Geological Magazine


Studies of tooth implantation in fossil tetrapods using high-resolution X-radiography

N. C. Frasera1 and C. G. Sheltona2

a1 Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EJ

a2 Shell Research Ltd., Thornton Research Centre, P.O. Box 1, Chester CHI 3SH


The concept that reptilian tooth implantations fall neatly into a number of separate categories which can be used in phylogenetic studies is called into question. The use of microfocal X-radiography in preliminary studies of reptilian dentitions reveals that, at least in sphenodontids, there is no clear distinction between acrodonty and pleurodonty. Although the technique is used here specifically in connection with microvertebrates, it may have considerable potential in evaluating internal structures in a wide range of fossils.

(Received June 05 1987)

(Accepted October 03 1987)