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Pennsylvanian conodont zonation for midcontinent North America

Pennsylvanian conodont zonation for midcontinent North America

Revista Espanola de Micropaleontologia o-Agosto; 36(2): 231-250

Most work on Pennsylvanian conodont biostratigraphy in Midcontinent North America is dispersed among papers on paleoecologic or taxonomic issues, often on limited geographic and stratigraphic scales. Here we provide a current summary of conodont zones that can be used to subdivide and correlate Pennsylvanian strata in Midcontinent North America. These zones are range zones, but several Midcontinent cyclothems are characterized by a unique combination of taxa that allow biostratigraphic recognition of individual eustatic cycles across the region. Lane and colleagues provided a detailed zonation for the Morrowan Stage that, with subsequent modifications, is widely accepted. Species of Neognathodus can be used to zone Morrowan, Atokan and Desmoinesian strata, but appear less useful for subdividing the late Desmoinesian than is commonly attempted. Neognathodus zones for the Morrowan through Desmoinesian are [ascending order]: higginsi, symmetricus, bassleri, N. n. sp. Lane 1977 (spans the Morrowan-Atokan boundary), atokaensis, colombiensis, caudatus (coincides with the base of the Desmoinesian), asymmetricus, roundyi (sensu lato). Idiognathodus and closely related genera like Streptognathodus remain underutilized, but will provide the best biostratigraphic resolution for Pennsylvanian strata once complex taxonomic relationships are resolved. Idiognathodid species currently provide the following zones for the Atokan and Desmoinesian: I. incurvus (approximates base of Atokan), I. incurvus-derived descendants, I. obliquus/I. amplificus (coincides with base of Desmoinesian), I. iowaensis, I. delicatus, Swadelina neoshoensis, Sw. nodocarinata. A radiation of Idiognathodus species in the early Missourian and a subsequent radiation of Streptognathodus species permit recognition of zones for the lower and middle Missourian: I. eccentricus, S. cancellosus, S. confragus, S. gracilis. The appearance of I. aff. simulator with S. firmus (a possible Eurasian immigrant) and descendants of both provide the basis for zones in upper Missourian through middle Virgilian strata: I. aff. simulator, S. zethus (coincides with base of Virgilian), I. simulator (sensu stricto), S. virgilicus (sensu lato). The first steps of the radiation of Streptognathodus species that lead to an Early Permian clade subdivide the uppermost Virgilian: brownvillensis, wabaunsensis, and, defining the base of the Permian, isolatus.

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