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The genus SphaerodinellaKeupp and Versteegh, 1989, became obsolete by the assignment of its type S. albatrosiana (Kamptner, 1963) to the genus CalciodinellumDeflandre, 1947. For the single remaining species of Sphaerodinella, which does not fit into the genus Calciodinellum, the new genus Caracomia is proposed, whose type is C. arctica (Gilbert and Clark, 1983) new genus, new combination. Additionally, a new species of Caracomia is described: Caracomia stella new genus and species. The regional distribution of the two species of Caracomia shows distinct regional preferences: Caracomia arctica is restricted to cold waters of both hemispheres, whereas Caracomia stella as yet has only been described from warmer environments. Thus, C. arctica can be used as a cold water indicator. Comparison of Caracomia with other genera has shown a close relationship to the type of Orthopithonella and exposed a common misinterpretation of this genus. Therefore, the genus Orthopithonella Keupp inKeupp and Mutterlose, 1984, is emended to unquestionably accommodate only the type O. gustafsonii.
Of the 33 caprinid rudist taxa reported from Albian strata in North America, only eighteen can be recognized unequivocally because many of the earlier named species were based on incomplete, altered, and poorly described specimens that do not meet rigorous criteria of modern rudist taxonomy. New data on five older taxa, “Caprina” crassifibraRoemer, 1849; “Caprina” guadalupeRoemer, 1849; “Caprina” occidentalisConrad, 1855; “Caprina” planataConrad, 1855, and “Icthyosarcolites” anguisRoemer, 1888, show that these species cannot be compared to current rudist taxa nor identified with certainty and therefore they should not be used in biostratigraphic, paleoecologic, or biogeographic studies. Four other taxa are poorly known and should not be used until the types or new material can be studied. Six taxa are considered here to be junior synonyms. New material collected from Upper Albian strata in West Texas, the type area of Conrad's taxa, can be identified as Kimbleia albrittoniPerkins, 1961; Kimbleia capacisCoogan, 1973; Texicaprina vivariPalmer, 1928; and Mexicaprina cornutaCoogan, 1973. The ranges of these four taxa define three zones within Upper Albian carbonates in central and west Texas.
Revision and redefinition of the Permian ammonoid genus YinocerasChao, 1954, is based upon examination of the holotype of its type species, Y. lenticulare Chao, plus new material collected from the Kungurian Dangchong Formation of central Hunan, China. Yinoceras is a valid yinoceratin genus within the pseudohaloritid Superfamily Pseudohaloritoidea, Suborder Tornoceratina, Order Goniatitida.
The Bathonian–Oxfordian ostreid fauna from the main ridge of the Tanggula Mountains of the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, China, consists of six taxa: Actinostreon gregareum (J. Sowerby, 1815), Actinostreon sp. A, Liostrea birmanicaReed, 1936, Gryphaea (Bilobissa) bilobata (J. de C. Sowerby, 1835), Nanogyra nana (J. Sowerby, 1822) and Eligmus rollandiDouvillé, 1907. Liostrea birmanica is only known from the eastern Tethys and south Xizang area, Eligmus rollandi is limited to the Tethys, G. (B.) bilobata occurs in northwest Europe and the northern Tethys, whereas A. gregareum and possibly N. nana have a complex global distribution between paleo-latitudes 60° north and south.
Actinosteon gregareum first occurs in the Sinemurian of northern Chile, and during the Toarcian it underwent trans-Pacific dispersal to arrive in east Africa. During the Bajocian it dispersed rapidly along the southern and northwestern margins of the Tethys, northwestern Europe, and western Canada (Stikine Terrane), but it disappeared from South America in the Aalenian. It occupied Kachchh, southern Xizang, and the northern and northeastern Tethys as early as the Bathonian but it did not reach the northwestern Pacific until the Late Jurassic. The species declined after the Kimmeridgian, being limited to northern Africa (southern Tunisia) and the northwestern Pacific (Japan) during the Tithonian. By the end of the Jurassic it was extinct.
