Palaeontology: This is Aellopobatis bavarica - Triops Galaxy

Palaeontology: Species of ray discovered in Bavaria – this is Aellopobatis bavarica

In a recent publication in the journal Papers in Palaeontology, researchers led by Julia Türtscher, a palaeobiologist at the University of Vienna, have explored the world of fossil rays that lived around 150 million years ago. This period was characterised by a European archipelago, similar to the appearance of the Caribbean today. The study included 52 fossilised rays from the Late Jurassic, which are considered to be some of the oldest fully preserved specimens of this group. Usually only the teeth of fossilised rays are preserved, so such well-preserved skeletal finds offer important insights into their early evolution.

Valuable information about past marine ecosystems

The research results, which were only recently published, show a previously unknown diversity of ray species from this period, including a newly discovered species. These findings significantly expand our understanding of these primitive cartilaginous fish and provide deeper insights into past marine ecosystems.

In addition, the results of this study contribute significantly to the identification of fossilised rays, which was previously only possible on the basis of isolated teeth. The advances in the study of these fascinating creatures provide valuable information about past marine ecosystems and emphasise the importance of well-preserved fossils for the reconstruction of our geological past.

Julia Türtscher explains: “Understanding the past of animal groups – their origins, adaptations to changing environmental factors and their extinction – is crucial to drawing conclusions about their present-day representatives.”

The results of this study reveal a greater diversity of holomorph rays in the Late Jurassic than previously thought. Türtscher emphasises: “Until now, only three holomorph ray species were known from the Late Jurassic, but our study has enabled us to identify a total of five species.” The researchers were able to confirm a previously discussed fourth species and introduce a new, previously undiscovered species: Aellopobatis bavarica. This species of ray, which could grow up to 170 cm long, was previously thought to be a larger form of Spathobatis bugesiacus, which was only 60 cm long. However, through detailed analyses of skeletal structures and body shapes, the scientists were able to show that Aellopobatis bavarica is a separate species.

Sladjan Lazic

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Diese Website nutzt Cookies und Google Analytics. Wenn Sie die Website weiter nutzen, gehen wir von Ihrem Einverständnis aus. Klicken Sie hier für Opt-Out