Skip to main content

Pachycormid fish fed on octobrachian cephalopods: new evidence from the ‘Schistes bitumineux’ (early Toarcian) of southern Luxembourg

Abstract

A re-examination of the early Toarcian fish fossils preserved in public paleontological collections in Luxembourg revealed 70 specimens of large Toarcian pachycormid fish with an excellent three-dimensional preservation within calcareous nodules. Six of them are associated with octobrachian coleoid gladii in their oesophagus or stomach, an association not previously described from Luxembourg. The pachycormids are ascribed to Pachycormus macropterus (Blainville, 1818) and Saurostomus esocinus Agassiz, 1843 while the octobrachian gladii are ascribed to Teudopsis bollensis Voltz, 1836, Teudopsis sp. indet. and Loligosepiidae indet. The position and orientation of the gladii provide direct evidence of these fishes feeding on coleoids and thus a teuthophagous diet, rather than an accidental joint burial. Together with evidence from coeval deposits in Germany, these findings suggest that teuthophagy was a widespread feeding strategy at the base of the clade that contains the suspension-feeding pachycormid giants of the Jurassic–Cretaceous.

Introduction

The early Toarcian ‘black shales’ (‘Schistes bitumineux’) of southern Luxembourg and neighbouring areas of Belgium (Province de Luxembourg) and France (Lorraine) have been known since more than a century as a Lagerstätten similar to coeval deposits in South Germany or the UK (Faber, 1916; Lucius, 1948; Moris, 1854; Woodward, 1938). Pachycormid fish (referred to by the genera Pachycormus and Saurostomus) and octobrachian cephalopods (teudopsids and loligosepiids, squid-like coleoids) are well-known elements of the fossil record of the ‘Schistes bitumineux’ (Delsate, 1999a; Fuchs & Weis, 2008, 2010; Henrotay et al., 1998; Streitz, 1983). The aforementioned strata share with the coeval deposits in Germany, the UK and France some of the earliest fossil occurrences of pachycormids, which appear to have rapidly evolved specialized pelagic predatory ecomorphologies, broadly reminiscent of those of modern tunas (Cooper & Maxwell, 2022; Friedman, 2012). Among the Toarcian ichthyofauna of Luxembourg (Delsate, 1999a), only pachycormids are occasionally associated with octobrachian gladii (Delsate et al., 2008).

Although markedly scarce in the fossil record, identifiable gut contents open invaluable windows into the trophic dynamics of ecosystems from deep-time, as well as the autoecologies of long-extinct taxa. Fossilized co-occurrences of different species where one individual is preserved within the other are usually directly linked with predation, and constitute reliable markers of fossilized behaviour (Boucot, 1990). Prey contents within the abdominal cavities of Jurassic pachycormids have received attention in the scientific literature, especially due to their potential informativeness on the ancestral ecologies that underpinned the rise of gigantism and suspension feeding in the clade (Cooper & Maxwell, 2022, 2023; Cooper et al., 2022; Friedman, 2012; Gouiric-Cavalli & Arratia, 2022). We herein describe six specimens of pachycormid fishes of the genera Pachycormus and Saurostomus from Luxembourg with teudopseid (4 specimens) and loligosepiid (2 specimens) gladii contained in their guts. We illustrate the specimens and discuss the nature of these co-occurrences.

Geological setting

The top of the Lower Jurassic (Toarcian) in Luxembourg is represented by the ‘Schistes bitumineux’ formation (Faber, 1947; Guérin-Franiatte et al., 2010; Maquil, 2010; Song et al., 2014), also called erroneously ‘Schistes carton’ formation (Hermoso et al., 2014). The lateral equivalent in Belgium corresponds to the Grandcourt Formation (Boulvain et al., 2001a, 2001b; Schintgen, 2015). This black shale facies is well constrained stratigraphically by numerous ammonite findings which show that its age extends from the Tenuicostatum Chronozone to the upper part of the Serpentinum Zone (Guérin-Franiatte et al., 2010; Hermoso et al., 2014; Vincent et al., 2019) and can therefore be directly correlated with the better known bituminous Fossil-Lagerstätten in the areas of Whitby (UK) and Holzmaden (Southwest Germany). The series consists of up to 160 m thick bituminous clay and marl, with a thin silty-calcareous lamination (‘Schistes Cartons’, paper shales, black shales), passing towards the top into a sandier laminated marl rich in septaria. The series has been deposited during and in the aftermath of the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (TOAE, also termed Jenkyns Event: Müller et al., 2017) (Song et al., 2014). It is notable that the ‘black shales’ of the basal Lower Toarcian (lower part of Serpentinum Chronozone: Guérin-Franiatte et al., 2010; Henrotay et al., 1998; Vincent et al., 2019) yielded numerous articulated fish and reptile specimens (Delsate, 1999a, 1999b, 1999c; Faber & de Muyser, 1947; Godefroit, 1994; Johnson et al., 2019; Laboury et al., 2022; Lucius, 1948; Streitz, 1983; Taverne & Steurbaut 2017; Vincent et al., 2019; Woodward, 1938;). The study of these specimens and enclosing strata give insight about the depositional conditions and taphonomy of the specimen described here. Various levels of nodules or flat concretions at the base of the ‘Schistes bitumineux’ are fossiliferous, as well as the marls themselves. Vertebrates are either found three-dimensionally in carbonate nodules or crushed in laminated marl beds; they can occur as complete, articulated skeletons (early burial) or as disarticulated remains (delayed burial), with or without necrotic bend or deformation (Reisdorf & Wuttke, 2012). The vertebrate-bearing, finely laminated calcareous argillites and their nodules (strongly biconvex concretions) and ‘lenses’ (flat benches or very flattened nodules) were formed under anoxic to strongly dysoxic conditions (Hermoso et al., 2014). Hanzo (1979), in her study of the calcareous nodules from the Toarcian, recognizes a very early diagenetic phase (presumably fast because of the good conservation of small ammonites and ostracods, compared to the preservation in the argillites) that likely affected a poorly consolidated, muddy sediment. It has been estimated that, after the first compaction phase affecting both the shales and still soft spheroids nodules, the second (post-nodular) compaction phase reduced their original thickness as much as to one-quarter of their original thickness (Hanzo, 1978, 1979). Carbonate precipitation can be explained by a local bacterial activity (see Thies, 1992; Plet et al., 2016) during the decomposition of bodies accumulated at the bottom of the sea in ‘soupy’ sediments (Martill, 1993), allowing for the preservation of articulated specimens in both two and three dimensions.

