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Paläontologische Zeitschrift

, Volume 89, Issue 4, pp 749–781 | Cite as

Exotic trilobites from the Lower–Middle Cambrian boundary interval in Morocco and their bearing on the Cambrian Series 3 lower boundary

  • Gerd Geyer
Research Paper

Abstract

The Moroccan Atlas ranges provide sections which not only permit fine-scale biostratigraphic analysis of the basal part of the Middle Cambrian by means of typical West Gondwanan faunal elements, but also include exotic trilobites well known from other Cambrian continents or at least extremely rare in West Gondwana. Such trilobites often permit intercontinental correlation that significantly improves the framework for the traditional Lower–Middle Cambrian boundary interval and leads to a fairly robust correlation table. Other “exotic” trilobites are rare findings of new taxa with mosaic patterns of morphological characters, which therefore remain problematic in consideration of their systematic position. This case study illustrates and (re)describes the trilobites Granularaspis bommeli n. sp., Shergoldiella vincenti Geyer, Palaeoworld 15: 348–359, 2006, Onchocephalites permingeati (Termier and Termier, Paléontologie marocaine. Tome 2. Invertébrés de l'Ere primaire. Fasc. 4: Annélides, Arthropodes, Echinodermes, Conularides et Graptolithes. Notes et Mémoirs de la Service géologique du Maroc 79, and Coll. Actualités scientifiques vol 1095 Hermann & Cie, Paris, pp 282, 1950), Eoptychoparia tafilaltensis n. sp., Oreisator tichkaensis Geyer and Malinky, J Paleontol 71(4): 620–637, 1997 and Cambroproteus lemdadensis n. gen., n. sp. from the Moroccan Atlas ranges. These species partly belong to genera previously known from outside West Gondwana only, and all of them provide new and unexpected clues for faunistic relationships from West Gondwana into other Cambrian continents and distinctly supplement the picture of the organismic diversity for the basal Middle Cambrian in the region.

Keywords

Cambrian Trilobita Biostratigraphy Morocco Siberia Laurentia 

Kurzfassung

Die marokkanischen Atlas-Gebirge beinhalten Gesteinsabfolgen, welche nicht nur eine sehr detaillierte biostratigraphische Analyse des unteren Bereichs des traditionellen Mittelkambriums auf Grund von Faunenelementen erlauben, die typisch für West-Gondwana sind, sondern beinhalten auch “exotische” Trilobiten, die aus anderen kambrischen Kontinenten gut bekannt und zumindest extrem selten in West-Gondwana sind. Solche Trilobiten erlauben oft eine interkontinentale Korrelation, die das Raster der stratigraphischen Beziehungen für den traditionellen Grenzbereich Unter-/Mittelkambrium signifikant zu verbessern helfen und letztlich zu einer robusten Korrelationstabelle beitragen. Andere “exotische” Trilobiten sind seltene Funde von neuen Taxa, die morphologische Mosaiktypen und somit hinsichtlich ihrer systematischen Stellung problematisch sind. Diese Fallstudie illustriert und beschreibt die Trilobiten Granularaspis bommeli n. sp., Shergoldiella vincenti Geyer, 2006, Onchocephalites permingeati (Termier and Termier, 1950), Eoptychoparia tafilaltensis n. sp., Oreisator tichkaensis Geyer und Malinky, 1997 und Cambroproteus lemdadensis n. gen., n. sp. aus den marokkanischen Atlas-Ketten. Diese Arten gehören teilweise zu Gattungen, die bisher nur aus Regionen außerhalb von West-Gondwana bekannt waren, und alle steuern neue und teilweise unerwartete Hinweise für die faunistischen Beziehungen von West-Gondwana zu anderen kambrischen Kontinenten bei und ergänzen das bisherige Bild der organismischen Diversität für das tiefe Mittelkambrium in der Region.

Schlüsselwörter

Kambrium Trilobita Biostratigraphie Marokko Sibirien Laurentia 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The material for this study was partly collected during various field trips in the course of research grants of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) to G.G., and the preparation of the manuscript was made possible by research grant GE 549/21-1 to G.G. Patrick Bommel (Bize-Minervois, France) generously provided the specimen of Granularaspis from his collection and hospitality for this study, Joan Corbacho (Sabadell, Spain) and Heiko Sonntag (Hirschburg, Germany) provided specimens of Shergoldiella from their collections, and I also thank Joan Corbacho for his generous hospitality. Further thanks are due to the Service Géologique du Maroc, Ministère de l’Énergie et des Mines, Rabat, for permission for field work and particularly Solange Willefert for loan of the original material of the Termiers from the collections in Rabat. Françoise Debrenne (Paris) kindly arranged the visit of the collections of the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. The specimens of Eoptychoparia tafilaltensis n. sp. were donated by Jacques Destombes. Jan-Ove Ebbestad (Uppsala) and an anonymous reviewer provided careful review of the manuscript, which is gratefully acknowledged.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Geographie und Geologie, Lehrstuhl für Geodynamik und GeomaterialforschungBayerische Julius-Maximilians-Universität WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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