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Keywords:

  • Ammonoidea;
  • Gaudryceras;
  • lower jaw;
  • beccublast cell imprint;
  • buccal mass;
  • feeding;
  • Cretaceous;
  • Hokkaido

A rhynchaptychus attributed to the lower jaw of Gaudryceras sp. from the Upper Santonian rocks of Hokkaido, Japan, has an interesting impression well-preserved on the inner surface of the outer lamella. The impression is regarded as the imprints of chitin-secreting cells (beccublast cells), because of similarity in the characteristic arrangement of polygonal pits to those of modern coleoids. Each unit cell impression of G. sp. is, however, about five to ten times larger than in modern coleoids known to us. In modern coleoids and Nautilus a layer of tall beccublast cells is intercalated between the buecal muscles and the outer side of the upper jaw and/or the inner side of the lower jaw. The other sides of the jaws are, in contrast, free from jaw muscles, and are covered directly with a thin connecting tissue. Based on these observations a possible buecal mass structure of G. sp. is restored. The beccublast cell impressions of Gaudryceras and modern coleoids markedly differ from that of modern Nautilus in the absence of numerous micropores. This fact suggests weaker mechanical properties of the jaw muscles in Gaudryceras than in Nautilus, as the branching ends of beccublast cells of the latter are inserted in the micropores to keep a firm attachment of the jaw muscles on the jaw plates.