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Acta Geologica Polonica

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Dobrogeria aegyssensis, a new early Spathian (Early Triassic) coelacanth from North Dobrogea (Romania)

Lionel Cavin
  • Department of Geology and Palaeontology, Natural History Museum, CP 6434, 1211 Geneva 6, Switzerland
  • Email:
/ Eugen Grădinaru
  • Department of Geology, Faculty of Geology and Geophysics, University of Bucharest, Blvd. Bălcescu Nicolae 1, RO-010041 Bucharest, Romania
  • Email:
Published Online: 2014-07-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/agp-2014-0010


The Early Triassic witnessed the highest taxic diversity of coelacanths (or Actinistia), a clade with a single living genus today. This peak of diversity is accentuated here with the description of a new coelacanth discovered in the lower Spathian (Upper Olenekian, Lower Triassic) cropping out in the Tulcea Veche (Old Tulcea) promontory, in the city of Tulcea, in North Dobrogea, Romania. The bone remains were preserved in a block of limestone, which was chemically dissolved. The resulting 3D and matrix-free ossifications correspond mostly to elements of the skull and branchial apparatus. Posterior parietals, postparietal with associated prootic and basisphenoid allow a precise description of the neurocranium. Ossifications of the lower jaw, together with branchial and pectoral elements, complete the description of this coelacanth and support the coining of a new generic and specific name, Dobrogeria aegyssensis. A phylogenetic analysis of actinistians with the new species recovers clades which were found in most recent analyses, i.e. the Sasseniidae, the Laugiidae, the Coelacanthiformes, the Latimerioidei, the Mawsoniidae and the Latimeriidae, and identifies the new taxon as a non-latimerioid coelacanthiform.

Keywords: Actinistia; Latimeriidae; Triassic; Braincase; New taxon; Skull.


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About the article

Received: 2013-11-30

Accepted: 2014-04-15

Published Online: 2014-07-02

Published in Print: 2014-06-01

Citation Information: Acta Geologica Polonica, ISSN (Online) 2300-1887, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/agp-2014-0010. Export Citation

© Acta Geologica Polonica. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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