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Earth and Life pp 831-847 | Cite as

The Paleobiogeography of Pennsylvanian Crinoids and Blastoids

  • Johnny WatersEmail author
  • Gary D. Webster
Part of the International Year of Planet Earth book series (IYPE)

Abstract

Historically, Pennsylvanian crinoid and blastoid paleogeography has been poorly constrained. Recent discoveries of Pennsylvanian faunas from Queensland (eastern Australia), Algeria, Western China, and Iran contribute to a worldwide data set that permits a more complete analysis of Pennsylvanian echinoderm paleogeography. Cluster analysis of generic occurrence groups from North America, China, the UK/Ireland, and Russia define a paleogeographic group based on cladid domination of the echinoderm communities. In contrast, many echinoderm communities in the Paleo-Tethyan realm show increased contributions from camerates and blastoids. Crinoids are noted for being endemic, rarely occurring on more than one tectonic block. Approximately 60% of Pennsylvanian crinoid genera occur on a single block. Crinoid clades differ in their patterns of endemism. Cladids are the most endemic (60%), followed by the flexibles, the disparids, and the camerates, each of which have approximately 50% endemic genera. Among genera found in a single geographic area, North America contains the most endemic faunas (64%), followed by Russia (40%) and Australia (30%). Other geographic regions show significantly lower rates of endemism ranging from 0 to 16%. North American endemics are predominantly cladids, a pattern not seen in the other areas. Although poorly known until recently, these Pennsylvanian Paleo-Tethyan echinoderm communities were the precursors to the well-studied, but still enigmatic, Permian echinoderm communities from Southeast Asia, particularly Timor.

Keywords

Pennsylvanian Crinoids Blastoids Cluster analysis Paleobiogeography Endemism 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyAppalachian State UniversityBooneUSA
  2. 2.School of Earth and Environmental SciencesWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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