Abstract

Moderately diverse Middle Ordovician sponge faunas of Darriwilian (late Arenig to early Llanvirn) age have been discovered in outcrops in the Bachu-Kalpin area of the Tarim platform of Xinjiang, China. These are the first reported occurrences of early Paleozoic sponges from Xinjiang, China. These sponges occur in the Yijianfang and Dawangou Formations, which are of nearly the same age, but crop out in different areas of the platform margin. Fossil sponges discovered to date are the anthaspidellid lithistid sponges Archaeoscyphia minganensis (Billings, 1859); Hudsonospongia cyclostomaRaymond and Okulitch, 1940; Calycocoelia profunda sichuanensisDeng, 1990; Calycocoelia sp.; Pseudopalmatohindia sp.; Aulocopium sp.; Annulospongia tarimensis n. gen. and sp.; Rhopalocoelia kalpinensis n. sp.; Rhopalocoelia bachuensis n. sp.; and Zittelella xinjiangensis n. sp. They are preserved in reefal limestones and are associated with Calathium, cyanobacteria, and bryozoans, like in many North American assemblages.

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