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A stenolaemate bryozoan fauna containing 20 species belonging to 18 genera is described from the Las Plantas and Las Aguaditas formations (Upper Ordovician, Sandbian) in San Juan Province, Precordillera of Western Argentina. One genus with one species is new: Argentinodictya lenticulata n. gen. n. sp. (Cryptostomata, Ptilodictyina). Four species are new: one trepostome Parvohallopora parvula n. sp., two cryptostomes Trigonodictya parvula n. sp. and Ptilodictya intermedia n. sp., and phyloporinine Chasmatopora rossae n. sp. The bryozoan assemblage of the Las Plantas Formation is more diverse than that of the Las Aguaditas Formation. Fourteen species are restricted to the Las Plantas Formation, five species occur in both formations, and one species is restricted to the Las Aguaditas Formation. Erect growth forms are dominant in the studied fauna. The majority of bryozoan taxa display palaeobiogeographic relations to Sandbian–Katian deposits of North America, with two species also known from the Katian of Europe.
The Visean–Serpukhovian boundary is not yet defined by a Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) but it is recognizable operationally by the appearance of the conodont Lochriea ziegleri in the L. nodosa–L. ziegleri chronocline. Foraminiferal successions across this boundary in the type area of the Serpukhovian Stage (Moscow Basin, Russia), elsewhere in Russia and in the central United States suggest that the appearances of Asteroarchaediscus postrugosus, Janischewskina delicata, Eolasiodiscus donbassicus, and specimens controversially referred to “Millerella tortula” are reliable, auxiliary indices to the base of the Serpukhovian. In southern Guizhou Province, China, Visean–Serpukhovian rock sequences from slope and platform settings have yielded rich associations of conodonts and foraminifers, respectively. The Nashui section is a leading candidate for the Serpukhovian GSSP because its slope deposits contain an uninterrupted record of conodont occurrences including the L. nodosa–L. ziegleri transition. Foraminifers recovered from the Nashui section are comparatively rare and include none of the basal Serpukhovian indices. In contrast, the nearby Yashui section represents a platform interior setting in which foraminifers flourished and conodonts were nearly absent. The base of the Serpukhovian at Yashui is marked approximately by the appearance of “tortula-like” specimens. Although it is not possible to correlate biostratigraphically between the Nashui and Yashui sections, the occurrence of “tortula-like” specimens at the Yashui section allows correlation with the mid-Venevian Substage of the Moscow Basin at a level coinciding with the appearance of L. ziegleri. Together, the slope and platform sections comprise an informative biostratigraphic reference area for micropaleontologic characterization of the Visean–Serpukhovian boundary in southern Guizhou.
Microscopic phosphatic scales are found in limestones and cherts from the 812–717 million year old Fifteenmile Group of the Yukon Territory. These enigmatic microfossils, which to date have not been identified in any other locality, display a diversity of intricate morphologies. Here we describe six new genera containing 17 new species of scale microfossils obtained from macerated limestone. We also revise existing taxa described originally from chert thin sections and now additionally freed from limestone by acid dissolution. New taxa described here are: Archaeoxybaphon serratacapacis n. sp., Archeoxybaphon serratapusilla n. sp., Paleoscutula inornata n. gen. n. sp., Paleoscutula serrata n. gen. n. sp., Paleoscutula convocationis n. gen n. sp., Hexacatillus allmonii n. gen. n. sp., Hexacatillus retetantillus n. sp., Quadrireticulum allisoniae n. gen. n. sp., Quadrireticulum palmaspinosum n. gen. n. sp., Circidentatus pistricis n. gen. n. sp., Circidentatus variodentatus n. gen. n. sp., Ospercapatera awramikii n. gen. n. sp., Circitorquis soccus n. gen. n. sp., Paleohexadictyon alexandrae n. sp., Paleomegasquama arctoa n. sp., Petasisquama petasus n. sp., and Thorakidictyon circireticulum n. gen. n. sp. Taxa described or amended here are Characodictyon skolopiumAllison and Hilgert, 1986, Paleohexadictyon myriotrematumAllison and Hilgert, 1986, Archeoxybaphon polykeramoides (Allison and Hilgert, 1986) emend., Paleohexadictyon litosum (Allison and Hilgert, 1986) emend., and Thorakidictyon myriocanthum (Allison and Hilgert, 1986) n. comb. Many eukaryotic clades include species with surficial scales but none provides a close morphological analog to the Fifteenmile scales. Nonetheless, comparative and functional morphology suggest that the diversification of heavily armored and morphologically complex cell-coverings records a changing ecological landscape in Neoproterozoic seas.
