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The Hancock County tetrapod locality: A new Mississippian (Chesterian) wetlands fauna from western Kentucky (USA)

By
William J. Garcia
William J. Garcia
Cincinnati Museum Center, Geier Collections and Research Center, 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45203, USA, and University of Cincinnati, Department of Geology, ML 0013, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0013, USA
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Glenn W. Storrs
Glenn W. Storrs
Cincinnati Museum Center, Geier Collections and Research Center, 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45203, USA, and University of Cincinnati, Department of Geology, ML 0013, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0013, USA
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Stephen F. Greb
Stephen F. Greb
Kentucky Geological Survey, 228 MMRB, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40506, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2006

The earliest tetrapods are known from a handful of Upper Devonian and Lower Carboniferous localities in Europe, North America, and Australia. All Upper Devonian sites and virtually all Early Carboniferous faunas are regarded as predominantly aquatic and most occur within, or are associated with, wetland habitats. A new mid-Carboniferous (Elvirian, Namurian A) fossil locality in Kentucky preserves the first tetrapod fauna from the eastern portion of the Illinois Basin. Four distinct facies at the locality have yielded vertebrate material. Diverse faunas have been found in an abandoned channel/oxbow facies and a floodplain/lake facies.

The abandoned channel/oxbow facies contains Colosteidae, Embolomeri, Rhizodontida, Dipnoi, Xenacanthiformes, Palaeonisciformes, and Gyracanthidae remains. This assemblage is similar to known Mississippian freshwater and brackish-water faunas, providing further evidence of a cosmopolitan tetrapod province during the Mississippian. A different fauna, rich in tetrapods but lacking fish, is associated with granular carbonate masses, rooting structures, and a paleosol in the floodplain/ lake facies. Isolated and associated tetrapod elements from this facies exhibit morphological adaptations that may suggest a fauna of more highly terrestrial vertebrates than previously known from the North American Mississippian.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

Wetlands through Time

Stephen F. Greb
Stephen F. Greb
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William A. DiMichele
William A. DiMichele
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Geological Society of America
Volume
399
ISBN print:
9780813723990
Publication date:
January 01, 2006

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