The fish fauna reported from the Serpentinum Chronozone of Luxembourg has been the object of a preliminary inventory (Delsate, 1999a, 1999b, 1999c; Streitz, 1983). More recently, Taverne & Steurbaut (2017) established the new genus Luxembourgichthys based on material from Luxembourg (Delsate, 1999a, 1999c) and neighbouring Belgian localities. The taxa currently recognized from the Serpentinum Chronozone of Luxembourg are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1 Ichthyofauna from the Serpentinum Chronozone, lower Toarcian, of Luxembourg

The octobrachian fauna of the Luxembourg lower Toarcian black shale deposits (Serpentinum Chronozone) has been studied by Fuchs and Weis (2008, 2010); additionally, the presence of the genus Jeletzkyteuthis (Fuchs, 2020) has been recognized. Octobrachians from the Serpentinum Chronozone of Luxembourg are summarized in Table 2.

Table 2 Octobrachian fauna of the Serpentinum Chronozone, lower Toarcian, of Luxembourg

Materials

We examined the extensive collections of Toarcian fish preserved in public and private collections in Luxembourg. 8.5% (6 of 70) of the large specimens of Luxembourg Toarcian pachycormids (55 Pachycormus and 15 Saurostomus) preserve ingested coleoids. We did not find ingested coleoids in smaller Toarcian pachycormiforms (Haasichthys, Sauropsis, Euthynotus).

This topic is tightly related with bromalites preserved inside the fossilized body, which were classified by Hunt et al. (2012). Independent of whether the items are recognizable or not, these bromalites were subdivided into esophagolites (in the oesophagus), gastrolite (in the stomach, not to be confused with gastroliths), and cololites (in the intestines; see also Argyriou et al., 2016). It is not possible to apply these terms to the coleoid remains portrayed here. We have to take into account that guts are amongst the first tissues to decay and fish carcasses tend to explode from the build-up of gasses. Thus, the anterior gastrointestinal tract itself is certainly not preserved and guts contents might have moved after decay/gas release.

All six specimens described herein belong to publicly accessible collections. Five of them are housed in the paleontological collections of National Museum of Natural History Luxembourg (Musée national d’histoire naturelle, Luxembourg; acronym MNHNL), a sixth is preserved in the collections of the private museum Streitz in Itzig, Luxembourg, available to researchers on demand (Collection Jean-Claude Streitz; acronym JCS). All specimens have been examined morphologically and photographed at the MNHNL.

Systematic palaeontology

The six fish fossils we describe here are pachycormiforms and belong to the genera Pachycormus and Saurostomus. Most of the general characters of the group are visible: amioid type scales, an elongated body, strong jaws articulating far behind the posterior border of the orbit, absence of a coronoid process of the mandible. The two recognized genera are easily distinguished, although there has been confusion, for example between large Pachycormus and Saurostomus, because of the similarity in body size. The anterior pectoral fin ray, the squamation, the presence and structure of chordacentra are considered arguments for distinguishing Saurostomus from Pachycormus (Cooper & Maxwell, 2022; Cooper et al., 2022; Hauff & Hauff, 1981; Woodward, 1895, 1896, 1908, 1916). Yet, these are poor criteria because of allometry and old-fashioned preparation tools and methods that might have altered often incompletely preserved specimens. Saurostomus and Pachycormus, possess falciform or sickle morphed scythe shaped pectoral fins (revised pachycormid pectoral fin classification scheme proposed by Liston et al. (2019), with distally segmented rays, asymmetrically bifurcating in Y-fashion. Accordingly, the best criteria in the present study are found in the skull anatomy:

Saurostomus has a more massive skull with larger and stronger bones, a preopercle forming a splint-like dorsal limb and a fan-like anteroventral limb, a large trapezoidal, shield-shaped opercle, a rectangular subopercle, a robust hyomandibula with a waisted medial region and a well-defined opercular process, robust rectangular ceratohyals, but no suborbitals. Saurostomus is monospecific. Cooper and Maxwell (2022) provide the highly awaited revision of Saurostomus esocinus, with precise anatomical descriptions. Among the Luxembourg Saurostomus esocinus specimens examined by Cooper and Maxwell (2022) only specimen TU987 is part of the present study. Cooper and Maxwell (2022) report the original anatomical absence of the postorbitals, infraorbitals and suborbital plates in any of the studied material of Saurostomus esocinus. Several features seen in our material of Saurostomus can differentiate it from its newly erected Toarcian relative Germanostomus Cooper et al., 2022, including: stronger ornamentation of dermal bones; stronger dentition, hyomandibula being clearly waisted and bearing a well-defined opercular process and convex articulation surfaces (Cooper et al., 2022).

Pachycormus presents: a higher number of dermatocranial ossifications, which include two posteriorly extended suborbitals that laterally cover the hyomandibula; a more massive triangular and crescent-shaped preopercle; has more delicate bones, a triangular opercle, a trapezoidal (posteriorly deeper) subopercle, slender ceratohyals.

The genus Pachycormus is monospecific with the species P. macropterus. A recent morphometric study of the genus (Wretman et al., 2016) ascribed skull biometric differences to an ontogeny-depended morphocline, possible sexual dimorphism and morphospace overlap, as seen in other actinopterygians. Wretman et al. (2016) thus considered P. curtus, which encompasses smaller specimens, as a junior synonym of P. macropterus. Similarly, larger specimens ascribed to P. bollensis are indistinguishable from P. macropterus, or re-identified as Saurostomus esocinus (Cawley et al., 2019).

Estimate of the total length of the fish: summary

Body size is an important parameter in determining diet in fishes, so we provide here rough scaling ratios to estimate the total length of the concerned predatory fishes, based on the data of Cooper and Maxwell (2022, 2023) and our measurements from Wenz (1967), Wretman et al. (2016), Cooper and Maxwell (2022, 2023).

  • Saurostomus esocinus: The factor from the standard length to total length of Saurostomus esocinus is × 1.17 (data from Cooper & Maxwell, 2022). The factor from the {opercle maximal length} to the total length varies from × 9.5 to × 19, which is too imprecise or doubtful because of preservation, measurements or figure quality, and possible ontogenetic variability in Saurostomus esocinus. The factor from the {head length (generally evident), estimated at the posterior junction between opercle and subopercle} to the total length is × 4.3 ± 0.2. The mean factor from the mandible length to the head length is × 2.1. The mean measured factor from mandible length to the total length is × 8.84.

  • Pachycormus macropterus: The factor from the standard length to the total length of Pachycormus macropterus is × 1.13 (from data in tables of Wretman et al., 2016 and Cooper & Maxwell, 2023). The factor from the {dorsal length of the opercle} to {the total Length} of Pachycormus approximates × 10, but reaches × 20 in very large specimens, thus is not very informative. The mean factor from the head length to the standard length is × 3.58 (variation 2.96–5.87) (data from Cooper & Maxwell, 2023). The factor from the head length to the total length of Pachycormus macropterus is × 4 (variation 3.3–5.4). The factor from the mandible length to the head length is × 1.66 (variation 1.42–1.73) (data from Cooper & Maxwell, 2023). The mean factor from the mandible length to the standard length is × 5.6 (variation 5–6) (data from Cooper & Maxwell, 2023).The factor from the mandible length to the total length is × 6.3.

