Abstract

– Vertebrate microremains from the upper Silurian Winnica Formation in the Holy Cross Mountains, Poland are described from the Winnica and Rzepin sections. Both sites record the uppermost part of the Słupianka Member, but represent different depositional environments. The Winnica samples come from a low-energy environment, while the Rzepin sample was taken from a high-energy, oolitic facies. Both sites contain thelodonts Thelodus parvidens, Thelodus trilobatus, an anaspid cf. Liivilepis and a number of acanthodian scales of ‘nostolepid’, poracanthodid and ‘gomphonchid’ types. Notable differences between the sites are the addition of the osteostracan Tahulaspis cf. ordinata, the thelodont Paralogania ludlowiensis and acanthodian scales identified as Nostolepis gracilis in the Rzepin section. Placing the vertebrate faunas within the vertebrate biozonation established for the Silurian proved difficult. The suggested late Ludlow age for the Słupianka Member based on sequence stratigraphical and chemostratigraphical correlations cannot be definitely confirmed or refuted, but a late Ludfordian age seems the most plausible based on invertebrate and vertebrate faunas. The much lower abundance of poracanthodid acanthodians in the Rzepin sample supports the notion of Poracanthodes porosus Zone as a deep-water equivalent to a number of vertebrate biozones. The presence of P. ludlowiensis only in the oolitic sample confirms a long temporal range, but restricted environmental distribution for this taxon.

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