Early Cambrian biogeography in the North Atlantic region

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Abstract

A model of Early Cambrian trilobite biogeography in the North Atlantic region (Theokritoff 1979. Lethaia 12, 281–295) is reviewed and modified in the light of new data. The presence of Wanneria in conglomerates bearing the Elliptocephala asaphoides fauna strengthens correlation of the E. asaphoides fauna as well as, by implication, the upper part of the Calluvia Zone with the middle part of the Bonnia-Olenellus Zone. The faunas of the Bastion Formation of East Greenland and of the Devil's Cove Limestone of northern Newfoundland are reinterpreted as shelf faunas. Additional occurrences of Archaeocyatha are noted in Spain and northwest Scotland but reports of Archaeocyatha in northern Norway and East Germany are not authenticated. Neither Salterella nor ‘Volborthella’ are now recognized as characteristic of any trilobite province. Although Ordovician acritarch provinces show congruence with trilobite provinces, available data on Early Cambrian plankton are not sufficient to support algal provincialism. Interpretation of the geological record suggests that the Early Cambrian lapetus Ocean was stratified with a well-mixed oxygenated zone overlying a phosphate-rich oxygen minimum zone and that the Elliptocephala asaphoides fauna should be reinterpreted as a warm-water fauna.

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