Articles

Print Email

Late Devonian and Early Carboniferous chondrichthyans from the Fairfield Group, Canning Basin, Western Australia

Brett Roelofs, Milo Barham, Arthur J. Mory, and Kate Trinajstic

Plain Language Abstract

Little is known of the sharks that inhabited latest Devonian and Early Carboniferous environments of the Canning Basin in north-western Australia. This work details a diverse shark fauna from a shallow water environment during an important time in the evolution of vertebrates. This period saw the extinction of numerous jawless and jawed vertebrates at the end of the Late Devonian, followed by an increase in shark diversity in the Carboniferous. Detailed taxonomic analyses of 18 shark taxa in this work have revealed 12 previously undescribed taxa and extended the geographic range of sharks previously described from North Gondwana and southern Laurentia. The widespread occurrence of many sharks has allowed for a relationship between certain genera, and the environment in which they inhabited, to be established. This relationship, described for the Late Devonian, is shown to also be applicable in the Carboniferous shallow water environments of the Canning Basin. This work provides an important data set for understanding changes in vertebrate populations over major extinction events at the end of the Devonian. In addition, the location of the Canning Basin between major faunal provinces, aids in understanding the movements of shark species and faunal exchanges between Late Devonian and Early Carboniferous terranes.

Resumen en Español

Condrictios del Devónico Tardío y Carbonífero temprano del Grupo Fairfield, cuenca Canning, Australia Occidental

Se describen dientes de 18 taxones de tiburones de estratos del Devónico Superior a Carbonífero inferior de la plataforma Lennard, cuenca Canning, Australia Occidental. Muestras puntuales de facies de barra en la Formación Gumhole de edad fameniana temprana y en facies de plataforma carbonática somera en la Formación Laurel de edad tournaisiana, produjeron una fauna de condrictios incluyendo varias especies conocidas, en particular Thrinacodus ferox, Cladodus thomasi, Protacrodus aequalis y Deihim mansureae. Adicionalmente, se recuperaron dientes protacrodontes que se asemejan a dientes formalmente descriptos pero aún sin nombrar provenientes de depósitos tournasianos de terrenos del norte de Gondwana. Aquí se muestra como las relaciones faunales cercanas previamente observadas en los taxones de condrictios del Devónico Tardío en la cuenca de Canning y en los márgenes de Gondwana septentrional se continúan también durante el Carbonífero. Sin embargo, es evidente una reducción en la superposición de especies de la fauna de aguas someras de microvertebrados tournaisianos, lo cual apoya estudios previos que documentan una separación de las comunidades faunales y de plantas terrestres entre estas regiones ya en ese entonces. La fauna de condrictios aquí descripta se encuentra dominada por dientes de tipo triturantes similares a las biofacies de condrictios de aguas someras establecidas para el Fameniano y sugiere que algunas de estas biofacies también se extendieron hasta el Carbonífero temprano.

Palabras clave: Fameniano; Tournaisiano; microvertebrado; dientes; biogeografía; biofacies

Traducción: Diana Elizabeth Fernández

Résumé en Français

Chondrichtyens du Dévonien récent et du Carbonifère ancien du groupe de Fairfield, bassin de la Canning, Australie occidentale

