Cambrian echinoderm diversity and palaeobiogeography
Samuel Zamora, Bertrand Lefebvre, J. Javier Álvaro, Sébastien Clausen, Olaf Elicki, Oldrich Fatka, Peter Jell, Artem Kouchinsky, Jih-Pai Lin, Elise Nardin, Ronald Parsley, Sergei Rozhnov, James Sprinkle, Colin D. Sumrall, Daniel Vizcaïno, Andrew B. Smith, 2013. "Cambrian echinoderm diversity and palaeobiogeography", Early Palaeozoic Biogeography and Palaeogeography, D. A. T. Harper, T. Servais
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The distribution of all known Cambrian echinoderm taxa, encompassing both articulated specimens and taxonomically diagnostic isolated ossicles, is documented for the first time. The database described by 2011 comprises 188 species recorded from 65 formations from around the world. Formations that have yielded articulated echinoderms are unequally distributed in space and time. Only Laurentia and West Gondwana provide reasonably complete records at the resolution of Stage. The review of the biogeographical distributions of the eight major echinoderm clades shows that faunas from Laurentia and Northeast Gondwana (China and Korea) are distinct from those of West Gondwana and Southeast Gondwana (Australia); other regions are too poorly sampled to make firm palaeobiogeographical statements. Analysis of alpha diversity (species per formation) shows that diversity rose initially to Cambrian Stage 5, declined into Guzhangian and Paibian before returning to Stage 5 levels by the end of the Cambrian. This pattern is replicated in Laurentia and West Gondwana. We show that taxonomically diagnostic ossicles found in isolation typically occur significantly earlier than the first articulated specimens of the same taxa and provide important information on the first occurrence and palaeobiogeographical distribution of key taxa, and of the phylum as a whole.
Articulated Cambrian echinoderms and Isolated plates of Cambrian echinoderms are provided at: http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18668
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The Early Palaeozoic was a critical interval in the evolution of marine life on our planet. Through a window of some 120 million years, the Cambrian Explosion, Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event, End Ordovician Extinction and the subsequent Silurian Recovery established a steep trajectory of increasing marine biodiversity that started in the Late Proterozoic and continued into the Devonian. Biogeography is a key property of virtually all organisms; their distributional ranges, mapped out on a mosaic of changing palaeogeography, have played important roles in modulating the diversity and evolution of marine life. This Memoir first introduces the content, some of the concepts involved in describing and interpreting palaeobiogeography, and the changing Early Palaeozoic geography is illustrated through a series of time slices. The subsequent 26 chapters, compiled by some 130 authors from over 20 countries, describe and analyse distributional and in many cases diversity data for all the major biotic groups plotted on current palaeogeographic maps. Nearly a quarter of a century after the publication of the ‘Green Book’ (Geological Society, London, Memoir 12, edited by McKerrow and Scotese), improved stratigraphic and taxonomic data together with more accurate, digitized palaeogeographic maps, have confirmed the central role of palaeobiogeography in understanding the evolution of Early Palaeozoic ecosystems and their biotas.