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Dwelling in the dead zone—vertebrate burrows immediately succeeding the end-Permian extinction event in Australia
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6723-239X
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5416-2289
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology. Department of Geology, Lund University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2987-5559
Bocking Associates.
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2020 (English)In: Palaios, ISSN 0883-1351, E-ISSN 1938-5323, Vol. 35, p. 342-357Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A distinctive burrow form, Reniformichnus australis n. isp., is described from strata immediately overlying and transecting the end-Permian extinction (EPE) horizon in the Sydney Basin, eastern Australia. Although a unique excavator cannot be identified, these burrows were probably produced by small cynodonts based on comparisons with burrows elsewhere that contain body fossils of the tracemakers. The primary host strata are devoid of plant remains apart from wood and charcoal fragments, sparse fungal spores, and rare invertebrate traces indicative of a very simplified terrestrial ecosystem characterizing a ‘dead zone’ in the aftermath of the EPE. The high-paleolatitude (~ 65–75deg S) setting of the Sydney Basin, together with its higher paleoprecipitation levels and less favorable preservational potential, is reflected by a lower diversity of vertebrate fossil burrows and body fossils compared with coeval continental interior deposits of the mid-paleolatitude Karoo Basin, South Africa. Nevertheless, these burrows reveal the survivorship of small tetrapods in considerable numbers in the Sydney Basin immediately following the EPE. A fossorial lifestyle appears to have provided a selective advantage for tetrapods enduring the harsh environmental conditions that arose during the EPE. Moreover, high-paleolatitude and maritime settings may have provided important refugia for terrestrial vertebrates at a time of lethal temperatures at low-latitudes and aridification of continental interiors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Broken Arrow: Society for Sedimentary Geology , 2020. Vol. 35, p. 342-357
Keywords [en]
Permian, Triassic, extinction, ichnology, palynology, trace fossils, synapsids, cynodonts, Gondwana, Australia
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Diversity of life; Ecosystems and species history; The changing Earth
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-3837DOI: 10.2110/palo.2020.007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-3837DiVA, id: diva2:1502374
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015- 4264Swedish Research Council, 2014-5234Swedish Research Council, 2018-04527
Note

The work was funded by a collaborative research grant from the National Science Foundation (EAR-1636625 to C.R.F. and T.D.F.)

Available from: 2020-11-01 Created: 2020-11-19 Last updated: 2021-12-08Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://dx.doi.org/10.2110/palo.2020.007

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