Abstract

The first Tethyan-type Upper Triassic sponge reefs in North America have recently been discovered in the southern Yukon, in Stikinia terrane. Sphinctozoa from these reefs and inter-reef limestones are represented by 18 species and 12 genera belonging to six families. The genus Yukonella with one species, Y. rigbyi, and the species Polytholosia ramosa and Polycystocoelia norica are described for the first time. Some of the Yukon sponges were previously known only from the Tethyan realm (Colospongia, Dictyocoelia, Polycystocoelia, and Uvanella?); others, from Tethyan and North American localities (Ascosymplegma, Follicatena, Paradenigeria, and Salzburgia?). One (Polytholosia cylindrica) is probably endemic to North America. The mixed affinities of the Yukon sponges may reflect the paleogeographic origin of Stikinia as an island in the ancestral Pacific Ocean, between Tethys and the North American craton.

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