Extensive intraspecific variation in a Triassic ammonoid from Siberia



The ammonoid species Czekanowskites rieberin.sp. from the Lower Anisian of Arctic Siberia (River Olenek) shows an enormous range of intraspecific variability. The 700 investigated specimens are packed in one single concretion. They are all adult with preserved living chambers and apertural structures. Morphologically they range from keeled smooth suboxycones with narrow umbilicus, through feebly ribbed platycones with a little wider umbilicus, to subcadicones with relatively wide umbilicus and straight ribs with bullae. The morphological variation is continuous; all specimmh belong to a single genetically linked population, variants of one biospecies. This phenomenon, which is quite common in boreal Triassic ammonoid faunas, has in the past led to serious taxonomic oversplitting. It presents a serious challenge to current ideas about a close correlation between modeof life and shell morphology in arnmonoids.□Amntonoidea, boreal Triassic, ecology. Siberia, variability.