Abstract

Silurian Wenlock Series deposits of the Cape Phillips Formation on Baillie-Hamilton Island and Cornwallis Island, Arctic Canada, have yielded a silicified ostracod assemblage that spans the late Sheinwoodian and Homerian stages. Sixteen palaeocope ostracod species are recorded, including the new species Beyrichia (Beyrichia) marssae, Gabrielsella? copelandi, and Platybolbina (Abruptobolbina) adraini. The ostracod faunas can be linked into local trilobite, microvertebrate, and graptolite zonal schemes, and a few of the ostracod species offer potential for local and perhaps wider biostratigraphical correlation. The ostracods are mostly known only from the Cape Phillips Formation, but also include two taxa found in the Wenlock Series of the Avalanche Lake area, Northwest Territories, Canada. Other ostracod species suggest links with Silurian successions in northern Canada and the Baltic. Low-diversity ostracod faunas characterize the level of a marked positive carbon isotope excursion and coeval mid-Homerian regression at the level of the regional Pristiograptus dubius – Gothograptus nassa graptolite Biozone. Comparison with the pattern of distribution of coeval ostracod faunas elsewhere in Canada suggests that diversity changes in the Cape Phillips Formation ostracod faunas are controlled by local palaeoenvironmental factors perhaps linked to global sea-level change.

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