New actinopterygians from the Permian of the Brive Basin, and the ichthyofaunas of the French Massif Central


A new actinopterygian fauna from the Permian of the Brive Basin (Corrèze, Massif Central, France) is described in detail. It is represented by a new pygopterid taxon, Briveichthys chantepieorum gen. et sp. nov., erected and described here on the basis of several well-preserved specimens showing peculiar characters in the bones of the skull roof, parasphenoid, bones of the cheek and opercular apparatus. Other specimens from this new fauna are also described; they are referred to Progyrolepis heyleri Poplin, 1999, also known in the Bourbon-l’Archambault Basin, and Aeduella cf. blainvillei, which is relatively common in the Permian of France. These discoveries show the importance of the Brive Basin which was previously considered as a rather barren basin in term of palaeontology. This new fauna from Brive is compared with the other Permian ichthyofaunas from France: it is less rich in terms of specimen numbers than the faunas of Bourbon-l’Archambault and Autun, but it is more diversified in terms of number of taxa than the faunas of Lodève and L’Argentière (Ardêche). These actinopterygians, together with other aquatic vertebrates (e.g., acanthodians, sharks etc.), were widespread and diversified in the Hercynian Mountain Chain during the Permian. They indicate that the French basins were connected in time and space. The wide distribution of these aquatic taxa may have been favoured by numerous hydric systems (lakes, rivers etc.) which were well developed under the tropical climate.

Key words

Actinopterygii, anatomy, Permian, Brive Basin, French Massif Central