The biostratigraphical and palaeogeographical framework of the earliest diversification of tetrapods (Late Devonian)
Published:January 01, 2007
A. Blieck, G. Clement, H. Blom, H. Lelievre, E. Luksevics, M. Streel, J. Thorez, G. C. Young, 2007. "The biostratigraphical and palaeogeographical framework of the earliest diversification of tetrapods (Late Devonian)", Devonian Events and Correlations, R. T. Becker, W. T. Kirchgasser
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The earliest diversification of tetrapods is dated as Late Devonian based on 10 localities worldwide that have yielded bone remains. At least 18 different species are known from these localities. Their ages span the ‘middle’–late Frasnian to latest Famennian time interval, with three localities in the Frasnian, one at the F/F transition (though this one is not securely dated) and six in the Famennian. These localities encompass a wide variety of environments, from true marine conditions of the nearshore neritic province, to fluvial or lacustrine conditions. However, it does not seem possible to characterize a freshwater assemblage in the Upper Old Red Sandstone based upon vertebrates. Most of the tetrapod-bearing localities (8 of 10) were situated in the eastern part of Laurussia (=Euramerica), one in North China and one in eastern Gondwana (Australia), on a pre-Pangean configuration of the Earth, when most oceanic domains, except Palaeotethys and Panthalassa, had closed.
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Devonian Events and Correlations
The Devonian was a peculiar period, characterized by simplified plate tectonic configurations, climatic overheating and widely flooded continents. The bloom of fishes and ammonoids, extensive reef complexes, and the conquest of land indicate major biosphere innovations, punctuated by many global events, including two of the biggest mass extinctions. The Devonian was the first system for which subdivisions were formally defined. This was achieved by significant advances in pelagic biostratigraphy. The chronostratigraphic framework and interdisciplinary techniques allow us to correlate intervals or sudden events across facies boundaries, in order to reconstruct the sedimentary and evolutionary history of the system with highest precision.
This volume honors the lifetime stratigraphic achievements of Michael Robert House (1930-2002). Based on case studies from Europe, North Africa and North America, it shows how the combination of biostratigraphy, chemostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy and event stratigraphy can contribute to a much deeper understanding of both regional and global environmental change.