Les dents de 18 taxons de requins sont décrites à partir de fossiles provenant des strates du Carbonifère inférieur de la plate-forme de Lennard, bassin de la Canning, Australie occidentale. Des échantillons ponctuels de faciès de bancs de sable de la formation de Gumhole du Famménien supérieur et de faciès de plate-forme carbonatée de la formation de Laurel du Tournaisien ont livré une faune de chondrichtyens incluant plusieurs espèces connues, en particulier Thrinacodus ferox, Cladodus thomasi, Protacrodus aequalis, et Deihim mansureae. Des dents protacrodontes ont également été trouvées et ressemblent à des dents précédemment décrites, mais non nommées, provenant de dépôts tournaisiens des terranes du Gondwana Nord. Il est démontré dans cet article que les relations fauniques étroites précédemment observées entre les taxons chondrichtyens du Dévonien récent du bassin de la Canning et des marges du Gondwana Nord se poursuivent dans le Carbonifère. Cependant, il est évident que les faunes à microvertébrés d'eau peu profonde du bassin de la Canning et du sud de la Chine présentent un recoupement d'espèces moins important, ce qui soutient les études précédentes documentant une séparation des communautés de plantes terrestres et d'animaux de ces régions dès cette période. La faune de chondrichtyens décrite dans cet article est dominée par des dents de type broyeur similaires à celles des biofaciès à chondrichtyens d'eau peu profonde définis pour le Famménien et suggère que certains de ces biofaciès se sont étendus dans le Carbonifère ancien.

Mots-clés : Famménien ; Tournaisien ; microvertébrés ; dents ; biogéographie ; biofaciès

Translator: Antoine Souron

Deutsche Zusammenfassung

Spätdevonische und frühkarbonische Knorpelfische auf der Fairfield Gruppe, Canning Becken, westliches Australien

Es werden Zähne von 18 Hai-Taxa aus Schichten des oberen Devons bis zum unteren Karbon des Lennard Schelfs (Canning Becken, westliches Australien) beschrieben. Stichproben in einer Sandbankfazies in der oberen Gumhole Formation (Famennium) und in einer Flachwasserkarbonatplattform-Fazies in der Laurel Formation (Tournaisium) ergaben eine Knorpelfischfauna mit einigen neuen Arten, besonders Thrinacodus ferox, Cladodus thomasi, Protacrodus aequalis und Deihim mansureae. Zusätzlich wurden protacrodonte Zähne gefunden, die formal beschriebenen, jedoch unbenannten Zähnen aus Ablagerungen aus dem Tournaisium nordgondwanischer Terranes ähneln. Die engen faunischen Verwandtschaftsbeziehungen die bisher zwischen spätdevonischen Taxa von Chondrichthyes im Canning Becken und an den Rändern von Nordgondwana gesehen wurden, werden hier bis in das Devon fortgeführt. Jedoch ist eine geringere Artenüberschneidung für Flachwasser-Mikrovertrebratenfaunen aus dem Tournaisium zwischen dem Canning Becken und Südchina sichtbar, was eine vorangehende Untersuchung unterstützt, die eine Trennung von Faunengemeinschaften und Landpflanzengemeinschaften zwischen diesen Regionen zu dieser Zeit dokumentierte. Die hier beschriebene Chondrichthyer-Fauna wird von Typen mit Quetschzähnen dominiert, die denen der Flachwasser Chondrichthyer-Biofazies ähnlich ist, die für das Famennium aufgestellt wurde und legt nahe, dass einige dieser Biofazies bis in das frühe Karbon hineinreichten.

Schlüsselwörter: Famennium; Tournaisium; Mikrovertebraten; Zähne; Biogeographie; Biofazies

Translator: Eva Gebauer

Arabic

Translator: Ashraf M.T. Elewa

 

 

TABLE 1. Distribution and abundance of Devonian and Carboniferous chondrichthyan teeth from the Lennard Shelf, Canning Basin, Western Australia.

Localities Oscar Hill
(Famennian)
Laurel Downs
(Tournaisian)
Taxa                                Sample OH-2 OH-4 LG-1 198404 198480 TS-1
Ageleodus sp. - - - 1 - 3
Phoebodus cf. turnerae - 1 - - - -
Thrinacodus ferox - - 5 8 12 9
Stethacanthus ? sp . - - - 2 - -
Cladodus thomasi - - - 4 1 8
Cladodoides cf. wildungensis - - - 3 1 2
Cladodontomorphi indet. sp. - - - - 1 -
Ctenacanthiform gen. et sp. indet 1 - - - 3 1 4
Ctenacanthiform gen. et sp. indet 2 - - - - - 1
Protacrodus aequalis - - - - - 1
Protacrodus sp. 1 - - - - - 1
Deihim mansureae 1 - - 12 2 6
Dalmehodus cf. turnerae - - 7 11 - 2
Protacrodontidae gen. et sp. indet - 1 - - - -
Lissodus sp. - - - - - 1
Hybodontoidea gen. et sp. indet. - - - - - 1
Euselachii gen. et sp. indet - - - 6 2 9
Holocephali gen. et sp. indet. - - - 7 - 9
Total 1 2 12 57 20 57
3 146
 

