Belgium tetrapod skeleton

Strud Jaw: c.f. Ichthyostega

In 1888, a publication of the Geological Society of Belgium noted the discovery of a lower jaw fragment at Strud. The specimen, measuring about 7 cm in length, was originally identified as once belonging to a fish. A recent reexamination of the specimen revealed that it is in fact from an early tetrapod. Its fragmentary nature precludes further identification, but the widely spaced and backward curving teeth compare favorably (c.f.) with the corresponding portion of the lower jaw from Ichthyostega. Whether or not this specimen belonged to Ichthyostega, it represents the first Late Devonian tetrapod from Western continental Europe.

The specimen was recovered from the Evieux Formation, an Upper Famminian formation that contained both estuarine and fluviatile (river) sediments. The jaw was recovered from sandstone that was probably fluviatile in origin and dates to about 365 million years ago. Two lobe-fins, a rhizodont and a megalichthyid were also found at the site.

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Scientific Papers
Clément, G., Ahlberg, P. E., Blieck, A., Blom, H., Clack, J. A., Poty, E., Thorez, J., and Janvier, P. 2004. "Devonian tetrapod from western Europe." Nature 427: 412-413.

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