The Jurassic piranha mimic, Dapedium: why even a little reconstruction matters

Updated June 10, 2022
with a new nesting of Dapedium with extant Lampris.

Finding a fossil is one thing. 
Cleaning the fossil to reveal the specimen in all of its wonder and detail is another thing. Recontructing a tracing of the fossil to its in vivo appearance is the final necessary step. For this specimen of the Early Jurassic deep-bodied fish, Dapedium, the preliminary steps were taken by Smithwick 2015. The final step was added here.

Figure 1. The skull of Dapedium (Early Jurassic) from Smithwick 2015, plus original tracing plus DGS colors and colors restored to in vivo positions.

Figure 1. The skull of Dapedium (Early Jurassic) from Smithwick 2015, plus original tracing plus modified tracing to match photo, plus DGS colors plus colors restored to in vivo positions. Note the several bones that are homologs to the squamosal (magenta) and jugal (cyan) in tetrapods.

Earlier Dapedium was added
to the large reptile tree (LRT, 1654+ taxa), but this skull provides more data in the form of this higher resolution image.

Figure 2. Dapedium, at top, now nests with Lampris, at middle and bottom.

Figure 2. Dapedium, at top, now nests with Lampris, at middle and bottom.

Dapedium granulatus, D. caelatum (Leach 1822; Thies and Hauff 2011; Lower Jurassic; UHH 2) nests with Lampris in the LRT.


References
Leach WE 1822. Dapedium politum. P. 45 in HT de la Beche Remarks on the geology of the south coast of England, from Bridport Harbour, Dorset, to Babbacombe Bay,
Devon. Volume 1, Transactions of the Geological Society of London, Series 2. Geological Society of London, London.
Smithwick F 2015. Feeding ecology of the deep-bodied fish Dapedium (Actinopterygii, Neopterygii) from the Lower Lias (Sinemurian) of Dorset, England. Palaeontology 58(2):293–311.

wiki/Dapedium

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.