Actinostreon gregareum apparently possessed very high fertility typical of opportunists that rapidly colonize new habitats. As a result of ocean current dispersal, presumably by both planktotrophic larvae and postlarval pseudoplankton, it rapidly spread along continental margins and island chains. Occasionally, either directly or by island hopping, it crossed the vast Tethys and Pacific oceans, colonizing all warm and temperate waters at low and intermediate paleolatitudes. It may also have used the Hispanic Corridor as a means of dispersal between the Tethys and Pacific oceans as early as the Toarcian.
A middle Cenomanian faunule from the Moonkinu Formation of Bathurst Island in Northern Australia contains the best-preserved suite of benthic Mollusca known from the Cretaceous of the Australian region. Twenty-four species of bivalves, gastropods, and scaphopods, many exquisitely preserved with original aragonitic nacre, are recognized. Thirteen are new: Nucula s.l. meadinga n. sp. (Nuculidae), Nuculana bathurstensis n. sp. (Nuculanidae), Jupiteria? n. sp. A (Nuculanidae), Varicorbula cretaustrina n. sp. (Corbulidae), Vanikoropsis demipleurus n. sp. (Vanikoridae), Euspira n. sp. A (Naticidae), Amuletum praeturriformis n. sp. (Turridae), Granosolarium cretasteum n. sp. (Architectonicidae), Echinimathilda moonkinua n. sp. (Mathildidae), Acteon bathurstensis n. sp. (Acteonidae), Biplica antichthona n. sp. (Ringiculidae), Goniocylichna australocylindricata n. sp. (Cylichnidae), and Dentalium (Dentalium) n. sp. A (Dentaliidae). Nominal species of Nuculana, Grammatodon, Cylichna, and Laevidentalium also are present. The occurrence of ammonites, including taxa that occur in the type Cenomanian, securely establishes the fauna as middle Cenomanian (Acanthoceras rhotomagense Zone). The Moonkinu Formation and its faunule were deposited in a high-energy, shallow-shelfal setting, as part of a large-scale regressive cycle recognized as the Money Shoals Platform of northern Australia. The assemblage represents a parauthochthonous suite which experienced little or no post mortem transport. Epifaunal and infaunal suspension feeders (some 60 percent) dominate the bivalve fauna with a subordinate representation of deposit-feeding infaunal burrowers (some 40 percent). Nearly all of the gastopods were carnivores with the aporrhaid Latiala mountnorrisi (Skwarko), probably a deposit feeder, the only exception. The scaphopods were probably micro-carnivores. Concentrations of the ammonite Sciponoceras glaessneri are likely the result of mass kills in surface waters. The cosmopolitan nature of the Bathurst Island fauna at the genus-level reflects unrestricted oceanic circulation patterns and an equitable climate on a global scale during the Cenomanian. The retreat and disappearance of the Australian epicontinental sea at the close of the Albian coincided with reduced endemism in the molluscan faunas, after which time the continental shelves hosted a rich suite of cosmopolitan affinity. The high number of endemic species in the Moonkinu Formation probably represents an early stage of broad-scale genetic separation among Southern Hemisphere molluscan stocks, a trend that became increasingly pronounced through the Late Cretaceous. The new records of Varicorbula, Amuletum, Granosolarium, Echinimathilda, and Goniocylichna represent the oldest occurrences recorded for these genera and are suggestive of Southern Hemisphere origins.
Fossil raninid crabs, Cretacoranina punctata (Rathbun, 1935), from the Pawpaw Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of Fort Worth, Texas, exhibit an unusual cuticular morphology. Comparison of the cuticle of extant Raninoides louisianensis to that of C. punctata reveals general similarities in endocuticular, exocuticular, and epicuticular ultrastructure; however, their gross morphology is strikingly different. The surface of the carapace of C. punctata appears pebbled, much like the surface of a basketball, with closely packed, hexagonal caps. In cross-section, these caps are the upper portion of fungiform structures within convoluted exocuticle. Along the anterior margin, anterolateral margins, and pterygostomial region of the carapace of C. punctata each cap dips slightly posteriorly, creating a series of tiny terraces. In contrast to terrace lines, questa lines, spines, and nodes that provide frictional resistance in interactions with coarse-grained sediments, the fine relief and contouring of the pebbled surface of the carapace of C. punctata provides frictional resistance in interactions with fine-grained sediments. Cretacoranina dichrous, C. trechmanni, C. testacea, and C. schloenbachi, as well as Eucorystes carteri were all found to possess variations of the exocuticular structures seen on C. punctata. This pebbled surface has not been recognized in any other decapod taxon, nor has its structure and function been described previously.