FIGURE 1. Simplified geological map of the Upper Devonian and Lower Carboniferous Fairfield Group outcrop, Lennard Shelf, northern Canning Basin, showing sampled sites at Oscar Hill and Laurel Downs (after Druce and Radke, 1979).

figure 1

FIGURE 2. Stratigraphy and correlation of Upper Devonian and Lower Carboniferous units of the Lennard Shelf (after Smith et al., 2013). Approximate temporal positions of the sampled localities: 1, OH4; 2, 198480; 3, 198404; 4, LG-1; and 5, TS-1. Abbreviations: Fm, Formation; and Lst, Limestone.

figure 2

FIGURE 3. Late Devonian and Early Carboniferous shark teeth from the Lennard Shelf, Canning Basin, Western Australia. 1-4, Ageleodus sp., WAM 15.6.23, sample 198404, in lingual view (1), WAM 15.6.34, sample TS-1, in labial (2) and lingual (3) views, and WAM 15.6.33, sample TS-1, in lingual view (4); 5-7, Phoebodus cf. turnerae, WAM 15.6.28, sample OH-4, in occlusal (5 ), labial (6) and lateral (7) views; 8-11, Thrinacodus ferox , WAM 15.6.32, sample LG-1, in occlusal view (8 ), WAM 15.6.8, sample 198404, in occlusal view (9), WAM 15.6.11, sample 198404, in lateral view (10), and WAM 15.6.9, sample 198404, in occlusal view (11); 12-16, Stethacanthus ? sp., WAM 15.6.6, sample 198404, in occlusal view (12), and WAM 15.6.7, sample 198404, in basal (13), lingual (14), occlusal (15) and labial (16) views. Scale bar length: 1-4, 1 mm; 5-7, 0.5 mm; 8-11, 0.25 mm; 12, 0.5 mm; 13-16 , 0.5 mm.

figure 3

FIGURE 4. Ctenacanthiform teeth from the Lower Carboniferous Laurel Formation, Laurel Downs, Lennard Shelf, Canning Basin, Western Australia. 1 - 7, Cladodus thomasi, WAM 15.6.50, sample 198404, in lingual view (1), WAM 15.6.25, sample 198404, in occlusal view (2 ), WAM 15.6.12, sample 198404, in lingual (3) and labial views ( 4), WAM 15.6.19, sample 198404, partial platform and crown in lingual view (5), and WAM 15.6.13, sample TS-1, in occlusal (6) and labial (7) views; 8 - 12, Cladodoides cf. wildungensis, WAM 15.6.15, sample 198404, in lingual (8), occlusal (9) and labial (10) views, WAM 15.6.16, sample 198404, in labial (11) and lingual (12) views. Scale bar length: 1 - 7, 1 mm; 8 - 10, 0.25 mm; 11 - 12, 0.5 mm.