The Nayband Formation is one of the best known sedimentary units in central Iran. The type section consists of a thick succession of shale, siltstone, reef limestone and sandstone that is subdivided into five distinct members: Gelkan, Bidestan, Hoz-e-Sheykh, Howz-e- Khan and Qadir. Abundant and well-preserved framework-building scleractinian corals are included among the macrofossils of the Nayband Formation; these corals characterize the formation and are the subject of this study. The Hassan-Abad section, located in northeast Iran in Lute Block (northwest of Ferdows city), was chosen for detailed study and sampling. Analysis of sedimentary lithofacies and faunal assemblages in the Bidestan and the Howz-e-khan members indicate both biostromal and biohermal characters for the former shallow-water patch reefs and support a Norian to Rhaetian age. The useful biostratigraphic hydrozoan Heterastridium conglobatum was studied along with 14 taxa of scleractinian corals: Stylophyllopsis rudis, Distichophyllia norica, Paradistichophyllum dichotomum, Retiophyllia frechi, Retiophyllia norica, Retiophyllia robusta, Chondrocoenia schafhaeutli, Chondrocoenia ohmanni, Astraeomorpha crassisepta, Astraeomorpha confusa, Astraeomorpha minor, Procyclolites triadicus, Pamiroseris rectilamellosa, and Eocomoseris ramosa. These fossils clarify the stratigraphy of the Nayband Formation, as well as provide new information on the patch reefs and the framework constructors of these reefs.
New techniques involving three-dimensional (3D) data collection and landmark analysis provide an opportunity to make considerable advances in understanding blastoid morphology. This pilot study examines four species (Pentremites pyriformis, P. tulipaformis, P. fredericki n. sp. and P. meganae n. sp.) using 3D morphological variation and geometric morphometrics to discriminate between species. All specimens were collected from a single shale unit within the Upper Mississippian Glen Dean Formation near Hopkinsville, Kentucky. A 3D laser scanner was used to acquire 3D images for all specimens. Conservative blastoid thecal plating allowed the collection of 3D coordinates for a series of homologous landmarks from these laser images that fully describe specimen morphology. Data were analyzed using the R (language and environment for statistical computing and graphics) packages SHAPES and MCLUST. Mixture modeling identified and separated all four species based on shape alone. In addition, three new species were discovered during this study, including: Pentremites fredericki, P. meganae and Diploblastus fadigai.
Differences in the mineralogy of hinge teeth and inner shell layers in the family Dimyidae form the basis for a revision of genera. The stem genus Atreta (Late Triassic to Late Cretaceous) has aragonitic denticulate hinge teeth on the right valve articulating with pitted sockets on the left valve. The same arrangement is present in Neoatreta n. gen. (Paleocene? Miocene to Recent) but with the appearance of extensive calcitic overarching of the resilifer. In Dimyella (Eocene to Recent), aragonitic teeth and sockets are still present but are modified into hook shaped denticulate teeth with corresponding sockets. All three of these genera have inner aragonitic crossed-lamellar shell layers that extend well outside the pallial line. In contrast, Dimya (Eocene to Recent) and Basiliomya (Pliocene to Recent) comprise a second clade in which aragonitic hinge teeth are absent and hinge articulation is calcitic, derived from the calcitic rim. Dimya has only weak hinge articulation and has an aragonitic inner shell layer delimited by the pallial line; in Basiliomya calcitic hinge teeth are more prominent and the entire inner shell layer inside the pallial line is foliated calcite. Diploschiza (Cretaceous, Albian to Maastrichtian), here reinstated from synonymy with Atreta, is probably a precursor of the Dimya-Basiliomya clade based on incipient calcitic hinge teeth. Predation pressures probably drove the evolution of this cemented family from its original habitat on hardgrounds in moderately deep water into much greater depths or into cryptic habitats, including submarine caves.
