Leidybatis jugosus ( Leidy, 1876 ),

Ebersole, Jun A., Cicimurri, David J. & Stringer, Gary L., 2019, Taxonomy and biostratigraphy of the elasmobranchs and bony fishes (Chondrichthyes and Osteichthyes) of the lower-to-middle Eocene (Ypresian to Bartonian) Claiborne Group in Alabama, USA, inclu, European Journal of Taxonomy 585, pp. 1-274: 140-144

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Leidybatis jugosus ( Leidy, 1876 )


Leidybatis jugosus ( Leidy, 1876) 

Fig. 52View Fig

Myliobates jugosus Leidy, 1876, p. 86  .

Myliobates jugosus – Leidy 1877: 240  , pl. 31, figs 4–5.

Myliobatis cf. jugosus – Leriche 1905: 182  , pl. 52.

Myliobatis jugosus – Leriche 1942: 26  .

Leidybatis jugosus – Cappetta 1986: 189  , pl. 4c. — Van den Eeckhaut & De Schutter 2009: 22, figs 5–7. Leidybatis cf. jugosus – Clayton et al. 2013: 64  , pl. 4a–c.

Material examined

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Alabama • 71 isolated teeth; Claiborne Group ; ALMNH PV1992.28.21, ALMNH PV1992.28.6.3, MMNS VP-5643 (2 specimens), MMNS VP-8189 (6 specimens), MMNS VP-8224 (5 specimens), MSC 35005, MSC 37080, MSC 37081, MSC 37082 (4 specimens), MSC 37083, MSC 37084, MSC 37085, MSC 37086, MSC 37135, MSC 37135, MSC 37249 (2 specimens), MSC 37256, MSC 37257 (3 specimens), MSC 37282, MSC 37291, MSC 37321 (3 specimens), MSC 37681, MSC 38829 (3 specimens), MSC 38876View Materials (2 specimens), MSC 38948View Materials, NJSM 24033View Materials, SC 2012.47.16, SC 2012.47.17 (2 specimens), SC 2012.47.197 (3 specimens), SC 2012.47.198, SC 2012.47.199, SC 2012.47.200, SC 2012.47.201 (2 specimens), SC 2012.47.202, SC 2012.47.203 (2 specimens), SC 2012.47.204, WSU 18View Materials, WSU 30View Materials, WSU CC 513View Materials (2 specimens), WSU CC 522View Materials (2 specimens), WSU 5009View Materials (3 specimens)  .


Median teeth very wide and narrow. All median teeth with distinctive swelling on the crown; swelling generally located medially but can be closer to the lateral margin (resulting in an asymmetrical labial/ lingual outline). Swelling is in contrast to remainder of crown, which is dorsoventrally very thin. Occlusal surface has thick enameloid covering that is heavily tuberculated on unworn parts of tooth; surface is punctate where enameloid is missing, due to in vivo use or taphonomic processes (in vivo use is indicated by flat wear facets that on the highly convex portion of the crown of some teeth). Labial crown face overhangs the root; lingual face with thick and rounded transverse ridge at the crown base. Labial and lingual crown faces possess coarse parallel vertical folds that anastomose and become finer apically. Distal ends of crown angular. Root at least as high as thinnest part of crown; is subdivided into thin lamellae by evenly spaced nutritive grooves. Lamellae do not extend lingually past the crown. Lateral teeth are six-sided, nearly symmetrical. Lateral teeth with same tuberculation and wrinkling as observed on median teeth, but root subdivided into only two or three lamellae.


Ascribing the teeth described above to a particular species is complicated by the fact that fossil Myliobatidae  are often based on a single median tooth, and our knowledge of how the tooth was incorporated into the upper or lower dentition is far from complete. Whole and even partial upper and lower dentitions are more informative, but as Hovestadt & Hovestadt-Euler (2013) have recently shown, there can be a great deal of intraspecific variation within the dentitions of extant species. Several fossil species based on isolated median teeth, including Myliobatis siculus Salinas, 1901  , M. pachyrhizodus Fowler, 1911  , M. tumidens Woodward, 1889  , and M. jugosus Leidy, 1876  , are very convex, but this phenomenon can largely be attributed to the teeth being from the upper dentition (i.e., see description for Aetomylaeus  above). Leidy’s (1876) taxon, the jugosus  morphology, has unusually convex median teeth like the ones from the Lisbon Formation we described above. Cappetta (1986) erected the genus Leidybatis  to include the jugosus  morphology, as well as his new species, L. granulosus  . Mendiola (1999) named several species of Leidybatis  , but Cappetta (2012) considered those species as a nomina dubia because they lacked stratigraphic context. Hovestadt & Hovestadt-Euler (2013) indicated that the various tooth morphologies attributed to Leidybatis  fall within the range they observed in extant species of Aetomylaeus  and Myliobatis  , and they considered L. jugosus  as a nomen dubium. However, Leidybatis  possess labial and lingual ornamentation of parallel vertical folds, which contrasts with the pitting and granulation seen on these areas of Aetomylaeus  teeth ( Leidy 1877; Cappetta 1986; Mendiola 1999; Cappetta 2012; Hovestadt & Hovestadt-Euler 2013). In addition, the labial root face is vertical on Leidybatis  teeth and root lobes do not extend lingually past the crown base. This contrasts with the roots of Myliobatis  and Aetomylaeus  , which have oblique labial faces and the lobes very conspicuously extend past the lingual crown face.

