Abstract

The discovery of a new species of Late Permian coral belonging to the waagenophyllid family, a family formerly considered diagnostic of the Tethyan faunal realm, occurs within limestone lenses interbedded with volcaniclastic strata of the Redding section, eastern Klamath Mountains, and provides new constraints on Permian biogeography. The coherent Permian succession in the Redding section is now known to contain coral species of both Tethyan and North American affinity, and therefore, along with other terranes of the McCloud belt, this island-arc succession represents a transitional biogeographic province. Thus, the influence of the Permian North American faunal realm was not everywhere isolated from that of the Tethyan realm.

The same species of waagenophyllid coral also has been found along with a typical Tethyan fusulinid assemblage in a seamount-derived olistostromal limestone block, which was incorporated into the eastern Hayfork subduction complex. These two occurrences suggest that atolls provided a network of shallow-water tropical environments which allowed the migration of Tethyan forms into the eastern paleo–Pacific Ocean. In rare instances, individual species belonging to families formerly considered diagnostic of Tethyan fauna migrated even farther eastward and colonized terranes of the McCloud faunal belt. These relations limit the longitudinal displacement of terranes with respect to the continental margin required by the presence of “exotic” Tethyan fauna.

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