Abstract

Based on specimens from Australia and Iran, five species of rhipidognathid conodonts, Appalachignathus delicatulus Bergström, Carnes, Ethington, Votaw, and Wigley, 1974, Bergstroemognathus extensus (Graves and Ellison, 1941), B. hubeiensis An (MS) inAn, Chen, and Li, 1981, B. kirkiStait and Druce, 1993, and Rhipidognathus? yichangensis (Ni, 1981), are described and revised in terms of multielement morphology. All three genera comprising the Rhipidognathidae are interpreted as having a septimembrate apparatus, partially confirmed by bedding plane assemblages of B. extensus from Victoria. Occurrence of A. delicatulus in allochthonous limestones (about the Middle-Upper Ordovician boundary) of central New South Wales is the first record of the species outside North America. Recognition of Rhipidognathus? yichangensis in Early Ordovician strata of the Canning Basin, reinforces biogeographic affinities of Australia and South China. The three described species of Bergstroemognathus are mainly restricted to late Early Ordovician strata. Bergstroemognathus extensus is widely distributed in North America, western Argentina (Precordillera), China, and Australia. Bergstroemognathus hubeiensis, described from east-central Iran, has been previously recorded only from China, while the slightly younger B. kirki seems endemic to central and northern Australia, where it was restricted to shallow, warm water environments. In contrast, B. extensus and B. hubeiensis inhabited a spectrum of water depths from shallow to deep.

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