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Data from: Fish and tetrapod communities across a marine to brackish salinity gradient in the Pennsylvanian (early Moscovian) Minto Formation of New Brunswick, Canada, and their palaeoecological and palaeogeographical implications

Data from: Fish and tetrapod communities across a marine to brackish salinity gradient in the Pennsylvanian (early Moscovian) Minto Formation of New Brunswick, Canada, and their palaeoecological and palaeogeographical implications
Data from: Fish and tetrapod communities across a marine to brackish salinity gradient in the Pennsylvanian (early Moscovian) Minto Formation of New Brunswick, Canada, and their palaeoecological and palaeogeographical implications
Euryhaline adaptations in Pennsylvanian vertebrates allowed them to inhabit the marine to freshwater spectrum. This is illustrated by new assemblages of fish and tetrapods from the early Moscovian Minto Formation of New Brunswick, Canada. Fish include chondrichthyans (xenacanthids and the enigmatic Ageleodus), acanthodians (gyracanthids and acanthodiforms), sarcopterygians (rhizodontids, megalichthyids and dipnoans), and actinopterygians (eurynotiforms). Tetrapods include small- to medium-sized, and largely aquatic, stem tetrapods (colosteids) and anthracosaurs (embolomeres). A key finding is that the parautochthonous fossil assemblages are preserved across a salinity gradient, with diversity (measured by the Simpson Index) declining from open marine environments, through brackish embayments, and reaching a nadir in tidal estuaries. Chondrichthyans dominate the entire salinity spectrum (65% of fossils), a distribution that demonstrates a euryhaline mode of life, and one large predatory chondrichthyan, Orthacanthus, may have practised filial cannibalism in coastal nurseries because its heteropolar coprolites contain juvenile xenacanthid teeth. In contrast, other fish communities were more common in open marine settings while tetrapods were more common in coastal brackish waters. While all these faunas were also likely to have been euryhaline, their osmoregulation was, perhaps, less versatile. The demonstration of widespread euryhalinity among fish and aquatic tetrapods explains why Pennsylvanian faunas generally show a cosmopolitan biogeography because taxa were able to disperse via seaways. It also resolves the paradox of enriched strontium isotopic signatures observed in these faunas because organisms would have been, at times, exposed to continental water bodies as well. Therefore, our new findings contribute to the long-running debate about the ecology of Pennsylvanian fishes and tetrapods.
DRYAD
Ó Gogáin, Aodhán
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Falcon-Lang, Howard J.
11bb5611-02b4-4e8e-a7b6-3f8fea812a34
Carpenter, David K.
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Miller, Randall F.
46f2296e-ab10-4f07-a3a5-cd6341321b73
Benton, Michael J.
a0bcafa3-53ea-40ed-ae67-313e957904e0
Pufahl, Peir K.
acd0a77c-1dcd-42fb-8376-40765c863b42
Ruta, Marcello
eebb8aa1-cd8f-4381-addf-c68820572656
Davies, Thomas G.
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Hinds, Steven J.
2e0ef8c3-068f-499e-b6fc-e63e1128d82a
Stimson, Matthew R.
9bc3d095-874e-4e28-9237-03c12f8bce21
Ó Gogáin, Aodhán
e28cfacb-9892-4456-b423-64c6add1d150
Falcon-Lang, Howard J.
11bb5611-02b4-4e8e-a7b6-3f8fea812a34
Carpenter, David K.
7e85c586-af81-4a0d-bcd1-27cd4a5187f2
Miller, Randall F.
46f2296e-ab10-4f07-a3a5-cd6341321b73
Benton, Michael J.
a0bcafa3-53ea-40ed-ae67-313e957904e0
Pufahl, Peir K.
acd0a77c-1dcd-42fb-8376-40765c863b42
Ruta, Marcello
eebb8aa1-cd8f-4381-addf-c68820572656
Davies, Thomas G.
0bd133f2-2a0a-4be1-bcad-ec75c0ba20c2
Hinds, Steven J.
2e0ef8c3-068f-499e-b6fc-e63e1128d82a
Stimson, Matthew R.
9bc3d095-874e-4e28-9237-03c12f8bce21

Ó Gogáin, Aodhán, Falcon-Lang, Howard J., Miller, Randall F., Benton, Michael J., Pufahl, Peir K., Ruta, Marcello, Davies, Thomas G., Hinds, Steven J. and Stimson, Matthew R. (2017) Data from: Fish and tetrapod communities across a marine to brackish salinity gradient in the Pennsylvanian (early Moscovian) Minto Formation of New Brunswick, Canada, and their palaeoecological and palaeogeographical implications. DRYAD doi:10.5061/dryad.nc3f2 [Dataset]

Record type: Dataset

Abstract

Euryhaline adaptations in Pennsylvanian vertebrates allowed them to inhabit the marine to freshwater spectrum. This is illustrated by new assemblages of fish and tetrapods from the early Moscovian Minto Formation of New Brunswick, Canada. Fish include chondrichthyans (xenacanthids and the enigmatic Ageleodus), acanthodians (gyracanthids and acanthodiforms), sarcopterygians (rhizodontids, megalichthyids and dipnoans), and actinopterygians (eurynotiforms). Tetrapods include small- to medium-sized, and largely aquatic, stem tetrapods (colosteids) and anthracosaurs (embolomeres). A key finding is that the parautochthonous fossil assemblages are preserved across a salinity gradient, with diversity (measured by the Simpson Index) declining from open marine environments, through brackish embayments, and reaching a nadir in tidal estuaries. Chondrichthyans dominate the entire salinity spectrum (65% of fossils), a distribution that demonstrates a euryhaline mode of life, and one large predatory chondrichthyan, Orthacanthus, may have practised filial cannibalism in coastal nurseries because its heteropolar coprolites contain juvenile xenacanthid teeth. In contrast, other fish communities were more common in open marine settings while tetrapods were more common in coastal brackish waters. While all these faunas were also likely to have been euryhaline, their osmoregulation was, perhaps, less versatile. The demonstration of widespread euryhalinity among fish and aquatic tetrapods explains why Pennsylvanian faunas generally show a cosmopolitan biogeography because taxa were able to disperse via seaways. It also resolves the paradox of enriched strontium isotopic signatures observed in these faunas because organisms would have been, at times, exposed to continental water bodies as well. Therefore, our new findings contribute to the long-running debate about the ecology of Pennsylvanian fishes and tetrapods.

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Published date: 1 January 2017

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Local EPrints ID: 449322
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449322
PURE UUID: c4e7c0b9-a7d6-4098-b6c7-fb41a98eaebd

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Date deposited: 24 May 2021 16:32
Last modified: 15 Dec 2021 02:22

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Contributors

Creator: Aodhán Ó Gogáin
Creator: Howard J. Falcon-Lang
Contributor: David K. Carpenter
Creator: Randall F. Miller
Creator: Michael J. Benton
Creator: Peir K. Pufahl
Creator: Marcello Ruta
Creator: Thomas G. Davies
Creator: Steven J. Hinds
Creator: Matthew R. Stimson

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