Lionel Cavin

Lionel Cavin
Natural History Museum, Geneva, Switzerland · geology and palaeontology

About

200
Publications
76,317
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3,298
Citations
Introduction
Lionel Cavin currently works at the geology and palaeontology department, Natural History Museum, Geneva, Switzerland. Lionel does research in Paleontology and Biogeography, with a special focus on bony fishes from the Mesozoic.
Additional affiliations
January 2006 - present
Natural History Museum of Geneva
Position
  • Curator / head of department

Publications

Publications (200)
Article
Coelacanths form a clade of sarcopterygian fish represented today by a single genus, Latimeria. The fossil record of the group, which dates back to the Early Devonian, is sparse. In Switzerland, only Triassic sites in the east and southeast of the country have yielded fossils of coelacanths. Here, we describe and study the very first coelacanth of...
Article
Full-text available
The global body-fossil record of marine ‘fishes’ from the time interval immediately preceding the Cretaceous–Paleogene Extinction is markedly poor. This deficiency appears to be further exacerbated with regards to offshore and deep-water taxa, obscuring our understanding of the state and composition of corresponding vertebrate faunas at the onset o...
Article
Full-text available
Today, the only living genus of coelacanth, Latimeria is represented by two species along the eastern coast of Africa and in Indonesia. This sarcopterygian fish is nicknamed a "living fossil", in particular because of its slow evolution. The large geographical distribution of Latimeria may be a reason for the great resilience to extinction of this...
Article
Full-text available
The positive correlation between speciation rates and morphological evolution expressed by body size is a macroevolutionary trait of vertebrates. Although taxic diversification and morphological evolution are slow in coelacanths, their fossil record indicates that large and small species coexisted, which calls into question the link between morphol...
Article
Full-text available
The Late Jurassic Allosaurus is one of the better-studied dinosaurs. A histological and geochemical study of a tibia and a femur of A. fragilis recovered in the Upper Jurassic Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, Utah, United States has been done in order to address growth characteristics of this species. The two bones, probably belonging to separate i...
Article
The Recent re-/discovery of unusual Lower Cretaceous continental sediments (dysodiles) brings important and exceptional paleontological assets. Dysodile beds are found in many localities across Lebanon and are characterized by their high organic matter content and their richness in exceptionally well-preserved fossils. We focus our study on five sa...
Preprint
Full-text available
The positive correlation between speciation rates and morphological evolution expressed by body size is a macroevolutionary trait of vertebrates. Although taxic diversification and morphological evolution are slow in coelacanths, their fossil record indicates that large and small species coexisted, which calls into question the link between morphol...
Article
New and well-preserved fossil fish material from the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) of Haqel, Lebanon, is assigned to Spathiurus dorsalis Davis, 1887. Spathiurus dorsalis and Amphilaphurus major are found to be synonymous. A complete re-description of this taxon is provided and delivers new recognized anatomical information, mainly cranial features....
Article
Full-text available
Coelacanths are iconic fishes represented today by a single marine genus. The group was a little bit more diversified in the Mesozoic, with representatives in marine and continental environments in the Late Cretaceous. Here we describe isolated skull bones of the last know freshwater coelacanths found in several fossil sites from the Early Campania...
Article
The Australian Mesozoic fish fauna is considered to be depauperate in comparison with fish faunas in the Northern Hemisphere. However, due to its geographical location as a potential radiation center in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia’s Mesozoic fish fauna is important for understanding fish radiations. Most of the modern fish groups originated...
Data
photogrammetric rendering of the Bas Veudal trackway
Article
Full-text available
The Mesozoic sedimentary cover of the Aiguilles Rouges Massif straddling the Swiss-French border has yielded several archosaur footprint sites dated to the Early or Middle Triassic and composed of mostly poorly preserved footprints lacking any orderly arrangement and resting on a megatracksite level. Here we describe two short archosaur trackways a...
Article
Full-text available
Both biotic and abiotic factors likely played a role in influencing the diversification patterns of clades. Although the role of environmental forcing on the long-term evolution of biodiversity has been explored for invertebrate clades, little is known about how vertebrates groups responded to environmental changes. Among vertebrates, fishes (ray-f...