The gladius represents the demineralized shell remain in the dorsal mantle of octobrachian and teuthid coleoids (Fuchs & Iba, 2015). The morphology and systematics of the associated octobrachian gladii follow Fuchs (2016, 2020). The observed gladii belong to the families Teudopsidae and Loligosepiidae. Teudopsids represent the stem group of the Octopoda, while loligosepiids were identified as precursors of the Vampyromorpha with its only extant representative Vampyroteuthis infernalis (e.g., Fuchs et al., 2019; Klug et al., 2021a; Rowe et al., 2022).


Neopterygii Regan, 1923


Pachycormiformes Berg, 1937


Pachycormidae Woodward, 1895


Asthenocorminae sensu Cooper et al., 2022


Pachycormus Agassiz, 1833


Specimen MNHNL TU899: Pachycormus macropterus (Blainville,1818) Teudopsis sp. indet and (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1
figure 1

Specimen MNHNL n° TU899: Pachycormus macropterus (Blainville, 1818) and Teudopsis sp. indet.; Serpentinum Chronozone, Foetz


Locality Foetz, industrial zone, collected by Jo Simon; ‘Schistes bitumineux’ formation, Serpentinum Chronozone.


Dimensions Preserved length of the fish 320 mm. Mandible length 70–75 mm. Total length estimation: mandible length × 6.3 = 441–472 mm. Preserved length of the gladius: 79 mm.


Exposed anatomic features The skull is dorsoventrally crushed and seen in ventral view with the jaws split away but keeping symphyseal connection.


Identification of the fish The fins, the smaller scales and teeth, the plates (smaller gular) and bones have the aspect of Pachycormus (more slender dentaries, ceratohyals), not the robustness of Saurostomus. Unfortunately, the absence of the orbit, the suborbital and the opercular apparatus do not allow a cranial biometric assessment of the species.


Identification and position of the gladius The gladius is identified as Teudopsis sp. (Teudopsidae, Teudopseina, Octobrachia, Coleoidea) due to its well-developed median keel (Fuchs & Weis, 2010). It lies 180 mm away from the mandibular symphysis, for a dentary length about 70 mm axial, the gladius has a proximodistal (= craniocaudal) direction. It is situated far behind the buccopharynx and gills, far behind the pectoral fin implantation, certainly in the stomach (gastrolite sensu Hunt & Lucas, 2012, consumulite in a broader sense).


Specimen MNHNL n° TU932: Pachycormus macropterus (Blainville, 1818) and Teudopsis sp. indet (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2
figure 2

Specimen MNHNL n° TU932: Pachycormus macropterus (Blainville, 1818) and Teudopsis sp. indet.; Serpentinum Chronozone, Dudelange-Bettembourg


Locality Dudelange-Bettembourg, Galvalange factory construction site, collected by J. Valentiny; ‘Schistes bitumineux’ formation, Serpentinum Chronozone.


Dimensions Preserved length of the fish 355 mm. Mandible length 61 mm. Total length estimation: mandible length × 6.3 = 384 mm. Preserved length of the gladius: 78 mm.


Identification of the fish The triangular opercular and the trapezoidal subopercular are typical of the genus Pachycormus. The right side of fish is exposed, the skull is missing the orbit and the suborbitals, exposing the hyomandibular. The dorsal fin and the right pectoral fin are preserved.


Identification and position of the gladius The gladius is partially preserved and the presence of a well-developed keel indicates the genus Teudopsis (Fuchs & Weis, 2010). The gladius is preserved between the pectoral fin laminae and internal to the ribs of the right side, ventral to the basiventral or ventral arcocentra; its posterior end lies 2 cm in front of the anteriormost point of the dorsal fin. The gladius is axially oriented, in anatomical position corresponding to the oesophago-stomachal or stomachal position (oesophagolite or gastrolite sensu Hunt & Lucas, 2012, consumulite in a broader sense).


Specimen MNHNL n° TU989: Pachycormus macropterus (Blainville, 1818) and Teudopsis bollensis Voltz, 1836 (Fig. 3)

Fig. 3
figure 3

Specimen MNHNL n° TU989: Pachycormus macropterus (Blainville, 1818) and Teudopsis bollensis Voltz, 1836; Serpentinum Chronozone, Foetz


Locality Foetz, collected by J. Valentiny; ‘Schistes bitumineux’ formation, Serpentinum Chronozone.


Dimensions Preserved length of the fish 270 mm. Maximum length of the opercle: 70 mm. Length estimation: in absence of further data, we use the opercle length × 10 = 700 mm. Preserved length of the gladius: 75 mm.


Identification of the fish The very large suborbital area and opercular system area, the pectoral fin structure, are all typical of Pachycormus.


Identification and position of the gladius The partially preserved gladius can be safely attributed to Teudopsis bollensis owing to the presence of a well-developed median keel and a triangular anterior part (Fuchs & Weis, 2010). The gladius is situated internal to the ribs and squamation; it is 5 mm thick at the posteriormost preserved part on the slab. The position of the gladius tip is 35 mm behind the cleithral remains, with an axial orientation, 55 mm under the mid-length of the notochord, 25 mm dorsally to the level of the pectoral implantation base, 25 mm posteriorly to the pectoral fin posterior implantation point. Its position is probably stomachal with its posterior part in cephalic direction of the fish (gastrolite sensu Hunt & Lucas, 2012, consumulite in a broader sense). The gladius has thus been caught head and arms first.


Specimen JCS n° P39: Pachycormus macropterus (Blainville, 1818) and Octobrachia indet (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4
figure 4

Specimen JCS n° P39: Pachycormus macropterus (Blainville, 1818) and Octobrachia indet.; Serpentinum Chronozone, Dudelange


1983Pachycormus sp. – Streitz: p. 97.


Locality Dudelange, ‘op Mëchelacker’; ‘Schistes bitumineux’ formation, Serpentinum Chronozone.


Dimensions Preserved length of the fish 350 mm. Skull length 165 mm to the posterior most point of the opercle. Maximum length of the opercle: 62 mm. Mandible length: 97 mm. Length estimation from the skull length: 165 mm × 4 = 660 mm; from the opercle length: 62 mm × 10 = 620 mm; from the mandible length: 97 mm × 6.3 = 611 mm. Preserved length of the gladius: 150 mm.


Identification of the fish The left side of the fish is exposed: the skull, the anterior part of the trunk, with the left long pectoral fin: the 2 large suborbitals, the triangular shaped opercle, the pectoral girdle elements are typical of Pachycormus macropterus.


Identification and position of the gladius The large sized gladius is laterally embedded and partially covered by fossilized mantle tissue; the hyperbolar zone is not visible, therefore we assign it to Octobrachia indet. The ribs cover the mantle, i.e. the coleoid body lies inside the abdominal cavity of the fish. The gladius appears to be clearly ventral to the notochord. The body is axially directed, immediately behind the cleithrals, far in front of the dorsal fin, which is not present on the sample: thus, the body did not arrive in the stomach ante mortem, resting just at the exit of the bucco-pharyngeal region, in the possibly distended oesophagus (oesophagolite sensu Hunt & Lucas, 2012, consumulite in a broader sense). The orientation of the gladius in specimen P39 remains to be determined.


