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Taphonomy of an Ordovician crinoid Lagerstatte from Kentucky

Mason Jane Milam, David L. Meyer, Benjamin F. Dattilo and Brenda R. Hunda
Taphonomy of an Ordovician crinoid Lagerstatte from Kentucky
Palaios (March 2017) 32 (3): 166-180


A Lagerstatte of Glyptocrinus decadactylus collected from the Upper Fairview Formation at Maysville, Kentucky, USA, yields new insights into the paleoautecology of camerate crinoids of the Late Ordovician. The Lagerstatte represents an autochthonous community composed of a single siltstone bed representing an obrution event and containing over 400 individual glyptocrinids that had colonized a slight topographic rise of relatively high energy within the deep subtidal zone. The high density of the crinoid community was accommodated by tiering, in which the crinoids presumably employed macroalgae (not preserved), occasionally bryozoans, and the columns of earlier-settled specimens as attachment sites; differing column lengths positioned the crinoids at various levels within the community. A further strategy for crowded conditions may have been small body size. Storm-induced turbidity flows led to the suspension of silts by a lofting plume that smothered the crinoids in their habitat. The densely packed crinoid-macroalgae assemblage may have baffled the sediment plume and induced deposition, facilitating burial. Some specimens apparently died shortly prior to burial, suggesting more than one earlier killing event, likely related to the storm that ultimately caused the obrution. Other specimens were killed by the obrution event and subjected to little or no subsequent scavenging or decay after burial, leading to excellent preservation.

ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 32
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Taphonomy of an Ordovician crinoid Lagerstatte from Kentucky
Affiliation: Grossflottbeker Strasse 47C, Hamburg, Germany
Pages: 166-180
Published: 201703
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 86
Accession Number: 2017-026004
Categories: Invertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sect., 2 tables, sketch map
N38°38'60" - N38°38'60", E83°46'60" - E83°46'60"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Cincinnati, USA, United StatesIndiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, USA, United StatesCincinnati Museum Center, 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: 201716
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