Paläontologische Zeitschrift

, Volume 89, Issue 3, pp 661–667 | Cite as

A new large tetrapodomorph sarcopterygian from the Late Devonian of Iran

  • Donald DavesneEmail author
  • Jorge Mondéjar-Fernández
  • Vachik Hairapetian
  • Martin Rücklin
  • Jobst Wendt
  • Gaël Clément
Short Communication


Remains of a large sarcopterygian were collected in the Middle-Late Devonian Zarand Formation of Southeastern Iran. These remains consist of incomplete jaw bones of uncertain identification, preserved in a dense and heterogeneous rock matrix. The use of CT scan microtomography and 3D visualization enabled unraveling their overall anatomy as well as the microstructure of one tooth. This large tooth shows eusthenodont-type plicidentine, found only in Devonian tetrapodomorph sarcopterygians and more specifically suggesting affinities with the family Tristichopteridae. This discovery constitutes the first occurrence of a large tetrapodomorph in the Devonian of Iran and the Middle East.


Sarcopterygii Tetrapodomorpha Middle East Palaeozoic Gondwana CT scan Tooth microstructure Tristichopteridae 


Die Reste eines großen Sarcopterygiers wurden in der mittel- bis oberdevonischen Zarand Formation des südöstlichen Iran gefunden. Diese Reste umfassen fragmentäre Kieferknochen ungewisser Identifikation in einer dichten und heterogenen Gesteinsmatrix. Mithilfe von MikroCT und 3D Visualisierung konnten die allgemeine Anatomie sowie die Mikrostruktur eines Zahnes rekonstruiert werden. Dieser große Zahn zeigt Plicidentin des eusthenodonten Typs, welches nur in devonischen tetrapodomorphen Sarcopterygiern vorkommt und auf eine Affinität zur Familie Tristichopteridae aufweist. Diese Entdeckung stellt das erste Auftreten eines großen Tetrapodomorphen im Devon des Irans und Mittleren Ostens dar.


Sarcopterygii Tetrapodomorpha Mittlerer Osten Paläozoikum Gondwana Computertomographie Zahnmikrostruktur Tristichopteridae 



The authors thank Arnaud Mazurier (Université de Poitiers) and the MNHN AST-RX platform ‘Accès Scientifique à la Tomographie à Rayons X’ (UMS 2700 ‘Outils et Méthodes de la Systématique Intégrative’ CNRS-MNHN) for access to CT scanning facilities. Florent Goussard (MNHN) is warmly thanked for his support in 3D visualization and software training. Philippe Loubry (CNRS-MNHN) took the photograph of Fig. 2a. Philippe Janvier (CNRS-MNHN), Per Ahlberg and Daniel Snitting (Uppsala University), Martin Brazeau (Imperial College, London), Zerina Johanson (Natural History Museum, London) and Jonathan Jeffery kindly provided helpful comments and discussions on jaw morphology. We warmly thank the editor Oliver Rauhut, as well as John Long and Hans-Peter Schultze, for their thorough reviews of the manuscript. The specimen was discovered by J.W. during fieldwork for the joint project initiated in 1995 by the Geological Survey of Iran (GSI), Tehran, and the Department of Geology of the University of Tübingen (Germany). We are indebted to the past and present directors of the GSI, Prof. Dr. M. Ahmadzadeh-Heravi and Dr. M.T. Korehie, and to Dr. M. Ghorashi (GSI Tehran) for their cooperation as well as the logistic and financial support of this project. Funding for the German counterparts was provided by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, grant We 239/13-1-4). M.R. was supported by funds awarded to M.D. Brazeau from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013)/ERC grant agreement no. 311092. J.M.-F. was supported by ‘La Caixa’ Foundation (Spain). This work is a contribution to the TERRES project (no. ANR-2010-BLAN-607-0) of the French National Research Agency (ANR).


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Copyright information

© Paläontologische Gesellschaft 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald Davesne
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jorge Mondéjar-Fernández
    • 1
  • Vachik Hairapetian
    • 2
  • Martin Rücklin
    • 3
  • Jobst Wendt
    • 4
  • Gaël Clément
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre de Recherche sur la Paléobiodiversité et les Paléoenvironnements, UMR 7207 CNRS-MNHN-UPMC, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Sorbonne UniversitésParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of Geology, Khorasgan (Esfahan) BranchIslamic Azad UniversityEsfahanIran
  3. 3.Naturalis Biodiversity CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Geologisch-Paläontologisches Institut der Universität TübingenTübingenGermany

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