Abstract

The homalonotid trilobite Burmeisteria Salter, 1865 is revised from material from the Lower Devonian of central western Argentina (the Talacasto Formation in the Precordillera Basin). In contrast to other closely related Devonian marine basins from South America (mainly Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay), the only species recognized in Argentina include Burmeisteria herschelii (Murchison, 1839) and B. notica (Clarke, 1913). New observations on the structure of the carapace indicate that structures sometimes interpreted as granules with taxonomic meaning are, in fact, taphonomic characters that represent the fillings of pore canals exposed by decortication. The antero-ventral process of the rostral plate may be a locking device during enrollment, which allowed long-term defensive behavior with a minimum of muscular energy. Burmeisteria is an upper Silurian to Middle Devonian endemic representative of southwestern Gondwanan (Malvinokaffric) basins. In the Argentine Precordillera Basin, this genus is virtually restricted to a sandy, Pragian, stratigraphic interval capped by a marker bed first reported by Keidel in 1921.

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