Gondolelloid multielement conodont apparatus (Nicoraella) from the Middle Triassic of Yunnan Province, southwestern China

Jinyuan Huang*, Shixue Hu, Qiyue Zhang, Philip Donoghue, Michael Benton, Changyong Zhou, Carlos Martinez-Perez, Wen Wen, Tao Xie, Zhong-Qiang Chen, Mao Luo, Huazhou Yao, Kexing Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
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The morphology and position of elements in the apparatus are keys to resolving the taxonomy, homology, evolutionary relationships, structure, function and feeding patterns among conodont taxa. Fused clusters preserving natural associations between elements provide direct information on element morphology, the positions of elements within the apparatus, and even their original three-dimensional arrangement. Here, we report 41 fused conodont clusters from Member II of the Guanling Formation in Luoping County, Yunnan Province, southwestern China, which provide a basis for inferring the multielement composition of the apparatus of the early Middle Triassic Nicoraella. The apparatus is composed of 15 elements (a single S0 element, two pairs of S1–4, M and P1–2 elements) like other apparatuses in Gondolellidae, i.e. the genera Novispathodus and Neogondolella. These Luoping Biota clusters are significant because (a) they permit a positional homology-based comparison of multielement Novispathodus with form genera such as Cypridodella (S1), Enantiognathus (S2), and Hindeodella (S3 and S4), (b) they facilitate a review of apparatus composition within superfamily Gondolelloidea, (c) they provide direct insight into apparatus architecture currently interpreted largely in light of distantly related Carboniferous polygnathacean ozarkodinins, and (d) these clusters, along with collections of discrete conodont elements, provide a model for inferring the multielement composition of closely related species known only from discrete element collections.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Early online date20 Jul 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jul 2018


  • 15-element apparatus
  • Anisian
  • Fused cluster
  • Guanling Formation
  • Luoping Biota
  • Multielement taxonomy


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