Abstract

Numerous pygocephalomorph crustaceans occur with conchostracans, plants, fishes, amphibians, and amniotes in the Petrolia Formation (Leonardian Series, Lower Permian) of Baylor and Archer counties, Texas. Two pygocephalomorph species are represented; Mamayocaris serendipitous, new species, by hundreds of specimens that appear to be molted exoskeletons, and Paulocaris schrami, new species, by only a few specimens. Mamayocaris has been reported previously from the Lower Permian of Texas and South Dakota and the Upper Carboniferous of Illinois; Paulocaris was previously known only from South America. Associated plant assemblages are dominated by conifers accompanied by other Early Permian and some Late Carboniferous elements. Accompanying vertebrate remains include aquatic to fully terrestrial forms with close taxonomic ties to genera or families recorded in Upper Carboniferous deposits. The fossils are preserved in local deposits of thin (<2 cm), lenticular to nodular beds of limestone and thin (<15 cm) intervals of dark-gray claystone. These deposits accumulated in abandoned, standing-water segments of suspended-load fluvial channels. The archaic nature of these plant and animal assemblages supports previous interpretations that the Permian Petrolia Formation contains paleoenvironmentally isolated biotic elements characteristic of the Carboniferous and underscores prior depictions of the assemblages as relictual.

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