The Carboniferous Timescale
CONTAINS OPEN ACCESS
The Carboniferous was the time of the assembly of Pangaea by the collision of the Gondwanan and Larussian supercontinents, and the principal interval of the late Paleozoic ice ages. These tectonic and climatic events caused dramatic sea-level fluctuations and climate changes and produced a Carboniferous world that was diverse topographically and climatologically, perhaps only rivalled in that diversity by the late Cenozoic world. Furthermore, the Carboniferous was a time of the accumulation of vast coal deposits of great economic and societal significance. The temporal ordering of geological and biotic events during Carboniferous time thus is critical to the interpretation of some unique and pivotal events in Earth history. This temporal ordering is based on the Carboniferous timescale, which has been developed and refined for nearly two centuries. This book reviews the history of the development of the Carboniferous chronostratigraphic scale and includes comprehensive analyses of Carboniferous radioisotopic ages, magnetostratigraphy, isotope-based correlations, cyclostratigraphy and timescale-relevant marine and non-marine biostratigraphy and biochronology.
Published:April 13, 2022
William I. Ausich, Thomas W. Kammer, Georgy V. Mirantsev, 2022. "Carboniferous crinoids", The Carboniferous Timescale, Spencer G. Lucas, Joerg W. Schneider, Xiangdong Wang, Svetlana Nikolaeva
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During the Carboniferous, crinoids were commonly so abundant that their skeletal ossicles formed limestones termed encrinites. Major evolutionary changes occurred within the Camerata and Articuliformes, as the former were displaced by the latter as the dominant clade. Both the Mississippian and the Pennsylvanian subperiods started with high evolutionary rates and ended with low evolutionary rates associated with glaciation. Although not typically used for biostratigraphy, crown-based crinoid genera can be used as biostratigraphic indicators for Carboniferous stages. Paleozoic crinoid biodiversity reached its maximum during the Carboniferous, from which there are numerous well-documented localities with high biodiversity. Faunas from the palaeobiogeographical regions of Laurussia, Palaeo-Tethys and Gondwana are reviewed. For Mississippian crinoids, 37 genera are designated as biostratigraphically useful; and, for the Pennsylvanian, 44 genera are identified. Recognition of the utility of these genera for biostratigraphy is important for dating crinoid deposits, which may be devoid of other biostratigraphically useful fossils, and add to our overall ability to delineate the temporal resolution of life on Earth.