The Campanian (Upper Cretaceous) seep carbonate at Omagari (Hokkaido, Japan) yields a monospecific association of the terebratulide brachiopod Eucalathis methanophila Bitner sp. nov. The association is the only occurrence of brachiopods known from the post-Early Cretaceous history of chemosynthesis-based communities. Unlike many earlier rhynchonellide-dominated hydrocarbon seep associations—which disappeared in Aptian times—this association is composed of chlidonophorid terebratulides. It is hypothesised here that large rhynchonellide brachiopods have been outcompeted from chemosynthesis-based associations by large chemosymbiotic bivalves (especially lucinids) and that this seep association containing numerous terebratulide brachiopods originated as a result of immigration from the background fauna settling in a seep that lacked numerous large bivalves but offered some hard substrates for brachiopod attachment. Some living chlidonophorids are known to settle around seep/vent localities or more generally in deep-water hard-substrate settings. We review occurrences of brachiopods in chemosynthesis-based associations and show that brachiopods immigrated repeatedly to seep/vent environments. Eucalathis methanophila Bitner sp. nov. represents the oldest and single Mesozoic record of the genus. The new species is similar in ornamentation to three living species, Indo-Pacific E. murrayi, eastern Atlantic E. tuberata, and Caribbean E. cubensis but differs in having a higher beak and wider loop. Additionally the studied species is nearly twice as large as E. tuberata.
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