Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Calcium stable isotopes place Devonian conodonts as first level consumers

Abstract : Conodont animals are an extinct group of jawless vertebrates whose hard parts, also known as conodont elements, represent the earliest evidence of a mineralised skeleton in the vertebrate lineage. Conodont elements are interpreted as parts of a feeding apparatus, which together with the presence of eyes and microwear patterns, support the controversial hypothesis that conodont animals were macrophagous predators and/or scavengers. Here, we explore the trophic position of five conodont genera (Palmatolepis, Polygnathus, Ancyrodella, Ancyrognathus and Icriodus) from five contemporary Late Devonian sites distributed worldwide (France, Morocco, Vietnam and Australia) by means of calcium (Ca) stable isotope compositions. The seawater Ca isotope composition was calibrated using contemporary Late Devonian brachiopod isotopic values. By comparison with extant marine trophic chain composed of cartilaginous fish, conodont Ca isotope compositions are indicative of a zooplanktivore-primary piscivore niche, with no genus-specific trophic pattern. The question of active predation or scavenging cannot be resolved definitively but our results strongly suggest that Late Devonian conodonts were first level consumers.
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [22 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : jeremy martin Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 10:41:38 AM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 10:38:35 AM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive



V. Balter, J.E. Martin, T. Tacail, G. Suan, Sabrina Renaud, et al.. Calcium stable isotopes place Devonian conodonts as first level consumers. Geochemical Perspectives Letters, European Assoication of Geochemistry, 2019, 10, pp.36-39. ⟨10.7185/geochemlet.1912⟩. ⟨hal-02112869⟩



Record views


Files downloads