Numerous pygocephalomorph crustaceans occur with conchostracans, plants, fishes, amphibians, and amniotes in the Petrolia Formation (Leonardian Series, Lower Permian) of Baylor and Archer counties, Texas. Two pygocephalomorph species are represented; Mamayocaris serendipitous, new species, by hundreds of specimens that appear to be molted exoskeletons, and Paulocaris schrami, new species, by only a few specimens. Mamayocaris has been reported previously from the Lower Permian of Texas and South Dakota and the Upper Carboniferous of Illinois; Paulocaris was previously known only from South America. Associated plant assemblages are dominated by conifers accompanied by other Early Permian and some Late Carboniferous elements. Accompanying vertebrate remains include aquatic to fully terrestrial forms with close taxonomic ties to genera or families recorded in Upper Carboniferous deposits. The fossils are preserved in local deposits of thin (<2 cm), lenticular to nodular beds of limestone and thin (<15 cm) intervals of dark-gray claystone. These deposits accumulated in abandoned, standing-water segments of suspended-load fluvial channels. The archaic nature of these plant and animal assemblages supports previous interpretations that the Permian Petrolia Formation contains paleoenvironmentally isolated biotic elements characteristic of the Carboniferous and underscores prior depictions of the assemblages as relictual.
In cyclical Pennsylvanian strata, conodonts find their greatest stratigraphic utility as biotic signatures of physically defined stratigraphic entities (cycles, parasequences, high frequency sequences, etc.) rather then the primary means of stratigraphic subdivision (e.g., biostratigraphic interval zones). The practice of identifying depositional entities for purposes of regional correlation on the basis of their constituent conodont faunas is herein called conodont sequence biostratigraphy. In this paper, the concept is utilized to successfully correlate Pennsylvanian cycles of the Paradox basin with their Midcontinent counterparts.
The Honaker Trail section is the most accessible and well-studied succession of carbonate shelf strata in the Paradox basin. Approximately 350 m of cyclically bedded limestone, sandstone, and shale comprising 53 fifth-order cycles are exposed along the cliffs of the deeply entrenched San Juan River. Maximum transgressive facies of 19 cycles yielded Idiognathodus-Neognathodus- and/or Streptognathodus-dominated conodont faunas. Those from the Chimney Rock, Gothic, LHT-5, UHT-3, UHT-5, UHT-8, unnamed limestone, and Shafer correspond to faunas from the Verdigris, Lower Fort Scott, Altamont (Lake Neosho), Lost Branch, Hertha (Mound City), Swope (Hushpuckney), Dennis (Stark), and South Bend cycles of the Midcontinent, respectively. By extrapolation, all minor cycles of the Marmaton, Pleasanton, and Bronson Groups (except for the Critzer) also appear to have counterparts at Honaker Trail.
The position of the Desmoinesian–Missourian boundary in the Honaker Trail section can be approximated using conodonts in conjunction with fusulinids. The highest Desmoinesian conodont fauna, the Idiognathodus nodocarinatus fauna, occurs in cycle UHT-3 in the lower part of the Upper Honaker Trail sequence. The highest occurrence of Beedeina occurs in the same cycle. The lowest conodont fauna with the Missourian species I. eccentricus appears two cycles higher, in cycle UHT-5. Because in the Midcontinent region a small interval of strata separates the first appearance of I. eccentricus from the base of the Missourian, we place the base of the Missourian at the base of cycle UHT-4 (bed 105) at Honaker Trail. The appearance of Streptognathodus firmus and S. pawhuskaensis in the Shafer limestone indicates that the Missourian–Virgilian boundary lies slightly above or below this stratigraphic horizon.
