Late Cretaceous Elasmobranchs from the Eutaw Formation at Luxapalila Creek, Lowndes County, Mississippi


  • David J Cicimurri South Carolina State Museum, 301 Gervais Street, Columbia 29201
  • Charles N Ciampaglio Wright State University, 7600 Lake Campus Drive, Celina, Ohio 45822
  • Katelyn E Runyon Wright State University, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, Ohio 45435


Elasmobranchii, Chondrichthyes, Mississippi, Eutaw Formation, Cretaceous


A diverse vertebrate assemblage was recovered from the Eutaw Formation along a stretch of Luxapalila Creek in Lowndes County, Mississippi. The assemblage is dominated by elasmobranchs but also includes osteichthyans (seven species), archosaurs (one crocodilian, two dinosaurs), and turtles (trionychid and chelonioid). Twenty one elasmobranch taxa were identified (14 selachians and seven batoids), including new species Meristodonoides multiplicatus, Lonchidion cristatum, and Cantioscyllium grandis. Our sample also enabled us to expand the known range of variation for some other poorly diagnosed species. The elasmobranch assemblage consists predominantly of species with presumed benthic habits (14), including the orectolobiform sharks and sclerorhynchid rays, whereas the seven lamniform sharks represent pelagic species. We believe that the sharks and rays inhabited a warm-water, nearshore marine environment.

Stratigraphic occurrence of fossils recovered during our study. A) Photograph showing exposure of Eutaw Member strata along south bank of Luxapalila Creek. Solid yellow lines indicate boundaries between beds. B) Simplified stratigraphic column for exposure seen in A (legend shown along bottom). Figure by C.N. Ciampaglio