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GEOREF RECORD

Lower Cambrian anemone burrows from the upper member of the Wood Canyon Formation, Death Valley region, United States; paleoecological and paleoenvironmental significance

Scott A. Mata, Cara L. Corsetti, Frank A. Corsetti, Stanley M. Awramik and David J. Bottjer
Lower Cambrian anemone burrows from the upper member of the Wood Canyon Formation, Death Valley region, United States; paleoecological and paleoenvironmental significance
Palaios (September 2012) 27 (9): 594-606

Abstract

Large (up to 7 cm in diameter) and deep-penetrating (up to 30 cm) vertical burrows are described from the lower Cambrian Wood Canyon Formation of the Death Valley region, United States, and their paleoenvironmental and paleoecological implications are addressed. Trace fossils occur as dense populations that precede the earliest occurrences of Skolithos pipe rock in the region. These trace fossils are assigned to the ichnogenera Bergaueria, Conichnus, and Dolopichnus, and each represents the burrowing behavior of an anemone-like organism. These ichnotaxa occur within oolitic and sandy dolostones of a flood-tidal delta and lagoonal environment, respectively, and burrow fill is dominated by echinoderm ossicles. Ichnofabric indices of 4-5 and a tidally influenced position place these ichnotaxa within the same nearshore locus of bioturbation as Skolithos pipe rock; however, unlike Skolithos pipe rock, the tracemaker of these trace fossils can be identified. This study reveals that anemone-like animals were responsible for extensive modification of the marine substrate and this style of deep-penetrating bioturbation appears first in nearshore environments. This is in accord with the observation that many evolutionary novelties originate in nearshore environments, and specifically that deep-penetrating bioturbation originated nearshore before expanding offshore. This study also provides insight into the paleoecology of earliest Cambrian noncalcified cnidarians and their behavior and paleoenvironmental distribution during the Cambrian radiation.


ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 27
Serial Issue: 9
Title: Lower Cambrian anemone burrows from the upper member of the Wood Canyon Formation, Death Valley region, United States; paleoecological and paleoenvironmental significance
Affiliation: University of Southern California, Department of Earth Sciences, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Pages: 594-606
Published: 201209
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 110
Accession Number: 2012-098567
Categories: Invertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. strat. cols., geol. sketch map
N35°53'60" - N35°53'60", W116°04'60" - W116°04'60"
Secondary Affiliation: SWCA Environmental Consultants, USA, United StatesUniversity of California at Santa Barbara, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 201251
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