Genus Saurostomus Agassiz, 1843


Specimen MNHNL n° TU987a-b: Saurostomus esocinus Agassiz, 1843 and Loligosepiinae indet (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5
figure 5

Specimen MNHNL n° TU987a-b: Saurostomus esocinus Agassiz, 1843 and Loligosepiinae indet.; Serpentinum Chronozone, Bascharage


1999a Pachycormiforme aff. Saurostomus; Delsate: fig. 16.


Locality Bascharage, collected by D. Watrinelle; ‘Schistes bitumineux’ formation, Serpentinum Chronozone.


Dimensions Preserved length of the fish 250 mm. Length of the opercle ca. 86 mm. In absence of further data, we use the opercle length; 86 mm × 9.5 = 817 mm, 86 mm × 19 = 1634 mm. Preserved length of the gladius: 50 mm.


Identification of the fish Left side of the fish preserving the articulated skull (cranial length 25 cm but the anterior region of the skull is damaged), the partial abdominal flank, and the partially preserved left pectoral fin. The large opercular (dimensions: around 70 mm long axis) has a shield shape typical for Saurostomus (see Wenz, 1967: fig. 65), different from the triangular opercular of Pachycormus. Specimen TU987 is fully conformed to Cooper and Maxwell (2022) describing Saurostomus esocinus, and this specimen is part of the specimens they examined.


Identification and position of the gladius The small, partially preserved gladius can be attributed to the Loligosepiinae owing to its extended hyperbolar zone (Fuchs & Weis, 2008). Its position is axial, in the antero-posterior axis of the fish, contacting the posterior border of the dorsal postcleithrum, and supposedly in esophageal position (esophagolite sensu Hunt & Lucas, 2012, consumulite in a broader sense).


Specimen MNHNL n° TV228: Saurostomus esocinus Agassiz, 1843 and Teudopsis bollensis Voltz, 1836 (Fig. 6)

Fig. 6
figure 6

Specimen MNHNL n° TV228: Saurostomus esocinus Agassiz, 1843 and Teudopsis bollensis Voltz, 1836; Serpentinum Chronozone, Bascharage


2010Teudopsis bollensis: Fuchs & Weis: fig. 4D.


Locality Bascharage, collected by D. Delsate; ‘Schistes bitumineux’ formation, Serpentinum Chronozone.


Dimensions Preserved length of the fish 300 mm. Head length: 177 mm; maximal length of the opercle: 92.5 mm. Length estimation from the head length: 177 mm × 4.3 = 761 mm; from the opercle length: 92.5 × 9.5 = 878 mm (probably realistic), to 92.5 × 19 = 1757 mm. Preserved length of the gladius: 135 mm.


Identification of the fish The large scute or shield-shaped opercular, the large rectangular subopercular, the robust hyomandibula, which forms a waisted thickened core and forms an opercular process, and robust ceratohyals indicate Saurostomus esocinus.


Identification and position of the gladius The completely preserved gladius is safely attributed to the genus Teudopsis characterized by a median keel and the species T. bollensis thanks to the triangular shape of the anterior part of the gladius (Fuchs & Weis, 2010). Its position is nearly vertical and lies behind the clewithrum. The posterior tip of the gladius reaches the level of the junction between the preserved portions of the cleithrum/subopercular, with the whole posterior part arranged in cephalic direction of the fish. The coleoid was thus caught head and arms first. Itis evidently not in anatomical position: it might have been displaced post mortem, or it might have caused a perforation of the oesophagus. This appears to be also an oesophagolite sensu Hunt and Lucas (2012; consumulite in a broader sense).

Discussion

In Europe, the claystone and clayey carbonates of the Toarcian often show characters of stagnate conservation deposits (Riegraf et al., 1984; Röhl et al., 2001, 2002; Seilacher, 1970; Seilacher et al., 1985). Accordingly, biotic interactions between predator and prey animals are occasionally fossilized. In recent years, several examples have been published, some including fish and cephalopods (Hart et al., 2020; Jenny et al., 2019; Klug et al., 2021a, 2021b). Additionally, regurgitalites were reported from the Toarcian (Hoffmann et al., 2020; Thies & Hauff, 2012). Accordingly, it is well established that actinopterygians and chondrichthyans often preyed upon cephalopods (Boucot, 1990; Doyle & Macdonald, 1993; Hoffmann & Stevens, 2020; Klug et al., 2021b), that cephalopods fed on other cephalopods (Klug et al., 2021a), but that cephalopods also fed on actinopterygians (Hart et al., 2020; Jenny et al., 2019). Recently, Cooper and Maxwell (2022) reported gastrointestinal contents of the pachycormid fish Saurostomus esocinus that comprise octobrachian (loligosepiid) and belemnoid remains, indicating a rather diversified but mostly coleoid-based diet.

Pachycormid fishes are understood as forming two rather distinct phylogenetic lineages (e.g., Cooper et al., 2022; Friedman, 2012; Gouiric-Cavalli & Arratia, 2022; Schumacher et al., 2016; Wretman et al., 2016). One contains mostly small to mid-sized tusked ichthyophagous forms, as exemplified by the Late Cretaceous Protosphyraena, and the other containing gigantic edentulous suspension feeders, such as the emblematic Late Jurassic Leedsichthys (e.g., Cooper et al., 2022; Friedman, 2012; Gouiric-Cavalli & Arratia, 2022; Schumacher et al., 2016; Wretman et al., 2016). Most phylogenies recover Saurostomus as a basal member of the lineage containing the suspension feeders (Cooper et al., 2022; Friedman, 2012; Schumacher et al., 2016; Wretman et al., 2016), but this is not unanimously accepted (Gouiric-Cavalli & Arratia, 2022). On the other hand, Pachycormus was recovered in a basal polytomy with the two clades (e.g., Wretman et al., 2016), as nested within the ‘ichthyophagous’ clade (Gouiric-Cavalli & Arratia, 2022), or as a stem member of the ‘suspension feeders’ clade (Cooper et al., 2022; Friedman, 2012; Schumacher et al., 2016). The clade containing suspension feeders, to the inclusion of Pachycormus, was termed Asthenocorminae by Cooper et al., 2022.

