Abstract

We describe three scleractinian corals and one species of hydrozoan from the New Pass Range, central Nevada, which together constitute the oldest Triassic cnidarian assemblage from North America. They occur in carbonate rocks tentatively correlated with the Augusta Mountain Formation, Star Peak Group. At generic and higher levels, these cnidarians seem representative of early Mesozoic Tethyan faunas and carbonate lithofacies, but they indicate some endemism. Although the original aragonitic skeletons and microstructure are destroyed by recrystallization, the corals still yield important details allowing their correct taxonomic assignment. They contain the minitrabecular cerioid coral. Ceriostella variabilis new genus and species, the thick-trabecular, thamnasteroid coral Mesomorpha newpassensis new species, and an undeterminable cuifastreid coral tentatively assigned to Cuifastraea. The discovery of Mesomorpha marks the first occurrence of this genus outside the Jurassic and Cretaceous seas. Also discovered is a remarkably corallike hydrozoan, Cassianastraea reussi (Laube), already known from the Carnian stage of the western Tethys. This is the first occurrence of this species outside the western Tethys.

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