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When is a lamprey not a lamprey? Taphonomy, anatomy, and phylogenetic significance of the Jamoytiiformes
 
SVPCA Conference
 
Platform presentation (20 minutes)
Authors
 
*Kim A Freedman
 
 
Sarah E Gabbott
 
 
Mark A Purnell
 
 
Robert S Sansom
 
Abstract
 
Exceptionally preserved, “soft-bodied” fossils of supposed vertebrates are extremely difficult to interpret with any confidence, yet they hold the potential to answer fundamental questions surrounding vertebrate origins and evolution. Euphanerops has recently been reviewed in detail (Janvier & Arsenault, 2007) but interpretations of Jamoytius remained controversial. This is because of disagreement over what anatomical characters are present, due in part, to lack of methodological rigour in interpretation. We have employed a robust analytical approach based on taphonomic analysis, topological reconstruction, careful justification of the anatomical model and comparative anatomy. Phylogenetic affinities of Jamoytiiformes are reviewed in light of recently discovered soft-bodied forms (Gess et al., 2006). Jamoytius and Euphanerops are found to be sister taxa, on the stem-gnathostome lineage, rather than anaspids or petromyzontids. Revision of Jamoytiiformes and previous phylogenetic investigations also enables clarification of more general stem-gnathostome relationships and a consideration of the evolution of paired appendages.
London 2020