Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments

, Volume 91, Issue 4, pp 293–323 | Cite as

The Miguasha Fossil-Fish-Lagerstätte: a consequence of the Devonian land–sea interactions

  • Richard CloutierEmail author
  • Jean-Noël Proust
  • Bernadette Tessier
Original Paper


The evolution of vertebrate assemblages in terms of fluctuating environments has rarely been investigated for the Devonian period. Variation of biodiversity (richness, abundance and species composition) in the diverse Devonian fish assemblage of the Escuminac Formation (Quebec, Canada) is analysed in response to changes in lithofacies, depositional environment and taphonomy through time. Five sequences within an inner wave-dominated estuary show shifts in continentalisation. Although a ubiquitous fish assemblage is identified throughout the formation, species are more diversified and species composition is better structured during relative sea-level rise than during still-stand and relative sea-level fall. Konservat and Konzentrat Fossil-Lagerstätte horizons occur in the transgressive phase of the sequences.


Taphonomy Sequence stratigraphy Palaeoichthyology Devonian fish Lagerstätte 



A draft of this paper was written during the 2008–2009 sabbatical leave of Richard Cloutier on a CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France)–invited-chair position in Geosciences at the University of Rennes 1. We would like to thank Florentin Paris and Romain Vullo for stimulating discussions. Isabelle Béchard helped in preparing fig. 2. Johanne Kerr and Olivier Matton helped with the photography. Mark V. H. Wilson and Susan Turner constructively reviewed the manuscript. This research was funded by a research grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (238612) and the Research chair in Paleontology and Evolutionary Biology (UQAR-Parc national de Miguasha). Fieldwork (1993–1994) was supported by the CNRS.


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg, Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Cloutier
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jean-Noël Proust
    • 2
  • Bernadette Tessier
    • 3
  1. 1.Chaire de Recherche en Paléontologie et Biologie EvolutiveUniversité du Québec à RimouskiRimouskiCanada
  2. 2.UMR CNRS 6118, GéosciencesUniversité Rennes 1RennesFrance
  3. 3.UMR CNRS 6143 M2C Université de CaenCaenFrance

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