Article
Lepidotes bernissartensis is a species of holostean ray-finned fish from the Barremian-Aptian of Bernissart, Belgium, described by Traquair in 1911. We provide here a revision of its anatomy, which led us to include this species in the genus Scheenstia, and to consider L. brevifulcratus and L. arcuatus, both from the same site, synonymous with S. b...
Article
Full-text available
The vertebrate skull varies widely in shape, accommodating diverse strategies of feeding and predation. The braincase is composed of several flat bones that meet at flexible joints called sutures. Nearly all vertebrates have a prominent ‘coronal’ suture that separates the front and back of the skull. This suture can develop entirely within mesoderm...
Conference Paper
Coelacanths, or Actinista, form a clade of sarcopterygian fishes with a proportionally low taxic diversity and low morphological disparity since their appearance in the fossil record in the Early Devonian. Small peaks of taxic diversity occurred in the Early Triassic and in the Late Jurassic. The morphological disparity was proportionally high in t...
Article
Full-text available
Tooth replacement in vertebrates is extremely diverse, and its study in extinct taxa gives insights into the evolution of the different dental renewal modes. Based on μ‐CT scans of a left lower jaw of the extinct fish †Scheenstia (Actinopterygii, Lepisosteiformes), we describe in detail a peculiar tooth replacement mode that is, as far as we could...
Article
A few pycnodont remains from lower Campanian continental deposits of the Villeveyrac e L'Olivet site, southern France, are described. Isolated elements are identified as a fragment of vomer and a fragment of prearticular referred to cf. Phacodus. The specimens are very small in size and correspond to tiny individuals of pycnodonts. Because most of...
Article
Dugaldia emmilta is a teleostean fish found in the late Albian Toolebuc Formation in Queensland, Australia. In the original description, D. emmilta was attributed to the Neoteleostei because of the presence of a tripartite occipital condyle, and the species was postulated to have a basal position among neoteleosteans because of the presence of seve...
Article
In this paper, we report on a new Early Cretaceous vertebrate locality, Phu Din Daeng, in Nakhon Phanom Province, NE Thailand. The Phu Din Daeng site has yielded a diverse vertebrate assemblage, including sharks (Heteroptychodus steinmanni), bony fishes (Pycnodontiformes; Sinamiidae cf. Siamamia and ?Vidalamiinae, and Ginglymodi), adocid turtles, i...
Presentation
Full-text available
Les dysodiles sont des roches sédimentaires formées par la superposition de feuillets millimétriques riches en matière organique et en fossiles. Au début du XIXe siècle des citations mentionnent leur présence dans des couches géologiques lacustres du Liban, sans préciser leur environnement de dépôt et la paléobiodiversité qu’ils renferment. Notre é...
Article
Full-text available
Mawsoniids is a well-defined family of Mesozoic coelacanths ranging from the Late Triassic to the Late Cretaceous. They dwelled in marine and freshwater environments, and most species are characterized by the presence of ossified ribs, coarse rugosities of the dermatocranium and cheek bones, spiracular and suboperculum usually absent, and reduction...
Book
D’abord connu au travers de ses nombreux fossiles ­retrouvés au XIXe siècle, le cœlacanthe a longtemps fait partie des espèces disparues. Jusqu’à ce jour de 1938 où la Sud-Africaine Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer le trouve « vivant » sur le bateau d’un pêcheur, une découverte à l’origine de son nom scienti­fique de Latimeria. Ce poisson aux caractérist...
Article
Ichthyoliths (fossil fish microremains) from geological core samples are commonly recorded and where present allow dating and contribute to the knowledge of the evolution of fish faunas through time (see, for instance, Sibert et al., 2014; Sibert and Norris, 2015, for the Ocean Drilling Program). However, reports of articulated fish specimens in co...
Conference Paper
Since the resurrection of the Holostei by Lance Grande in 2010, much progress has been done in the understanding of the content and intrarelationships within this clade of actinopterygian fishes. In particular, it has been shown that the living gars (Lepisosteidae) are rooted in a clade of Mesozoic fishes previously integrated in the 'Lepidotes-Sem...
Presentation
Full-text available
Dysodiles were first described by Cordier in 1808. They are characterized by their fine laminations, organic content and richness in fossils. In Lebanon, these rocks croup out in different lacustrine geological formations. They were scarcely mentioned in the literature by the end of the 19th century-beginning of the 20th. Accordingly, old citations...
