Burnhamia daviesi

(Woodward, 1889)

Classification: Elasmobranchii Myliobatiformes Mobulidae

Reference of the original description
Woodward, A.S. (1889)
Catalogue of the fossil fishes in the British Museum. Part. I. British Museum (Natural History): 474 p., fig., 17 pl.

Synonyms / new combinations and misspellings
Burnhamia aff. daviesi, Burnhamia (Rhinoptera) daviesi, Rhinoptera cf. daviesi, Rhinoptera daviesi, Rhinoptera daviesii

Burnhamia daviesi

Rhinoptera daviesi
Holotype: NHMUK: PV P 1514;

Images of types


Citation: Burnhamia daviesi (Woodward, 1889): In: Database of fossil elasmobranch teeth www.shark-references.com, World Wide Web electronic publication, Version 02/2023

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Burnhamia daviesi (Woodward, 1889) Eocene, Lutetian, Paris Basin, France © Jean-Francois LHOMME, www.vertebres-fossiles.com

Distribution Strategraphy

Original description of Woodward, 1889 [2593]: Rhinoptera daviesii, sp. nov.
Type. Portion of dentition (PI. III. figs. 6, 6 a); British Museum.
Teeth transversely channelled, arranged in nine antero-posterior series. Each tooth of the median row is about four times as broad as long; the teeth of the first and second lateral rows are also much transversely elongated, being respectively about three and two-and-a-half times as broad as long; the teeth of the two outer rows are slightly broader than long.
Form. g Loc. London Clay (Lower Eocene): Isle of Sheppey.
P. 1514:. Type specimen, generically determined by Mr. William Davies. The fossil consists of a large portion of the dentition with parts of the pterygo-quadrate and mandibular cartilages, embedded in hard clay. The teeth of one jaw are much scattered and displaced, but those of the other are scarcely disturbed, being shown in transverse section surrounding the cartilage, and more than half exposed from above. The upper aspect of the dentition, as far as preserved, is shown of the natural size in PI. III. fig. 6; the crowns of the teeth have the appearance of being channelled in the direction of their long axes, and they exhibit a curious mode of interlocking antero-posteriorly, well seen in the transverse fracture (PI. III. fig. 6 a). The dental crown is thin and its lower portion is produced into a projecting ridge anteriorly, which fits into a corresponding groove upon the posterior face of the tooth immediately in front, and is firmly held by a email projecting ledge apparently from the root of that tooth. Such an arrangement has already been described by Agassiz in R. studeri (Poiss. Foss. vol IIl. p. 333, pl. R. fig. 4). The root exhibits the usual antero-posterior grooves and ridges.

Taxonomic remark (Underwood et al. 2017 [25382]): The genus Burnhamia is widespread in rocks of Eocene age, and many of the occurrences have been attributed to Burnhamia daviesi. Despite this, some of the figured specimens appear to represent other species with a lower crown and more homodont dentition, as seen in Burnhamia fetahi Cappetta, 1985. The low, narrow tooth morphology of Burnhamia fetahi (see Noubhani and Cappetta, 1992) appears to be restricted to the early Eocene; teeth of late Eocene Burnhamia, such as the Priabonian species of Egypt (Underwood et al., 2011), are wider and higher, more reminiscent of Burnhamia daviesi, as well as later genera such as Eoplinthicus and Plinthicus (see Adnet et al., 2012).

valid after Ebersole et al. (2019) p. 144 [27789];

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