New combinations are Dimyella malnatrensis (Corselli and Bernocchi), D. molokaia (Dall, Bartsch, and Rehder), D. similis (v. Koenen), Neoatreta dissimilis (Tate), N. filipina (Bartsch), N. kaiparaensis (Laws), N. phaidra (Woodring), and N. plana (Martin).
Two new, extinct taxa of peccaries from upper Miocene deposits of the western Amazon Basin provide the first data documenting the presence of these North American mammals in South America in the Miocene. One, Sylvochoerus woodburnei n. gen. n. sp., is allied morphologically to Tayassu pecari, whereas the second, Waldochoerus bassleri n. gen. n. sp., is more similar to Pecari tajacu. Both new taxa reflect an intermediate position between middle Miocene peccaries and modern Tayassu and Pecari. The specimens reported here were unstudied, but when collected they were referred to living species of Tayassu and Pecari based on their general similarity to species of those two living genera, and they were dated to the Pleistocene, presumably based on a long–standing model of the Great American Faunal Interchange. The presence of peccaries in South America at approximately the same time that South American ground sloths began appearing in upper Miocene deposits of North America, and soon after the appearance of gomphotheres in South America, indicates that dispersal between the Americas was earlier and involved more taxa than previously interpreted. Molecular divergence data are consistent, in part, with a late Miocene dispersal of peccaries to South America.
Three new archisargid species referred to one new genus, Flagellisargus sinicus, F. venustus and F. robustus, are described based on three impressions from the Callovian–Oxfordian of the “Daohugou Formation” in Daohugou, Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, China. The presence of an elongated flagellum and large male genitalia places these new findings with the distinct but rare archisargid flies. The systematic position of Origoasilus pingquanensisZhang et al., 2011 is reassessed, placing it with Archisargidae within Archisargoidea rather than Asiloidea. The Origoasilidae is a junior synonym for Archisargidae.
The visceral skeleton (including complete mandibular, hyoid, and branchial arches) and teeth of the Lower Cretaceous hybodontid shark Tribodus limae are described based on well preserved fossil material. Jaw suspension and musculature are reconstructed, representing the first reconstruction of jaw musculature in a hybodont. The jaw suspension of Tribodus is similar to batoids and advanced galeomorphs in lacking direct cranio–palatine articulations and having skeletal jaw support by the hyoid arch alone (unlike most other hybodonts), but differs from batoids in that an intact hyoid arch is present. As in Asteracanthus and Lonchidion, the jaws do not extend to the snout, and were connected symphysially but not fused. CT scanning reveals the presence of supportive 'trabecular cartilage' struts in force-bearing regions of the jaws, representing the first report of these structures in an extinct chondrichthyan. Five branchial arches are present, of which pharyngobranchial, epibranchial, and ceratobranchial elements are observed although hypobranchials and basibranchials were presumably also present. A pharyngobranchial blade is present, as in some other hybodonts (e.g., Lissodus) and extant galeomorphs (e.g., Heterodontus), and the posteriormost pharyngobranchials are unfused. Tribodus is considered durophagous, based on presence of ‘trabecular cartilage' struts and a weakly heterodont monognathic pavement dentition of flattened hexagonal teeth, as in extant myliobatoid rays. SEM examination shows that teeth of T. limae are anaulacorhize with a double layer of single crystallite enameloid (SCE), and confirms the presence of columnar osteodentine, as in other Acrodontidae.