figure 4

FIGURE 5. Ctenacanthiform teeth from the Lower Carboniferous Laurel Formation, Laurel Downs, Lennard Shelf, Canning Basin, Western Australia. 1 - 5, Cladodontomorphi indet. sp., WAM 15.6.5, sample 198404, in lingual (1), lateral (2), labial (3 ), basal (4) and occlusal (5) views; 6 - 11, Ctenacanthiform gen. et sp. indet. 1, WAM 15.6.24, sample 198404, in lingual view (6), WAM 15.6.36, sample TS-1, in lingual view ( 7), WAM 15.6.35, sample TS-1, in lingual view (8), WAM 15.6.37, sample TS-1, in labial (9) and lateral (10) views, and WAM 15.6.35, sample TS-1, in labial view (11); 12 - 15, Ctenacanthiform gen. et sp. indet 2, WAM 15.6.3.8, in lingual (12 ), occlusal (13), labial (14) and basal (15 ) views. Scale bar length: 1-5, 10 mm; 6-11, 0.5 mm; 12-15, 5 mm.

figure 5

FIGURE 6. Protacrodont teeth from Lower Carboniferous Laurel Formation, Laurel Downs, Lennard Shelf, Canning Basin, Western Australia. 1, Protacrodus aequalis, WAM 15.6.43, sample TS-1, in lingual view ( 1); 2 - 4, Protacrodus sp. 1, WAM 15.6.45, sample TS-1, in lingual (2), occlusal (3) and labial (4) views; 5 - 12, Deihim mansureae, WAM 15.6.17, in lingual view (5), WAM 15.6.18, sample 198408, in occlusal view (6), WAM 15.6.46, sample TS-1, in lingual view (7), WAM 15.6.48, sample TS-1, in lingual view ( 8), WAM 15.6.19, sample 198404, in labio-basal view (9 10), WAM 15.6.49, sample TS-1, in labio-basal view (11), and WAM 15.6.18, sample 198404, in lateral view (12); 13-16, Dalmehodus cf. turnerae, WAM 15.6.30, sample LG-1, in lingual (13 ) and labial (14) views, WAM 15.6.44, sample TS-1, in occlusal ( 15) and lateral (16) views. Scale bar length: 1 - 45 - 12, 1 mm; 13 16, 0.25 mm.

figure 6

FIGURE 7. Shark teeth from the Upper Devonian Gumhole Formation, Oscar Hill and Lower Carboniferous Laurel Formation, Laurel Downs, Lennard Shelf, Canning Basin, Western Australia. 1 - 2, Protacrodontidae gen. et sp. indet., WAM 15.6.29, sample OH-4, in lingual (1 ) and labial (2) views; 3-5, Lissodus sp., WAM 15.6.42, sample TS-1, in lingual (3), occlusal (4) and labial (5) views; 6 - 7, Hybodontoidea gen. et sp. indet., WAM 15.6.41, sample TS-1, in lingual (6 ) and labial (7) views; 8 - 11, Euselachii gen. et sp. indet.1, WAM 15.6.21, sample 198404, in lingual view (8 ), WAM 15.6.20, sample 198404, in occlusal view (9), WAM 15.6.27, sample 198404, in occluso-lingual view (10), and WAM 15.6.39, sample TS-1 in labial view (11); 12 - 13, Euselachii gen. et sp. indet. 2, WAM 15.6.40, sample TS-1, in occluso-lingual view (12) and WAM 15.6.22, sample TS-1, in labial view (13); 14 - 17, Holocephali gen. et sp. indet. 1, WAM 15.6.4, sample 198404, in occlusal view (14), and WAM 15.6.3, sample 198404, in lingual (15), labial (16) and occlusal (17) views. Scale bar length: 1-2, 0.5 mm; 3 - 5, 0.4 mm; 6 - 7, 0.75 mm; 8 - 10, 0.3 mm; 11, 1 mm; 12 - 13, 0.6 mm; 14 - 17 , 5 mm.