Conference Paper
The Sidi Aich Formation of the Chotts basin of southern Tunisia has yielded an upper Barremian fossil assemblage with coniferal plant remains, freshwater conchostracans, shrimps and fishes. The specimens are exquisitely well preserved in a fine grey claystone showing varved sequences interpreted as permanent inner foreshore ponds that received epis...
Book
Avec plus de 15 000 espèces, soit près d’un quart du nombre total d’espèces de vertébrés, les poissons d’eau douce sont extrêmement diversifiés. Parmi eux se trouvent les plus grandes espèces de poissons – l’esturgeon béluga et ses 7 mètres de longueur – et les plus petites, telles que le Paedocypris qui ne mesure que 8 millimètres. Certaines espèc...
Article
Full-text available
Fishes are characterized by their capacity to occupy all aquatic environments and by their amazing range of size and morphology. While it is known that habitat influenced the diversity dynamics of fish clades, studies on environmental colonization events through the evolutionary history of ray-finned fishes have yielded conflicting results as to th...
Article
A new genus and new species of ginglymodian is described from the Aptian Grès supérieurs Formation of the Savannakhet Basin, Laos (Lao People's Democratic Republic), found at the Ban Lamthouay locality. The fish is known from a single isolated head, which shows enough diagnostic characters to characterize a new taxon. It represents the first named...
Chapter
Freshwater environments, which include all continental aquatic environments, are difficult to define. As the name indicates, freshwater is characterized by low concentrations of salt as opposed to seawater (the term “sweetwater” is also used as a synonym for “freshwater”). Generally, freshwater is defined as containing less than 0.05% of dissolved...
Chapter
The Triassic, which occurred from 252 to 201 million years ago, was a period when the continental grouping was at its most intact. Almost all of the current continents were grouped within Pangaea and surrounded by Panthalassa, an immense ocean. Pangaea was largely divided by an ocean open to the east that separated Laurasia in the north from Gondwa...
Chapter
The process of vicariance is the reasonable starting hypothesis for all biogeographical analyses explaining a disjointed distribution because it involves the least amount of assumptions. However, when studying a biogeographical scenario, it often appears that the initial hypothesis is not supported by the data, whether the data come from phylogenet...
Chapter
During the Paleogene, from 66 to 23 million years ago, the face of the Earth began to resemble what we know it as today. However, India had only just begun to collide with Eurasia, South America was separated from North America, and Europe, where the Alps have not yet uplifted, was separated from Asia by the Turgai Strait. The climate was still hot...
Chapter
The clades presented in this chapter are organized according to the recent classification of Betancur et al. Based on a molecular phylogenetic analysis of the modern families, with some modifications mentioned in the text. The extinct families were placed in this phylogeny based on the works of various authors that are not all mentioned.
Article
Full-text available
The extinct group of the Pycnodontiformes is one of the most characteristic components of the Mesozoic and early Cenozoic fish faunas. These ray-finned fishes, which underwent an explosive morphological diversification during the Late Cretaceous, are generally regarded as typical shell-crushers. Here we report unusual cutting-type dentitions from t...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter illustrates how palaeontology helps to retrace the evolution of African fish, and what can be learned about their palaeobiogeography, adaptation and ancient environment. The first part (1. Africa and fish through geological time) is a presentation of the fish fossil record within the environmental contexts that prevailed in continental...
Article
Full-text available
A bizarre latimeriid coelacanth fish from the Middle Triassic of Switzerland shows skeletal features deviating from the uniform anatomy of coelacanths. The new form is closely related to a modern-looking coelacanth found in the same locality and differences between both are attributed to heterochronic evolution. Most of the modified osteological st...
Article
Full-text available
Remains of a coelacanth specimen are described from Rhaetian deposits of the Var Department, southeastern France. They comprise the lower part of a branchial apparatus associated with a left lower jaw and a basisphenoid. Osteological features of the angular and basisphenoid and the teeth ornamentation allow the inclusion of the specimen in the maws...
Article
Environmental drivers shape freshwater alpha-diversities. The Khorat Group in northeastern Thailand is a succession of fi ve continental formations ranging from the Middle? Jurassic with the lower part of the Phu Kradung to the Aptian with the Khok Kruat Formation. In order to identify ecological traits of the palaeocenoses, we focus here on biolog...
