The Rise, Development and Extinction of Stromatoporoids

  • Deyuan Dong
Part of the Palaeontologia Cathayana book series (PALAEONTOLOGIA, volume 5)


When did the oldest stromatoporoid begin? Yavorsky, a Soviet geologist, described in 1932 the Middle Cambrian stromatoporoids: Clathrodictyon and Anostylostroma from western Siberia. Later on, V. Khalfina (1960) acquired some new materials, renamed Anostylostroma vologdini as Praeactinostroma vologdini and designated some species of Clathrodictyon as korovinella. Are they really stromatoporoids? Are the fossil-bearing beds correctly defined? Flügel (1957), after discussing them, pointed out that they are probably Archaeocyathida but not Stromatoporoidea. Galloway (1957) asserted that they are Archaeocyathida. Moreover, he pointed out that stromatoporoids probably evolved from Archaeocyathida, exactly from Exocyathus or from the related genera. Not only that, he thought that the oldest stromatoporoid began to appear in the Middle Ordovician and that in the Ordovician the simplest stromatoporoid, i. e. Cystostroma vermontense showed its coenosteum consisting of arched cyst plates but lacking in pillars. However, the first discovery of stromatoporoids in China is known from the lower member of the Majiagou Formation (late Early Ordovician) in Suxian and Xiaoxian, northern Anhui. Among them are Labechia, Rosenella, Aulacera, Cystistroma and Cryptophragmus, but Cystostroma is absent. In consideration of this, it is uncertain whether Cystostroma is the oldest stromatoporoid. Of the above forms, Cryptophragmus is simple in structure, and its coenosteum consists of large upward-arched cyst plates which are superposed one by one to take a columnar shape. The question whether it is the oldest stromatoporoid remains to be settled. Nevertheless, the above-mentioned fact indicates that stromatoporoid rose from the late Early Ordovician and developed from then on. Thus we should cast away the view that stromatoporoid first appeared in the Middle Ordovician.


Late Jurassic Middle Jurassic Middle Triassic Middle Devonian Early Carboniferous 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deyuan Dong
    • 1
  1. 1.Nanjing Institute of Geology and PalaeontologyAcademia SinicaChina

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