Previously reported evidence for the utilization of coleoid prey by Jurassic pachycormids, suggests that teuthophagy was common amongst asthenocormin pachycormids (Cooper et al., 2022; Friedman, 2012; Přikryl et al., 2012). Amongst members of the ichthyophagous clade (e.g., Cooper et al., 2022; Gouiric-Cavalli & Arratia, 2022), the possible utilization of coleoid prey has only been putatively inferred for the Middle–Late Jurassic hypsocormines (Martill et al., 1994). Most Toarcian asthenocormin pachycormids that are associated with coleoid prey, in the form of gut contents, preserve only hooklets or gladial fragments in their gastrointestinal tracts (Cooper & Maxwell, 2022; Cooper et al., 2022; Přikryl et al., 2012). This could be indicative of a feeding strategy that involved the shearing and ingestion of only parts of the coleoid animal; mainly its arms. Evidence for a different feeding strategy which entails the ingestion of complete belemnite coleoids is scant, and is restricted to a single individual of Saurostomus esocinus (Cooper & Maxwell, 2022), or is subject to interpretation in the case of the holotype of Ohmdenia multidentata (Friedman, 2012). Here, we provide new direct evidence that the actinopterygian genera Pachycormus and Saurostomus fed on gladius-bearing cephalopods. 8.5% (6 out of 70 specimens) of the large specimens of Luxembourg Toarcian pachycormids (55 Pachycormus and 15 Saurostomus) preserve ingested coleoids. In these specimens, we did not find evidence of other prey (e.g., fish), but we cannot exclude a preservation or observation bias. We did not find ingested coleoids in smaller Toarcian pachycormiforms (Haasichthys, Sauropsis, Euthynotus). The latter is indicative of possible resource and niche partitioning amongst Toarcian pachycormids. Surprisingly, we also failed to find any belemnoid hooks by contrast to Cooper and Maxwell (2022), who documented them in nine out of ten specimens with preserved gastric contents of Saurostomus esocinus. This might show some dietary partitioning, with Pachycormus preferring non-arm hook-bearing coleoids, so this difference may be the result of denser sampling of Pachycormus compared to Saurostomus in the present study (2/3 vs. 1/3). However, Přikryl et al. (2012) also report arm hooks in Pachycormus from South Western Great Britain, so it could also be a regional dietary difference between the samples.

Cephalopod remains such as coleoid arm hooks can be visibly preserved undigested in coprolites (Hunt et al., 2012: p. 16), probably produced by fishes. Those in the stomach can eventually show signs of digestion caused by dissolution by acid or disruptions of anatomical structures due to enzymatic breakdown. However, we have not identified structures suggesting either of these processes in our study. Remains of the digested cephalopods enter easily into the intestine as a solution of dissolved soft proteolysed chitin and saccharides. The oblique position in specimen MNHNL TV228 ascribed to Saurostomus esocinus could indicate a possible perforation of the digestive tract before digestion. If such an incident is confirmed by additional better-preserved fossil findings, it will be the second mode of death of pachycormid fishes caused by the voracious ingestion of cephalopods. Recently described findings from the Toarcian of Germany indicated that the ingestion of a complete ammonite was the most likely cause of death of a Pachycormus macropterus individual (Cooper & Maxwell, 2023). According to their positions in the fish bodies, we conclude that the octobrachian remains represent mostly gastrolites and some oesophagolites sensu Hunt and Lucas (2012; i.e. consumulites sensu lato).

The orientation of the gladii remains indicate that the prey had been captured and ingested head first (Table 3). This observation corroborates the findings of Cooper and Maxwell (2022), who describe a similar orientation of loligosepiid gladii in Saurostomus esocinus. It is remarkable that the fish swallowed the whole animal, hardly reducing prey size prior to ingesting the prey. This could hint at a feeding strategy that entails the active chase of the coleoid prey and its complete capture.

Table 3 Overview of the described specimens and position of the octobrachian gladii

Conclusions

The predatory pachycormiform genera Pachycormus (four specimens) as well as Saurostomus (two specimens) fed without preference on octobrachian coleoids such as either Teudopsis (four specimens), Loligosepiinae (one specimen) and Octobrachia indet. (one specimen). Usually, as far as demonstrated in our material, these actinopterygians grasped the head and tentacles first prior to ingesting the coleoids. Thus, the coleoid remains are preserved in axial direction, with the posterior end of the gladius pointing in anterior (cephalic) direction of the fish. New evidence from the Toarcian of Luxembourg supports previous observations suggesting a coleoid-based diet of Saurostomus esocinus advanced based on material from South Germany (Cooper & Maxwell, 2022). Furthermore, the material under study hints at a similar diet for Pachycormus macropterus. Collectively, evidence from asthenocormin pachycormids (following Cooper et al., 2022) from the Toarcian of Germany and Luxembourg reinforce previous notions (Cooper & Maxwell, 2022; Friedman, 2012) that teuthophagy was a feeding strategy widespread amongst forms at the stem of the Jurassic–Cretaceous gigantic edentulous suspension feeders. It, thus, represents a possible intermediate stage towards the evolution of the latter ecomorph in ray-finned fishes.

Availability of data and materials

The material described and illustrated here is housed at the paleontological collection of the Musée national d’histoire naturelle de Luxembourg (MNHNL) and is accessible to researchers.

References

  • Agassiz, L. (1833–1843). Recherches sur les poissons fossiles. Tome I-IV. Petitpierre, Neuchatel.

  • Agassiz, L. (1832). Untersuchungen über die fossilen Fische der Lias-Formation. Jahrbuch Für Mineralogie, Geognosie, Geologie Und Petrefaktenkunde, 1832, 139–149.

    Google Scholar 

  • Argyriou, A., Clauss, M., Maxwell, E. E., Furrer, H., & Sanchez-Villagra, M. R. (2016). Exceptional preservation reveals gastrointestinal anatomy and evolution in early actinopterygian fishes. Science and Reports, 6, 18758. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep18758

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Berg, L. S. (1937). A classification of fish-like vertebrates. Bulletin De L’académie Des Sciences De l’URSS, 4, 1277–1280.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boucot, A. J. (1990). Evolutionary paleobiology of behavior and coevolution. Elsevier.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boulvain, F., Belanger, I., Delsate, D., Dosquet, D., Ghysel, P., Godefroit, P., Laloux, M., Roche, M., Teerlynck, H., & Thorez, J. (2001a). New lithostratigraphical, sedimentological, mineralogical and palaeontological data on the mesozoic of Belgian Lorraine: a progress report. Geologica Belgica, 3(1–2), 3–33.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boulvain, F., Belanger, I., Delsate, D., Ghysel, P., Godefroit, P., Laloux, M., Monteyne, R., & Roche, M. (2001b). Triassic and Jurassic lithostratigraphic units (Belgian Lorraine). Geologica Belgica, 4(1–2), 113–119.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bronn, H. (1830). Ueber zwei fossile Fischarten: Cyprinus coryphaenoides und Tetragonolepis semicinctus aus dem Gryphitenkalke bei Donau-Eschingen. Jahrbuch Für Mineralogie, Geognosie, Geologie Und Petrefaktenkunde, 1, 14–30.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cawley, J. J., Kriwet, J., Klug, S., & Benton, M. J. (2019). The stem group teleost Pachycormus (Pachycormiformes: Pachycormidae) from the Upper Lias (Lower Jurassic) of Strawberry Bank UK. Palz, 93(2), 285–302.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cooper, S. L. A., Giles, S., Young, H., & Maxwell, E. E. (2022). A New Large †Pachycormiform (Teleosteomorpha: †Pachycormiformes) from the Lower Jurassic of Germany, with affinities to the suspension-feeding clade, and comments on the gastrointestinal anatomy of pachycormid fishes. Diversity, 14, 1026. https://doi.org/10.3390/d14121026

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cooper, S. L. A., & Maxwell, E. E. (2022). Revision of the pachycormid fish Saurostomus esocinus Agassiz from the Early Jurassic (Toarcian) of Europe, with new insight into the origins of suspension-feeding in Pachycormidae. Pap Palaeontol, 8(6), e1467. https://doi.org/10.1002/spp2.1467

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cooper, S. L. A., & Maxwell, E. E. (2023). Death by ammonite: fatal ingestion of an ammonoid shell by an early Jurassic bony fish. Geological Magazine. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0016756823000456S0016756823000456

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • de Blainville, H. D. (1818). Poissons fossils in Nouveau dictionnaire d’Histoire Naturelle (27th ed.). Paris: Deterville.

