures: 14, Tables: 5, Pages: 33
                Product
                Funding
                Funding for this project was provided by Volkswagen Foundation grant I/84 636 “The Dynamic of the Solnhofen Archipelago (to MKE), in the years 2010–2012. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files. All relevant fossil specimens on which the data are based are available for study in the collections of the Jura-Museum Eichstaett in Eichstaett, Germany.

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