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  1. Abstract

    A late Mesoproterozoic detrital zircon (DZ) age population, which was previously considered diagnostic of a link between the Lhasa terrane and northwest Australia, occurs in other Gondwanan components, thus obscuring the paleogeographic position of the Lhasa terrane in Gondwana. Here we compiled large‐n(n ≥ 300) DZ U‐Pb data from the Lhasa terrane and potential source regions in various proposed reconstructions, and attempted to synthesize the Lhasa DZ age spectra through DZ mixing modeling. Our modeling results support the Permo‐Carboniferous Lhasa terrane having received sediment from NW Australia (mainly the Perth basin) rather than India or Africa. This, in combination with stratigraphic and paleontological evidence from the northern margin of eastern Gondwana positions the Paleozoic Lhasa terrane adjacent to the boundary between Australia and India. This study suggests that the DZ mixing modeling method based on large‐nDZ data can be used effectively for constraining paleogeographic reconstruction of continents.

    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 31, 2023
  2. Three-dimensional models reveal how the mechanics of exoskeletal enrolment changed during the development of a model organism for insights into ancient arthropod development, the 429-million-year-old trilobite Aulacopleura koninckii. Changes in the number, size and allocation of segments within the trunk, coupled with the need to maintain effective exoskeletal shielding of soft tissue during enrolment, necessitated a transition in enrolment style about the onset of mature growth. During an earlier growth phase, enrolment was sphaeroidal, with the venter of the trunk fitting exactly against that of the head. In later growth, if lateral exoskeletal encapsulation was to be maintained trunk length proportions did not permit such exact fitting, requiring an alternative, non-sphaeoridal enrolment style. Our study favours the adoption of a posture in later growth in which the posterior trunk extended beyond the front of the head. This change in enrolment accommodated a pattern of notable variation in the number of mature trunk segments, well known to characterize the development of this species. It suggests how an animal whose early segmental development was remarkably precisely controlled was able to realize the marked variation in mature segment number that was related, apparently, to life in a physically challenging, reduced oxygen setting.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 14, 2024
  3. The Steptoean Positive Carbon Isotope Excursion (SPICE) event at ca. 497−494 Ma was a major carbon-cycle perturbation of the late Cambrian that coincided with rapid diversity changes among trilobites. Several scenarios (e.g., climatic/oceanic cooling and seawater anoxia) have been proposed to account for an extinction of trilobites at the onset of SPICE, but the exact mechanism remains unclear. Here, we present a chemostratigraphic study of carbonate carbon and carbonate-associated sulfate sulfur isotopes (δ13Ccarb and δ34SCAS) and elemental redox proxies (UEF, MoEF, and Corg/P), augmented by secular trilobite diversity data, from both upper slope (Wangcun) and lower slope (Duibian) successions from the Jiangnan Slope, South China, spanning the Drumian to lower Jiangshanian. Redox data indicate locally/regionally well-oxygenated conditions throughout the SPICE event in both study sections except for low-oxygen (hypoxic) conditions within the rising limb of the SPICE (early-middle Paibian) at Duibian. As in coeval sections globally, the reported δ13Ccarb and δ34SCAS profiles exhibit first-order coupling throughout the SPICE event, reflecting co-burial of organic matter and pyrite controlled by globally integrated marine productivity, organic preservation rates, and shelf hypoxia. Increasing δ34SCAS in the “Early SPICE” interval (late Guzhangian) suggests that significant environmental change (e.g., global-oceanic hypoxia) was under way before themore »global carbon cycle was markedly affected. Assessment of trilobite range data within a high-resolution biostratigraphic framework for the middle-late Cambrian facilitated re-evaluation of the relationship of the SPICE to contemporaneous biodiversity changes. Trilobite diversity in South China declined during the Early SPICE (corresponding to the End-Marjuman Biomere Extinction, or EMBE, of Laurentia) and at the termination of the SPICE (corresponding to the End-Steptoean Biomere Extinction, or ESBE, of Laurentia), consistent with biotic patterns from other cratons. We infer that oxygen minimum zone and/or shelf hypoxia expanded as a result of locally enhanced productivity due to intensified upwelling following climatic cooling, and that expanded hypoxia played a major role in the EMBE at the onset of SPICE. During the SPICE event, global-ocean ventilation promoted marine biotic recovery, but termination of SPICE-related cooling in the late Paibian may have reduced global-ocean circulation, triggering further redox changes that precipitated the ESBE. Major changes in both marine environmental conditions and trilobite diversity during the late Guzhangian demonstrate that the SPICE event began earlier than the Guzhangian-Paibian boundary, as previously proposed.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 12, 2024
  4. The field collections made from Burma (Myanmar) by the Geological Survey of India, and described by F.R.C. Reed more than a century ago, still provide the only ‘ground truthing’ for an important region of the Ordovician marginal terranes fringing Gondwana. A revision of these faunas is overdue, particularly as it is likely that further collections cannot be made in the northern Shan State in the near future. The specimens, stored in the Geological Survey of India collections in Kolkata, cannot be loaned. Sixteen species are fully revised herein; another twelve species are left under open nomenclature because of inadequacies in the material. Several of Reed’s species subsequently became type species of genera that have proved to be widespread: Birmanites Sheng, 1934, Encrinurella Reed, 1915, Neseuretinus Dean, 1967, and Pliomerina Chugaeva, 1956. Reed’s Ordovician trilobite collections came from two main areas: northern Shan State (Myanmar), and westernmost Yunnan (China). The Burmese (Myanmar) collections are from