• Ammonoidea;
  • Cretaceous;
  • feeding habits;
  • jaw apparatus;
  • Phylloceratina

The jaw apparatuses of two species of Late Cretaceous Phylloceratina (Ammonoidea), Hypophylloceras subramosum and Phyllopachyceras ezoensis, are described on the basis of well-preserved in situ material from Hokkaido, Japan. Gross morphological and X-ray CT observations reveal that the upper and lower jaws of the two species are essentially similar in their overall structure. Their upper jaws consist of a shorter outer lamella and a pair of larger, wing-like inner lamellae that become narrower and join together in the anterior portion, as in those of other ammonoids. The upper jaws of the two phylloceratid species are, however, distinguishable from those of other known ammonoids by the presence of a thick, arrowhead-shaped calcified rostral tip. The lower jaws of the two species consist of a short, reduced inner lamella and a large, gently convex outer lamella covered with a thin calcareous layer, the features of which are common with the rhynchaptychus-type lower jaws of the Cretaceous Lytoceratina. In the presence of a sharply pointed, thick calcareous tip on upper and lower jaws, the jaw apparatuses of the Phylloceratina resemble those of modern and fossil nautilids, suggesting that they were developed to serve a scavenging predatory feeding habit in deeper marine environments. This and other studies demonstrate that at least some Mesozoic rhyncholites and conchorhynchs are attributable to the Phylloceratina and Lytoceratina.