Tooth histology patterns in early tetrapods and the presence of ‘dark dentine’ Academic Article uri icon


  • ABSTRACTThe presence of a petaloid pattern (previously known as ‘dark dentine’) in cross sections of teeth of the embolomere Pholiderpeton attheyi has been used as a synapomorphy of the embolomeres or of the embolomeres plus the stem tetrapod, Crassigyrinus scoticus. Among the taxa studied, dentine that appears dark results from closely packed dentine tubules and can be found in any part of a tooth section in which such crowding occurs. The petaloid pattern is restricted to tooth sections of a particular diameter, and is obliterated in larger sections of teeth that show complex folding. Petaloid dentine has been found in all tetrapod teeth with plicidentine that were sectioned in this study, whether from stem tetrapods, the Embolomeri, Temnospondyli, or Stereospondyli, and has been recognised in some sarcopterygian fish, an extant actinopterygian fish, ichthyosaurs, and Varanus. The presence of petaloid dentine is neither a synapomorphy of the tetrapod node nor of any node within tetrapods

publication date

  • June 2005