    Google Scholar 

  • Delsate D, Fuchs D, Weis R. (2008). Predator-prey interactions between coleoids, fishes and marine reptiles during the Early Jurassic (Toarcian) in Luxembourg: In 3rd International Symposium ‘Coleoid cephalopods through time’, Luxembourg 08–11.10.2008, abstract volume (pp. 99–100). National Museum for Natural History Luxembourg.

  • Delsate, D. (1997). Actinoptérygiens du Toarcien inférieur du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg: Présence de Leptolepis normandica Nybelin 1962 (Téléostéen) avec otolithes in situ. Travaux Scientifiques Du Musée National D’histoire Naturelle De Luxembourg, 27, 105–130.

    Google Scholar 

  • Delsate, D. (1999a). L’Ichthyofaune du Toarcien luxembourgeois. Cadre général et catalogue statistique. Travaux Scientifiques Du Musée National D’histoire Naturelle De Luxembourg, 30, 1–101.

    Google Scholar 

  • Delsate, D. (1999b). Haasichthys michelsi, nov. gen., nov. sp., un nouveau Pachycormiforme (Osteichtyes, Actinopterygii) du Toarcien inférieur (Jurassique) luxembourgeois. Travaux Scientifiques Du Musée National D’histoire Naturelle De Luxembourg, 32, 87–140.

    Google Scholar 

  • Delsate, D. (1999c). Un Pholidophoridae nouveau (Osteichthyes, Actinopterygii) du Toarcien (Jurassique inférieur) luxembourgeois. Travaux Scientifiques D’histoire Naturelle De Luxembourg, 32, 141–205.

    Google Scholar 

  • Doyle, P., & Macdonald, D. I. M. (1993). Belemnite battlefields. Lethaia, 26, 65–80.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Eudes-Deslongchamps, E. (1835). Mémoire sur les Teudopsidés, animaux fossiles, voisins des calmars. Mémoires De La Société Linnéenne De Normandie, 5, 68–78.

    Google Scholar 

  • Faber, G. (1916). Der Posidonienschiefer im Grossherzogtum Luxemburg. Bulletin De La Société Des Naturalistes Luxembourgeois, 26, 120–127.

    Google Scholar 

  • Faber, G. (1947). Recherches en vue de la possibilité d’une exploitation industrielle du schiste bitumineux du Toarcien dans le Grand-Duché de Luxembourg. Publications Du Service Géologique De Luxembourg, 7, 1–170.

    Google Scholar 

  • Faber, G., & de Muyser, E. (1947). Mémoire sur les couches géologiques traversées et les découvertes paléontologiques faites au cours des travaux de terrassements exécutés en 1933/34 entre Dippach et Pétange. Revue Technique Luxembourgeoise, 39(4), 203–212.

    Google Scholar 

  • Friedman, M. (2012). Parallel evolutionary trajectories underlie the origin of giant suspension-feeding whales and bony fishes. Proc Royal Soc B: Biol Sci, 279, 944–951.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fuchs, D. (2016). Part M, chapter 9B: The gladius and gladius vestige in fossil Coleoidea. Treatise Online, 83, 1–23.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fuchs, D. (2020). Part M coleoidea chapter 23g systematic descriptions octobrachia. Treatise Online, 138, 1–52.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fuchs, D., & Iba, Y. (2015). The gladiuses in coleoid cephalopods: homology, parallelism, or convergence? Swiss J Palaeontol, 134, 187–197.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fuchs, D., Iba, Y., Heyng, A., Iijima, M., Klug, C., Larson, N. L., & Schweigert, G. (2019). The Muensterelloidea: phylogeny and character evolution of Mesozoic stem octopods. Pap Palaeontol, 6(1), 31–92.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fuchs, D., & Weis, R. (2008). Taxonomy, morphology and phylogeny of lower Jurassic loligosepiid coleoids (Cephalopoda). Neues Jahrbuch Für Geologie Und Paläontologie, 249, 93–112.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fuchs, D., & Weis, R. (2010). Taxonomy, morphology and phylogeny of Lower Jurassic teudopseid coleoids (Cephalopoda). Neues Jahrbuch Für Geologie Und Paläontologie Abhandlungen, 257(3), 351–366.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Godefroit, P. (1994). Les reptiles marins du Toarcien belgo-luxembourgeois. Mémoires Pour Servir à L’explication Des Cartes Géologiques Et Minières De La Belgique, 39, 1–98.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gouiric-Cavalli, S., & Arratia, G. (2022). A new †Pachycormiformes (Actinopterygii) from the Upper Jurassic of Gondwana sheds light on the evolutionary history of the group. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 19, 1517–1550.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Guérin-Franiatte, S., Maquil, R., & Münzberger, P. (2010). Le Toarcien au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg: biostratigraphie dans la région de Belvaux. Le Jurassique inférieur et moyen au Luxembourg. Nouvelles Données Paléontologiques Et Biostratigraphiques Ferrantia, 62, 19–34.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hanzo, M. (1978). A propos de nodules carbonatés du Toarcien inférieur de la région de Bettembourg (Grand-duché de Luxembourg). Congrès National Des Sociétés Savantes, Sciences, Nancy, 103(4), 343–349.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hanzo, M. (1979). Milieu de dépôt et évolution diagénétique des argilites toarciennes d’après l’étude de nodules carbonatés des Schistes carton de Bettembourg (Grand-Duché de Luxembourg). Sci De La Terre, 3(1), 45–59.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hart, M. B., Arratia, G., Moore, C., & Ciotti, B. J. (2020). Life and death in the Jurassic seas of Dorset, Southern England. Proc Geol’ Assoc, 131, 629–638.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hauff, B., & Hauff, R. B. (1981). Das Holzmaden-buch. Holzmaden: Urwelt-Museum Hauff.