Thermally unaltered conodont elements, brachiopods, and vertebrates were analyzed with reverse phase high profile liquid chromatography to locate and quantify amino acid remnants of the original organic matrix in the fossils. No consistent similarities in amino acid content were found in conodont taxa, and criteria based on organic residues appear to have no taxonomic significance in the fossils tested from these localities. However, hydroxyproline, an amino acid that is found in the collagen molecules of animals, as well as in the glycoproteins in the cell walls and reproductive tissues of certain plants, is represented in most taxa. The organic matter retained in the impermeable crowns of conodont elements might have been derived originally from a form of collagen. Biochemical analyses, correlated with histochemical tests, demonstrate that organic matter is an integral part of the hyaline tissue of the element crown and not the result of surface contamination. Tests of a range of vertebrate and invertebrate fossil hard tissues produced similar results. The analyses indicate that hyaline tissue in the conodont element crown is not a form of vertebrate enamel, which contains no collagen. Albid tissue, with little or no organic content, is not a form of vertebrate bone or dentine, both based on collagen and low in mineral. Although these results do not help to determine the phylogenetic affinities of conodont animals, they indicate that conodont elements do not contain hard tissues characteristic of vertebrate animals.
A recently discovered tetrapod-bearing locality (OMNH V1005) in the Upper Pennsylvanian Ada Formation of Oklahoma has produced the remains of six taxa: the pelycosaurian-grade synapsid Ophiacodon cf. mirus, an indeterminate sphenacodontian pelycosaur, the temnospondyl Eryops? sp., the rare diadectid Diasparactus zenos, and two unidentified taxa known only from jaw fragments. The skeletal material comprises an allochthonous assemblage transported by low-velocity currents prior to burial. Except for four articulated Ophiacodon vertebral segments, all fossil material recovered in situ was disarticulated. The bones were not exposed to prolonged periods of weathering prior to burial. OMNH V1005 records the first occurrence of Eryops, Diasparactus, and Ophiacodon from the Pennsylvanian of Oklahoma. The presence of Diasparactus zenos indicates that this species was not endemic to New Mexico, as formerly believed. An associated dentary provides the first well-preserved cheek teeth of Diasparactus zenos. Compared to other North American diadectid genera, these teeth resemble more closely those of Diadectes than those of Desmatodon. The occurrence of Ophiacodon mirus, which was previously known from Lower Permian strata of New Mexico, extends both the stratigraphic and geographic range of this species. The Ada assemblage resembles those found in Permo-Carboniferous deltaic deposits in the southwestern United States.
The Lower Permian (Late Wolfcampian) marginal marine facies of the Robledo Mountains Member (Hueco Formation) of the Robledo Mountains, New Mexico, contains a diverse ichnofauna dominated by vertebrate trackways. Four new arthropod ichnotaxa are described. Tonganoxichnus robledoensis new ichnospecies, consists of repeated small traces comprising imprints of anteriorly directed legs, an elongate tapering abdomen, and a thin tail. Hedriumichnus apacheensis new ichnogenus and ichnospecies consists of isolated small traces comprising imprints of laterally-directed legs, a broad tapering abdomen, and a short tail. Rotterodichnium major new ichnospecies is a large trace with imprints of the head and thorax, a long thin abdomen and three pairs of legs, increasing in length posteriorly. Quadrispinichna parvia new ichnogenus and ichnospecies consists of four diverging or sub-parallel linear or curvilinear imprints of approximately equal length.
Tonganoxichnus, previously known from the Upper Carboniferous of eastern Kansas, is interpreted as produced by a jumping monuran (an extinct group of wingless insects). Hedriumichnus, known only from the Robledo Mountains, is interpreted as the resting trace of a nymph of a primitive Ephemeroptera or Plecoptera. Rotterodichnium, previously known from the Lower Permian of Germany, is interpreted as the resting trace of a large dragonfly-like form (Protodonata, Odonata, or Megasecoptera). Quadrispinichna, previously recorded but not named, from the Lower Permian Ecca succession of South Africa, is interpreted as a resting trace of a crustacean. These rare traces increase our understanding of the diversity and behavior of nonmarine arthropod communities in the Lower Permian.
One hundred and five sauropod tracks were excavated from black shale of the Uhangri Formation (upper Cretaceous), Haenam County, South Chulla Province, Korea. The tracks are true manus prints (not undertracks) and were made by sauropod dinosaurs while swimming.