The root characteristics of Leidybatis  are similar to the condition seen on Rhinoptera  teeth, and specimens illustrated by Cappetta (1986: fig. 3, 1–8) indicate that L. granulosus  had lateral teeth of decreasing width like Rhinoptera  . In support of this is a Leidybatis  lateral tooth morphology that is comparable to those within more proximal lateral rows of a Rhinoptera  dentition. SC 2012.47.202 ( Fig. 52View Fig SS–TT) is twice as wide as long and is similar to Rhinoptera  lateral teeth in our Claiborne sample. We assign this tooth to Leidybatis  based on the distinctly ornamented occlusal surface and lingual and labial crown ornamentation that is identical to that on the median teeth described above.

We herein support the validity of Leidybatis  based on our samples of Myliobatinae  and Rhinopterinae  teeth from the Tallahatta and Lisbon formations. As mentioned above, the labial and lingual vertical wrinkling on Leidybatis  teeth contrasts with the ornamentation we observed on Aetomylaeus  teeth from both formations. If one considered the Leidybatis  morphology aberrant, as do Hovestadt & Hovestadt- Euler (2013), the labial and lingual ornamentation of teeth should still serve as a generic identifier. As an example, we examined a partial Aetomylaeus  median tooth ( MSC 37079View Materials, Fig. 46View Fig EE–II) that exhibits a convex medial portion but thinner lateral side, similar to Leidybatis  . The vertical wrinkling seen on Pseudaetobatus (Tallahatta Formation)  and Aetobatus  (Lisbon Formation) is much weaker than that of Leidybatis  , and the root lobes of the former two taxa conspicuously extend lingually past the crown. Lastly, a conspicuous feature of Leidybatis  teeth is the thick enameloid covering on the crown, which is tuberculated on the occlusal surface. This contrasts with the smooth enameloid occurring on all other Myliobatinae  and Rhinopterinae  teeth within Claibornian strata.

Within the species of Leidybatis  , the crowns of L. granulosus  , L. rusticus  , and L. zemensis  appear to be more uniformly convex than L. jugosus  . MSC 35005View Materials ( Fig. 52View Fig A–E) is virtually identical to the type specimen illustrated by Leidy (1877: pl. 31, figs 4–5) and Hovestadt & Hovestadt-Euler (2013: pl. 49, fig. 19), and it compares closely with a specimen from the middle Eocene of western Africa shown by Cappetta (1986: pl. 2, fig. 4). Leidy (1877) made no mention of the tuberculated ornamentation we observed on our Claiborne specimens, and he attributed the “dull” surface and thinness of the lateral parts of the crown to in vivo usage. The apparent lack of ornament on Leidy’s illustrated specimen could be the result of wear or poor representation by the illustrator, but our Claiborne specimens show that the thinness of the sides of the crown reflects the natural morphology of the tooth. Four specimens within our sample indicate a degree of heterodonty within the median row of Leidybatis  dentitions. MSC 37082View Materials ( Fig. 52View Fig T–X) has a broad but very low convexity that is skewed to one side of the tooth. MSC 37086View Materials ( Fig. 52View Fig K–O) has a more convex swelling that is also offset to one side of the crown, and the shoulders are more elongated than on MSC 37082View Materials. MSC 37083View Materials ( Fig. 52View Fig NN–RR) is a smaller tooth with high, medially located swelling and short shoulders, whereas MSC 35005View Materials (a much larger tooth, Fig. 52View Fig A–E) has a very high medial swelling and elongated shoulders. Unfortunately, we lack dentitions and cannot accurately distinguish upper from lower teeth, but we believe the Lisbon sample represents intraspecific variation within a single species. There is currently no evidence to suggest that the two tooth fragments from the Tallahatta Formation are not conspecific with L. jugosus  .

Stratigraphic and geographic range in Alabama

Two tooth fragments were collected from the lower Tallahatta Formation at site ADl-1. The remaining sample is from the contact of the Tallahatta and Lisbon formations at sites ACh-14 and ACov-11, and the basal Lisbon Formation at site ACov-11. Upper Ypresian to middle Lutetian, zones NP14 and NP15.


Alabama Museum of Natural History














Leidybatis jugosus ( Leidy, 1876 )

Ebersole, Jun A., Cicimurri, David J. & Stringer, Gary L. 2019

Myliobates jugosus –

Leidy J. 1877: 240

Myliobatis cf. jugosus –

Leriche M. 1905: 182

Myliobatis jugosus –

Leriche M. 1942: 26

Leidybatis jugosus –

Clayton A. A. & Ciampaglio, C. N. & Cicimurri, D. J. 2013: 64
Van den Eeckhaut G. & De Schutter P. 2009: 22
Cappetta H. 1986: 189