    Google Scholar 

  • Henrotay, M., Marques, D., Paicheler, J.-C., Gall, J.-C., & Nel, A. (1998). Le Toarcien inférieur des régions de Bascharage et de Bettembourg (Grand-Duché du Luxembourg): évidences paléontologiques et sédimentologiques d’environnements restreints proches de l’émersion. Geodiversitas, 20(2), 263–284.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hermoso, M., Delsate, D., Baudin, F., Le Callonnec, L., Minoletti, F., Renard, M., & Faber, A. (2014). Record of early toarcian carbon cycle perturbations in a nearshore environment: the Bascharage section (easternmost Paris Basin). Solid Earth, 5, 793–804.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Hoffmann, R., & Stevens, K. (2020). The palaeobiology of belemnites-foundation for the interpretation of rostrum geochemistry. Biological Reviews, 95, 94–123.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Hoffmann, R., Stevens, K., Keupp, H., Simonsen, S., & Schweigert, G. (2020). Regurgitalites—a window into fossil food webs. Journal of the Geological Society, 177, 82–102.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Hunt, A. P., & Lucas, S. G. (2012). Classification of vertebrate coprolites and related trace fossils. New Mexico Mus Nat Hist Sci Bull, 57, 137–146.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hunt, A. P., Lucas, S. G., Milàn, J., & Spielmann, J. A. (2012). Vertebrate coprolites. New Mexico Mus Nat Hist Sci, 57, 1–24.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jenny, D., Fuchs, D., Arkhipkin, A. I., Hauff, R. B., Fritschi, B., & Klug, C. (2019). Predatory behavior and taphonomy of a Jurassic belemnoid coleoid (Diplobelida, Cephalopoda). Science and Reports, 9, 7944. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44260-w

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, M. M., Young, M. T., Brusatte, S. L., Thuy, B., & Weis, R. (2019). A catalogue of teleosauroids (Crocodylomorpha: Thalattosuchia) from the toarcian and bajocian (Jurassic) of southern Luxembourg. Historical Biology, 31(9), 1179–1194. https://doi.org/10.1080/08912963.2018.1427090

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Klug, C., Schweigert, G., De Baets, K., & Fuchs, D. (2021a). Distraction sinking and fossilized coleoid predatory behaviour from the German Early Jurassic. Swiss J Palaeontol, 140(7), 1–12.

    Google Scholar 

  • Klug, C., Schweigert, G., Hoffmann, R., Weis, R., & De Baets, K. (2021b). Fossilized leftover falls as sources of palaeoecological data - a “pabulite” comprising a crustacean, a belemnite and a vertebrate from the Early Jurassic Posidonia Shale. Swiss J Palaeontol, 140(10), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13358-021-00225-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Laboury, A., Bennion, R. F., Thuy, B., Weis, R., & Fischer, V. (2022). Anatomy and phylogenetic relationships of Temnodontosaurus zetlandicus (Reptilia: Ichthyosauria). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 195(1), 172–194. https://doi.org/10.1093/zoolinnean/zlab118

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Liston, J. J., Maltese, A. E., Lambers, P. H., Delsate, D., Harcourt-Smith, W. E. H., & Van Heteren, A. H. (2019). Scythes, sickles and other blades: defining the diversity of pectoral fin morphotypes in Pachycormiformes. PeerJ, 7, e7675. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.7675

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Lucius, M. (1948). Geologie Luxemburgs. Das Gutland. Erläuterungen zu der geologischen Spezialkarte Luxemburgs. Publications Du Service Géologique De Luxembourg, 5, 1–405.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maquil, R. (2010). Le sous-sol de Belval. Disposition géologique régionale. Magazine-le périodique du Fonds Belval, 3/2010, 24–31.

  • Martill, D. M. (1993). Soupy substrates: a medium for the exceptional preservation of ichthyosaurs of the Posidonia Shale (Lower Jurassic) of Germany. Kaupia-Darmstädter Beiträge Zur Naturgeschichte, 1993(2), 77–97.

    Google Scholar 

  • Martill, D. M., Taylor, M. A., Duff, K. L., Riding, J. B., & Bown, P. R. (1994). The trophic structure of the biota of the peterborough member, Oxford clay formation (Jurassic), UK. Journal of the Geological Society, 151, 173–194.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Maxwell, E. E., & Stumpf, S. (2017). Revision of Saurorhynchus (Actinopterygii: Saurichthyidae) from the early Jurassic of England and Germany. Eur J Taxono, 321, 1–29.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moris, A. (1854). Catalogue des fossiles recueillis dans le terrain jurassique du Grand-Duché du Luxembourg et faisant partie du Musée de la Société des Sciences naturelles. Bulletin De La Société Des Sciences Naturelles Du Grand-Duché De Luxembourg, 2, 89–153.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mudroch, A., Delsate, D., & Herzog, A. (1999). On the dentition of Dapedium Leach 1822 (Actinopterygii, Semionotiformes). In Abstract book, IV European Workshop on Vertebrate Palaeontology Albarracin (p. 74).

  • Müller, T., Price, G. D., Bajnai, D., Nyerges, A., Kesjár, D., Raucsik, B., Varga, A., Judik, K., Fekete, J., May, Z., & Pálfy, J. (2017). New multiproxy record of the Jenkyns event (also known as the toarcian oceanic anoxic event) from the mecsek mountains (Hungary): differences, duration and drivers. Sedimentology, 64(1), 66–86.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Münster zu, G. G. (1843). Die schalenlosen Cephalopoden im unteren Jura, den Lias-Schiefern von Franken und Schwaben. Beiträge Zur Petrefaktenkunde, 6, 57–77.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nybelin, O. (1962). Preliminary note on two species previously named Leptolepis bronni Agassiz. Arkiv for Zoologi, 2, 303–306.

    Google Scholar 

  • Plet, C., Grice, K., Pagès, A., Ruebsam, W., Coolen, M., & Schwark, L. (2016). Microbially-mediated fossil-bearing carbonate concretions and their significance for palaeoenvironmental reconstructions: a multi-proxy organic and inorganic geochemical appraisal. Chemical Geology, 426, 95–108. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.CHEMGEO.2016.01.026

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Přikryl, T., Kosták, M., Mazuch, M., & Mikulás, R. (2012). Evidence for fish predation on a coleoid cephalopod from the lower jurassic posidonia shale of Germany. Neues Jahrb Fur Geol Paläontol—Abhandlungen, 263, 25–33.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Quenstedt, F. A. (1839). Loligo bollensis ist kein Belemnitenorgan. Neues Jahrbuch Für Mineralogie, Geognosie, Geologie Und Petrefaktenkunde, 1839, 156–167.

    Google Scholar 

  • Quenstedt, F. A. (1849). Petrefactenkunde Deutschlands, 1. Abteilung, 1.Band, Cephalopoden. Tübingen: Fues.

    Google Scholar 

  • Quenstedt, F. A. (1858). Der Jura. Tübingen: Laupp.