the Upper Ordovician (Katian) while Yunnan specimens are from the Middle Ordovician (Darriwilian), though Upper Ordovician trilobites also occur in the area. Both collections are predominantly from clastic strata. Based on a small new Katian collection from Pupiao, we report Neseuretinus birmanicus (Reed, 1906) in commonmore »between the northern part of the Shan State and western Yunnan. A few genera (Dionide Barrande, 1847, Phorocephala Lu, 1957, Lonchodomas Angelin, 1854, Nileus Dalman, 1827) are distributed worldwide, and include pelagic (Phorocephala) or deeper benthic (Dionide) taxa. The palaeogeographic comparisons offered by the other taxa are mostly peri-Gondwanan and extend from southwest China westwards (present geography) as far as the Iberian Pennsula. Birmanites is the type genus of a subfamily (Birmanitinae Kobayashi, 1960, revived herein) widely distributed over Ordovician Gondwana, and absent from Laurentia, Baltica and North China/Siberia. Mioptychopyge Zhou, Dean, Yuan & Zhou, 1998, probably belongs with the same group and is otherwise known from South China. Parillaenus Jaanusson, 1954, is also peripheral Gondwanan, as is Prionocheilus Rouault, 1847. The Reedocalymeninae Kobayashi, 1951 (Neseuretinus, Reedocalymene Kobayashi, 1951) are similarly diagnostic of peri–Gondwanan sites. However, some genera (Pliomerina, Encrinurella, Ovalocephalus Koroleva, 1959) have been associated with other oriental and Australian occurrences in particular, with ‘outliers’ in certain terranes in Kazakhstan, i.e. palaeotropical Gondwana.« less
  5. Abstract Later Cambrian and earliest Ordovician trilobites and brachiopods spanning eight horizons from five localities within the Sông Mã, Hàm Rồng and Đông Sơn formations of the Thanh Hóa province of Việt Nam, constrain the age and faunal affinities of rocks within the Sông Đà terrane, one of several suture/fault-bounded units situated between South China to the north and Indochina to the south. ‘Ghost-like’ preservation in dolomite coupled with tectonic deformation leaves many of the fossils poorly preserved, and poor exposure precludes collecting within continuously exposed stratigraphic successions. Cambrian carbonate facies pass conformably into Lower Ordovician carbonate-rich strata that also include minor siliciclastic facies, and the recovered fauna spans several uppermost Cambrian and Lower Ordovician biozones. The fauna is of equatorial Gondwanan affinity, and comparable to that from South China, North China, Sibumasu and Australia. A new species of Miaolingian ‘ptychopariid’ trilobite, Kaotaia xuanensis , is described. Detrital zircon samples from Cambrian–Ordovician rocks of the North Việt Nam and Sông Đà terranes, and from Palaeozoic samples from the Trường Sơn sector of Indochina immediately to the south, contain a predominance of ages spanning the Neoproterozoic period and have a typical equatorial Gondwanan signature. We associate the Cambrian and Tremadocian ofmore »the Sông Đà terrane with areas immediately to the north of it, including the North Việt Nam terrane and the southern parts of Yunnan and Guangxi provinces of China.« less
  6. Patzkowsky, M. (Ed.)
    Abstract A short stratigraphic interval near Bulin in western Hunan (China) yields multiple specimens of the ~514-Myr-old oryctocarine trilobite Oryctocarella duyunensis . Size data obtained from these specimens indicate that, from meraspid degree 1 onward, degrees represent successive instars. Meraspid growth persisted until a terminal stage was reached, providing the first example of determinate growth in trilobites and, notably, in an early Cambrian species. The sample contains three varieties of such terminal stages, recognized as holaspids, with 9, 10, or 11 thoracic segments, respectively. During the meraspid phase, growth rates were not constant in this species. The pattern of growth seen in the Bulin assemblage differs modestly from that reported in the same species from two other localities, attesting to microevolutionary variation in developmental patterns among these collections.
  7. Abstract Abundant articulated specimens of the oryctocarine trilobite Oryctocarella duyunensis from the lower Cambrian (Stage 4, Series 2) Balang Formation at the Bulin section in western Hunan Province, South China, permit the description of all meraspid degrees. The maximum number of thoracic segments observed in this collection is 11. Meraspid growth was accompanied by progressive and gradual change in overall form, and this animal showed an homonymously segmented trunk with variation in the number of pygidial segments during ontogeny. Such variation permits a variety of plausible explanations, but a model of successive instars defined by the number of thoracic segments, and in suborder by the number of pygidial segments, is highly unlikely to explain the growth pattern because it would result in the loss of trunk segments between some instars. Degree-based ontogenetic staging is compatible with the variation observed.
  8. Abstract In order to maximize the utility of future studies of trilobite ontogeny, we propose a set of standard practices that relate to the collection, nomenclature, description, depiction, and interpretation of ontogenetic series inferred from articulated specimens belonging to individual species. In some cases, these suggestions may also apply to ontogenetic studies of other fossilized taxa.
  9. null (Ed.)
    Whether the upper limb branch of Paleozoic “biramous” arthropods, including trilobites, served a respiratory function has been much debated. Here, new imaging of the trilobite Triarthrus eatoni shows that dumbbell-shaped filaments in the upper limb branch are morphologically comparable with gill structures in crustaceans that aerate the hemolymph. In Olenoides serratus , the upper limb’s partial articulation to the body via an extended arthrodial membrane is morphologically comparable to the junction of the respiratory book gill of Limulus and differentiates it from the typically robust exopod junction in Chelicerata or Crustacea. Apparently limited mechanical rotation of the upper branch may have protected the respiratory structures. Partial attachment of the upper branch to the body wall may represent an intermediate state in the evolution of limb branch fusion between dorsal attachment to the body wall, as in Radiodonta, and ventral fusion to the limb base, as in extant Euarthropoda.