An exceptionally preserved Carboniferous faunal assemblage from the Buckhorn Asphalt Lagerstätte (Oklahoma, USA)

Beitrag bei einer Tagung
(Abstract zum Vortrag)

Details zur Publikation

Autorinnen und Autoren: Seuß B, Wisshak M, Nützel A, Schulbert C
Jahr der Veröffentlichung: 2008
Sprache: Englisch


The Pennsylvanian Buckhorn Asphalt Quarry in Oklahoma (USA) is an
Impregnation Lagerstätte containing the best-preserved Palaeozoic
mollusc fauna in the world. Besides preserved Mg-calcite,
microstructures, and early ontogenetic shells, it is the only Late
Palaeozoic Lagerstätte with conservation of original aragonite known to
date. The outstanding preservation is due to an early impregnation by
migrating hydrocarbons intruding the mixed siliciclastic-carbonatic
sediments of the Buckhorn Asphalt. Deposition took place during a
transgressive-regressive cycle near the coast – indicated by landplant
remains and high siliciclastic input. The sediments comprise coarse
conglomerates to mudstones, and shell beds. Some sediments in the quarry
were probably deposited by mass flows, while others are more or less
In total the shelly invertebrate fauna comprises more than 155 species
and about 120 genera which is unusual for Late Palaeozoic deposits. This
corroborates that aragonite dissolution produces a major bias in the
fossil record. However, most mollusc genera in the Buckhorn Asphalt
Lagerstätte are known as replaced shells from other Pennsylvanian
deposits. According to this the preservation bias via dissolution might
be overestimated. The fauna is dominated by molluscs, especially
gastropods with more than 50 genera, cephalopods, and bivalves. The
faunal assemblage is complemented by foraminiferans, ostracodes,
bryozoans, brachiopods, and further fossils in smaller amounts like
vertebrate and echinoderm remains. Chaetetids represent the largest
benthic macro-organisms at the top of the regressive intervals. The
preservation of planktotrophic larval shells indicates a high primary
production in the ocean waters of the Buckhorn area - an important
information, as remains of producer organisms are generally scarce in
Late Palaeozoic deposits.
The biodiversity of endolithic biota, as indirectly recorded by
bioerosion ichnotaxa in the shells, reveals a total of 18 known
ichnospecies and the new ichnotaxon Aurimorpha varia, reflecting the
most diverse Palaeozoic microboring assemblage known to date. The
ichnocoenosis is dominated by Eurygonum nodosum, Scolecia filosa, and
Fascichnus dactylus (all of them are cyanobacterial traces). Further
traces are e.g. Fascichnus frutex, Planobola macrogata, and Cavernula
coccidia. 17 out of 19 reported ichnospecies are known to neoichnology
and are present in similar ichnocoenosis of Recent shallow-euphotic seas
showing the longevity of microedolithic taxa and therefore their value
as palaeoenvironmental indicators. 2/3 of the recorded ichnotaxa were
reported for the first time from the Carboniferous.

FAU-Autorinnen und Autoren / FAU-Herausgeberinnen und Herausgeber

Schulbert, Christian
Lehrstuhl für Paläoumwelt
Seuß, Barbara Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Paläoumwelt

Einrichtungen weiterer Autorinnen und Autoren

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU)


Seuß, B., Wisshak, M., Nützel, A., & Schulbert, C. (2008). An exceptionally preserved Carboniferous faunal assemblage from the Buckhorn Asphalt Lagerstätte (Oklahoma, USA). Paper presentation at Annual Meeting of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft,, Erlangen.

Seuß, Barbara, et al. "An exceptionally preserved Carboniferous faunal assemblage from the Buckhorn Asphalt Lagerstätte (Oklahoma, USA)." Presented at Annual Meeting of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft,, Erlangen 2008.


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