figure 7

FIGURE 8. Maps depicting common taxa between the Canning Basin and other areas in Gondwana and Laurentia for the Late Devonian (1, Frasnian and Famennian chondrichthyans - * indicating Frasnian age, ^ indicating Famennian age) and Early Carboniferous (2, Tournaisian to Visean) (base map modified from Scotese and McKerrow, 1990; Golonka et al., 1994; Metcalfe, 2011). Abbreviations: A, Khor Virap and Erytch, Armenia; A i, Carnarvon Basin, Australia; A ii, Canning Basin, Australia; A iii, Burdekin Star, Australia; A iv, Broken River, Australia; B, Belgium; Ch, Hunan, South China; F, Montagne Noire, France; G, Thuringia, Germany; I , Chahriseh, Dalmeh, Hojedk, Hutk, and Kale-Sardar, Iran; Ir , Kilbride, Ireland: M, Tafilalt, Morocco; N, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico, North America; P, Holy Cross Mountains, Poland; and R, South Urals, Russia. Sources of information: Armenia (Ginter et al., 2011), Australia (Turner and Dring, 1981; Turner, 1982; Trinajstic, 2001; Trinajstic and George, 2009; Roelofs et al., 2015), Royseux, Belgium (Derycke-Khatir et al., 2005), China (Wang and Turner, 1985; Ginter and Sun 2007), France (Derycke-Khatir et al., 2005), Germany (Ginter, 1999), Iran (Long and Hairapetian, 2000; Ginter et al., 2002; Hairapetian and Ginter, 2010), Ireland (Duncan, 2003), Morocco (Ginter et al., 2002; Derycke et al., 2008), North America (Ginter, 2001; Ivanov and Lucas, 2011), Poland (Ginter, 1990, 1995; Ginter and Ivanov, 2000), Russia (Ginter, 1994; Ginter and Ivanov, 1992, 2000; Ivanov, 1996), and South China (Lelièvre and Derycke, 1998).

figure 8

 

 

author 1Brett Roelofs. Department of Applied Geology, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987 Perth, WA 6845, Australia. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brett Roelofs is a PhD candidate at Curtin University, Western Australia. He received his undergraduate degrees in both biology and geology at Curtin University and is currently looking at Late Devonian and Early Carboniferous gnathostomes. He is interested in their uses in biostratigraphic, palaeogeographical and palaeoclimatic reconstructions.

divider

author 2Milo Barham. Department of Applied Geology, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987 Perth, WA 6845, Australia. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Milo Barham is principally a sedimentologist at Curtin University, Australia, whose research typically relates to reconstructing ancient environments through a combination of sedimentological, palaeontological and geochemical techniques in order to track the evolution of sedimentary systems and basins and contextualise significant geological and biotic events in Earth history. Since completing his PhD on the distal record of the mid Carboniferous onset of glaciation at the National University of Ireland Galway in 2010, Milo has been working throughout the Phanerozoic on various projects, from Devonian biostratigraphy and palaeoclimate to modern day shoreline dynamics and heavy mineral sands. Milo is experienced in oxygen isotopes in biogenic apatite, Carboniferous conodont biostratigraphy, facies mapping, logging and interpretation.

divider

author 3Arthur J. Mory. Geological Survey of Western Australia, Mineral House, 100 Plain Street, East Perth, WA 6004, Australia/Centre for Energy Geoscience, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley WA 6009, Australia. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Arthur Mory graduated from the University of Sydney with a PhD in 1980, and joined the Geological Survey of Western Australia the same year. He is a senior geologist in that organisation, and has worked on the stratigraphy and sedimentology of all major onshore Phanerozoic basins in the State. Arthur is a member of PESA, the Geological Society of Australian, and the Australasian Association of Palaeontologists.

divider

author 4Kate Trinajstic*. Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. *Corresponding author

Kate is an Associate Professor in the School of Science at Curtin University where she works as a vertebrate palaeontologist with interests in developmental and evolutionary biology and biogeography. She has a PhD in Geology from The University of Western Australia (2000), and then held a research fellowship there from 2000 to 2008. She joined Curtin University as a Curtin Research Fellow in 2009, and subsequently was awarded an Australian Research Council QEII Fellowship in 2011 to investigate the development of the skeleton and specialised musculature in early vertebrates.

divider