Article
Latimeria chalumnae (Actinistia) was regarded as the ‘ancestor of the four-legged vertebrates’ and rapidly became the iconic example of a ‘living fossil’. Although its evolutionary position close to the origin of tetrapods is now dismissed, the question of its evolutionary pace is still a matter of debate. The UNESCOs’ World Heritage Monte San Gior...
Article
Freshwater fi shes are supposedly good case studies to test palaeobiogeographical models because they are attached to land masses, at least primary freshwater fi shes, which are unable to cross marine barriers. In this study, I review the literature about the fossil record and about the phylogeny of various freshwater fi sh groups in order to addre...
Presentation
Full-text available
A short summary about the Mesozoic geology of Thailand meeting and the progress in Mesozoic fish research in the country.
Chapter
Full-text available
Le plateau des Hamadas, situé au sud du Haut Atlas marocain, contient de nombreux fossiles de vertébrés qui constituent une succession de faunes provenant d’environnements divers sur une période de près de 10 millions d’années à la base du Crétacé supérieur. La base de la série crétacée est constituée des formations Ifezouane et Aoufous, correspond...
Chapter
Les poissons forment un grade d’environ 32 000 espèces actuelles, représenté par six clades : les myxines, les lamproies, les chondrichthyens, les actinoptérygiens, les dipneustes et les coelacanthes. Connus depuis l’Ordovicien, leur riche histoire évolutive se traduit par une grande diversité morphologique et une adaptation à la majorité des envir...
Book
With more than 15,000 species, nearly a quarter of the total number of vertebrate species on Earth, freshwater fishes are extremely varied. They include the largest fish species, the beluga at over 7 meters long, and the smallest, the Paedocypris at just 8 millimeters, as well as the carnivorous, such as the piranha, and the calm, such as the Chine...
Data
Terminal taxa used in the cladistic analysis
Article
Full-text available
On the basis of nine lithostratigraphical profiles, 23 cephalopods taxa (nautilus and ammonites) are described from the Preafrican Trough and the Kem Kem region. Among them, a new species is proposed: Spathites (Jeanrogericeras) asflaensis nov. sp. This fauna is placed in its biostratigraphical framework and correlated with the standard zonation of...
Article
Genomic GC content can vary locally, and GC-rich regions are usually associated with increased DNA thermostability in thermophilic prokaryotes and warm-blooded eukaryotes. Among vertebrates, fish and amphibians appeared to possess a distinctly less heterogeneous AT/GC organization in their genomes, whereas cytogenetically detectable GC heterogeneit...
Article
Spinosaurs represent a group of peculiar theropod dinosaurs that have often been described as “crocodile-mimic”, predominantly fish-eating predators, and recently claimed to have been semi-aquatic animals. Here we report a suite of craniodental characters unexpectedly shared by spinosaurs and pike conger eels. Pike conger eels are predatory, mainly...
Article
Full-text available
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) and Elasmobranchii (sharks, skates and rays) represent more than half of today's vertebrate taxic diversity (approximately 33000 species) and form the largest component of vertebrate diversity in extant aquatic ecosystems. Yet, patterns of 'fish' evolutionary history remain insufficiently understood and previous s...
Article
A new ginglymodian fish, Khoratichthys gibbus, gen. et sp. nov., is described based on the impression of a single articulated fish preserved on a sandstone slab from the Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous Phu Kradung Formation, northeastern Thailand. Khoratichthys gibbus is characterized by a distinct humpbacked body with elongate posterior spines on t...
Article
In 1963, N. Tabaste described disconnected fossil material from the Saharan Cenomanian site of Gara Tabroumit, and especially three sets of isolated scales that she all referred to the genus Lepidotes. Although the rhomboid shape and overall morphology of one set of scales allow regarding them as ganoid scales, the external aspect of the ganoine is...
Data
Full-text available
Article
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Lithostratigraphic, paleoenvironmental and sequential evolution of the Cenomanian Lower Turonian in the Guir area (western Algeria). The lithostratigraphy, paleoenvironment and sequence stratigraphy of the Cretaceous succession outcropping at the southern foot of the Saharan Atlas (south-western Algeria) are discussed in this work. Our current stud...