    Google Scholar 

  • Regan, C. T. (1923). The skeleton of Lepidosteus, with remarks on the origin and evolution of the lower neopterygian fishes. Proceedings Zoological Society of London, 93, 445–461.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Reisdorf, A., & Wuttke, M. (2012). Re-evaluating Moodie’s opisthotonic-posture hypothesis in fossil vertebrates Part I: reptiles—the taphonomy of the bipedal dinosaurs Compsognathus longipes and Juravenator starki from the Solnhofen Archipelago (Jurassic, Germany). Palaeobiodiversity Palaeoenviron, 92(1), 119–168.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Riegraf, W., Werner, G., & Lörcher, F. (1984). Der Posidonienschiefer. biostratigraphie, Fauna und Fazies des südwestdeutschen Untertoarciums (Lias ε). Stuttgart: Enke.

    Google Scholar 

  • Röhl, A., Schmid-Röhl, H. J., Oschmann, W., Frimmel, A., & Schwark, L. (2002). Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of lower toarcian epicontinental black shales (Posidonia Shale, SW Germany): global versus regional control. Geobios, 35, 13–20.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Röhl, H. J., Schmid-Röhl, A., Oschmann, W., Frimmel, A., & Schwark, L. (2001). The posidonia shale (lower toarcian) of SW-Germany: an oxygen-depleted ecosystem controlled by sea level and palaeoclimate. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 165, 27–52.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Rowe, A. J., Kruta, I., Landman, N. H., Villier, L., Fernandez, V., & Rouget, I. (2022). Exceptional soft-tissue preservation of Jurassic Vampyronassa rhodanica provides new insights on the evolution and palaeoecology of vampyroteuthids. Science and Reports, 12(8292), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-12269-3

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Schintgen, T. (2015). Exploration for deep geothermal reservoirs in Luxembourg and the surroundings—perspectives of geothermal energy use. Geotherm En, 3, 1–30. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40517-015-0028-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schumacher, B. A., Shimada, K., Liston, J., & Maltese, A. (2016). Highly specialized suspension-feeding bony fish Rhinconichthys (Actinopterygii: Pachycormiformes) from the mid-cretaceous of the United States, England, and Japan. Cretaceous Research, 61, 71–85.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Seilacher, A. (1970). Begriff und Bedeutung der Fossil-Lagerstätten. Neues Jahrbuch Für Geologie Und Paläontologie, Monatshefte, 1970, 34–39.

    Google Scholar 

  • Seilacher, A., Reif, W.-E., Westphal, F., Riding, R., Clarkson, E. N. K., & Whittington, H. B. (1985). Sedimentological, ecological and temporal patterns of Fossil Lagerstätten [and discussion]. Philos Trans Royal Soc London B, 311(1148), 5–24.

    Google Scholar 

  • Song, J., Littke, R., Maquil, R., & Weniger, P. (2014). Organic facies variability in the Posidonia black shale from Luxembourg: implications for thermal maturation and depositional environment. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 410, 316–336.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Streitz, J.-C. (1983). Auf Fossiliensuche im Luxemburg. Luxembourg: Sankt-Paulus Druckerei.

    Google Scholar 

  • Taverne, L., & Steirbaut, E. (2017). Osteology and relationships of Luxembourgichthys (“Pholidophorus”) friedeni gen. nov. (Teleostei, “Pholidophoriformes”) from the lower Jurassic of Belgium and the grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Geologica Belgica, 20(1–2), 53–67.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thies, D. (1992). A new species of Palaeospinax (Chondrichthyes, Neoselachii) from the Lower Jurassic Posidonia Shale of Southern Germany. Paläontologische Zeitschrift, 66, 137–146.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thies, D., & Hauff, R. B. (2011). A new species of Dapedium Leach, 1822 (Actinopterygii, Neopterygii, Semionotiformes) from the Early Jurassic of South Germany. Palaeodiversity, 4, 185–221.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thies, D., & Hauff, R. B. (2012). A Speiballen from the Lower Jurassic Posidonia Shale of South Germany. Neues Jahrbuch Für Geologie Und Paläontologie Abhandlungen, 267, 117–124.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vincent, P., Weis, R., Kronz, G., & Delsate, D. (2019). Microcleidus melusinae, a new plesiosaurian (Reptilia, Plesiosauria) from the Toarcian of Luxembourg. Geological Magazine, 156(1), 99–116.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Voltz, P. L. (1836). Notice sur les rapports des Bélemnites avec d’autres coquilles internes de Céphalopodes. L’institut, J Général Des Soc Et Travaux Scientifiques De La France, 1ère Sect, 147, 148–149.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wenz, S. (1967). Compléments à l’étude des Actinoptérygiens du Jurassique. Paris: Éditions du Centre national de la recherche scientifique.

    Google Scholar 

  • Woodward, A. S. (1895). Catalogue of the fossil fishes in the british museum (natural history). London: British Museum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Woodward, A. S. (1896). On the fossil fishes of the upper Lias of Whitby. Part II. Proc Yorks Geol Polytech Soc, 13, 155–170.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Woodward, A. S. (1908). On some remains of Pachycormus and Hypsocormus from the Jurassic of Normandy. Mémoires De La Société Linnéenne De Normandie, 23, 29–34.

    Google Scholar 

  • Woodward, A. S. (1916). On a new specimen of the Liassic pachycormid fish Saurostomus esocinus. Geological Magazine, 3, 49–51.

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  • Woodward, A. S. (1938). On a specimen of Pachycormus from the Schistes de Grandcour at Bascharage. Bulletin Du Musée Royal Histoire Naturelle De Belgique, 14(48), 1–2.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wretman, L., Blom, H., & Kear, B. P. (2016). Resolution of the Early Jurassic actinopterygian fish Pachycormus and a dispersal hypothesis for Pachycormiformes. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 36(5), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2016.1206022

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zieten A. von (1830–1833). Die Versteinerungen Württembergs. Stuttgart: Schweizerbart.

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank M. Jean-Claude Streitz and his wife (Itzig, Luxembourg) for providing access to their fossil collection and the loan of specimens. We also thank J. Simon and the late J. Valentiny and D. Watrinelle that collected the specimens that were later acquired by the National Museum of Natural History Luxembourg. Particular recognition goes to Erin Maxwell and a second anonymous reviewer for their insightful comments. TA was supported by a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Funding

Not applicable.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

RW gathered the study material, designed the study, contributed to the determination of the octobrachians, made photographs of specimens and contributed to writing the article. DD determined the pachycormiforms and contributed to writing the article. CK made drawings and contributed to the discussion. TA contributed to the anatomical interpretation of pachycormids and the writing of the manuscript. DF contributed to the determination of the octobrachians and the discussion.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Robert Weis.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Additional information

Handling editor: Cheng Ji.

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Weis, R., Delsate, D., Klug, C. et al. Pachycormid fish fed on octobrachian cephalopods: new evidence from the ‘Schistes bitumineux’ (early Toarcian) of southern Luxembourg. Swiss J Palaeontol 143, 5 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13358-023-00295-1

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13358-023-00295-1

Keywords