NEW EVIDENCE FOR A LAMPREY-LIKE MOTION OF THE GRASPING ELEMENTS OF OZARKODINID CONODONTS
One of the predictions of this feeding model is that the unpaired S0 element and the pair of anterior and obliquely pointed M elements performed a synchronized pinching movement. This infrequent configuration appears to be recorded by some bedding-plane natural assemblages. Yet, their preservation renders them somewhat equivocal. In three-dimensional fused clusters either one of the M elements or the S0 element is usually missing.
We have recently imaged some newly discovered and exceptionally preserved fused clusters of elements of the Norian Mockina Kozur using propagation phase-contrast X-ray synchrotron microtomography. The analysis of these almost complete clusters lends further support to the revised hypothesis of S1 and S2 element morphology and to the proposed model. In particular, the recorded positions of the M elements relative to the S elements add new constraints that are compatible with the model and one cluster even shows direct evidence of the predicted pinching configuration.