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Taphonomy of the vertebrate bone beds from the Klūnas fossil site, Upper Devonian Tērvete Formation of Latvia

DOI: 10.3176/earth.2012.2.03

Keywords: East Baltic , fossil fish assemblage , sedimentary environment , taphonomy.

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Abstract:

Combined sedimentological and taphonomical study of the siliciclastic sequence of the Tērvete Formation in the stratotypical area was aimed at revealing the formation of the three oryctocoenoses discovered and related structural and textural features of the deposits, as well as at detailed observation of the taphonomical peculiarities of the obtained palaeontological material. The fossil vertebrate assemblage is represented by 14 taxa comprising placoderms, acanthodians, sarcopterygians and actinopterygians. The three oryctocoenoses, first recognized in 2010, differ in the proportions of repeatedly buried material, in the number and degree of preservation of small and fragile skeletal elements, as well as in the evaluated current velocity and the transportation distance. Sedimentary concentrations of marine vertebrate remains, dominated by the antiarchs Bothriolepis ornata and B. jani, have been formed under the influence of fluvial and tidal processes in the shallow-water environment, deltaic or estuarine settings. Elongated placoderm and sarcopterygian bones are probably better indicators of the palaeoflow direction than acanthodian spines or sarcopterygian teeth.

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