3 years ago

The oldest iocrinid crinoids from the Early/Middle Ordovician of China: possible paleogeographic implications

The oldest iocrinid crinoids from the Early/Middle Ordovician of China: possible paleogeographic implications
This study reports new crinoid material, which is identified as Muicrinus dawanensis new genus and new species from South China, representing the oldest known iocrinids in the world. These new fossils, which are characterized by bearing simple primibrachials and a helically coiled column, are from the lower-middle part of the Dawan Formation, which ranges from the upper Floian (Lower Ordovician) to the lower Dapingian (Middle Ordovician) (∼470 Ma). A total of 11 related taxa with 80 characters were selected to conduct phylogenetic analyses. Our results indicated that South China specimens are closely related to ones that are endemic to Laurentia. Synapomorphies that shared between species in those two cratons include elongate supraradial plates and isotomous arm branching. Furthermore, the phylogenetic closeness of endemic taxa that only occurred in two cratons leads us to suggest a geographic connection between those regions during deep time. Combining biogeographic evidence reported from Cambrian studies, this study supports the “missing-link” configuration of Rodinia during the breakup phase. Based on the crinoid global biodiversity pattern updated here, the potential for discovery of new Paleozoic crinoid faunas in China is very high.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1367912017306144

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