Abstract

A new Early Triassic marine fauna is described from the Central Oman Mountains. The fauna is Griesbachian in age, on the basis of abundant conodonts and ammonoids, and was deposited in an oxygenated seamount setting off the Arabian platform margin. It is the first Griesbachian assemblage from a well-oxygenated marine setting and thus provides a test for the hypothesis that widespread anoxia prevented rapid recovery. The earliest Griesbachian (parvus zone) contains a low-diversity benthic fauna dominated by the bivalves Promyalina and Claraia. A similar level of recovery characterizes the immediate postextinction interval worldwide. However, the middle upper Griesbachian sedimentary rocks (isarcica and carinata zones) contain an incredibly diverse benthic fauna of bivalves, gastropods, articulate brachiopods, a new undescribed crinoid, echinoids, and ostracods. This fauna is more diverse and ecologically complex than the typical middle to late Griesbachian faunas described from oxygen-restricted settings worldwide. The level of postextinction recovery observed in the Oman fauna is not recorded elsewhere until the Spathian. These data support the hypothesis that the apparent delay in recovery after the end-Permian extinction event was due to widespread and prolonged benthic oxygen restriction: in the absence of anoxia, marine recovery is much faster.

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