Original paper

Taphonomy versus taxonomy and the synonyms of Euphanerops longaevus Woodward, 1900 (Agnatha) occurring at the Middle Devonian Achanarras Quarry of Caithness, Scotland

van der Brugghen, Gambit


Two soft-bodied fossil fishes are known to occur at the Middle Devonian Achanarras Quarry in Caithness, Scotland;Cornovichthys blaauweni Newman & Trewin, 2001 and Achanarella trewini Newman, 2002. Newly collected material clarifies their anatomy and taphonomy and demonstrates that they represent the same euphaneropid taxon. The previously observed differences of their body proportions are owed largely to the various ways in which the branchial apparatus has become disarticulated. Features of the anatomy previously regarded as unique to either form are shown to represent taphonomic variations, caused by the various ways in which soft tissues are preserved on different bedding planes. This leaves no discernible difference between these two described species. It is furthermore noted that the character set of the remaining form is, for as much as is currently known, indistinguishable from the Late Devonian Euphanerops longaevusw oodward, 1900 from Miguasha, Canada. It is therefore proposed that the euphaneropid occurring at Achanarras Quarry be referred to as Euphaneropscf. longaevus.