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Biological and physical evidence for extreme seasonality in central Permian Pangea

Published on Jun 1, 2016in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology2.62
· DOI :10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.02.016
Cindy V. Looy24
Estimated H-index: 24
(University of California, Berkeley),
Stephanie L. Ranks1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of California, Berkeley)
+ 7 AuthorsNeil J. Tabor26
Estimated H-index: 26
(SMU: Southern Methodist University)
Cite
Abstract
Abstract Climate models indicate increased desertification in the continental interior of Pangea during the Permian, which would have affected the composition of the flora and fauna. We present a multi-proxy paleoenvironmental reconstruction of a terrestrial ecosystem in central Pangea of Lopingian age. The reconstruction is based on biological and physical data from the Moradi Formation, located in the Tim Mersoi sub-Basin, northern Niger. Paleosols and sedimentological evidence indicate that the prevailing climate was semi-arid to very arid with marked intervals of high water availability. Carbon stable isotope data from organic matter and paleosols suggest that both the soil productivity and actual evapotranspiration were very low, corresponding to arid conditions. Histological analysis of pareiasaur bones shows evidence of active metabolism and reveals distinct growth marks. These interruptions of bone formation are indicative of growth rhythms, and are considered as markers for contrasting seasonality or episodic climate events. The macrofossil floras have low diversity and represent gymnosperm-dominated woodlands. Most notable are ovuliferous dwarf shoots of voltzian conifers, and a 25-m long tree trunk with irregularly positioned branch scars. The combined biological and physical evidence suggests that the Moradi Formation was deposited under a generally arid climate with recurring periods of water abundance, allowing for a well-established ground water-dependent ecosystem. With respect to its environment, this system is comparable with modern ecosystems such as the southern African Namib Desert and the Lake Eyre Basin in Australia, which are discussed as modern analogues.
  • References (103)
  • Citations (8)
Cite
References103
Newest
Published on Dec 1, 2015in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology2.62
Raymond F. Smith88
Estimated H-index: 88
,
Christian A. Sidor27
Estimated H-index: 27
(UW: University of Washington)
+ 1 AuthorsJ. Sébastien Steyer17
Estimated H-index: 17
(CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)
Abstract Pangaean paleogeographic models place the Tim Mersoi basin of northern Niger in a 5000-km-wide corridor between Gondwana and Laurasia approximately 15 degrees south of the paleoequator. Late Permian paleoclimate models position this basin between tropical summer-wet to the north and desert to the south. Recent investigations of the fossil vertebrates and paleosols in the late Permian (Lopingian) Moradi Formation confirm that the climate was warm and hyperarid with highly seasonal monsoo...
Published on Sep 11, 2015in Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology1.74
Morgan L. Turner1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UW: University of Washington),
Linda A. Tsuji15
Estimated H-index: 15
(ROM: Royal Ontario Museum)
+ 1 AuthorsChristian A. Sidor27
Estimated H-index: 27
(UW: University of Washington)
ABSTRACTPareiasaurs were a group of herbivorous reptiles that lived during the middle to late Permian (˜265–252 Ma) in what is modern-day Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. Field work in the Moradi Formation of northern Niger has produced multiple elements of the appendicular skeleton of the pareiasaur Bunostegos akokanensis. The considerable size disparity and morphological variation among the elements suggest that they represent ontogenetic stages ranging from relatively juvenile to adul...
Published on Sep 1, 2014in International Journal of Plant Sciences1.43
Cindy V. Looy24
Estimated H-index: 24
,
Robert A. Stevenson3
Estimated H-index: 3
We describe the conifer genus Manifera (Majonicaceae, voltzian Voltziales) from the Lower Pease River flora (Early Permian, north central Texas) on the basis of dispersed ovuliferous dwarf shoots and seeds and compare it with coeval and Late Permian taxa. Manifera talaris gen. et sp. nov. is exceptional for two reasons. First, it is the earliest known conifer with winged seeds adapted for autorotating wind dispersal; second, its seeds had variable wing configurations. The ovuliferous dwarf shoot...
Published on May 1, 2014in Geological Society of America Bulletin3.97
Robert A. Gastaldo30
Estimated H-index: 30
(Colby College),
Cassandra L. Knight1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Colby College)
+ 1 AuthorsNeil J. Tabor26
Estimated H-index: 26
(SMU: Southern Methodist University)
Terrestrial settings preceding the endPermian crisis are reported to trend toward increasingly dry and arid conditions, resulting in landscape change and a shift in fl architectures and regimes. Much of the latest Permian (Changhsingian) stratigraphic record in the Karoo Basin, South Africa, consists of paleosols, which record the physical conditions across time and space. Preboundary sequences at Wapadsberg Pass, Eastern Cape Province, provide insight into the climate regime that infl uenced pa...
Published on Jan 1, 2014
Kenneth D. Angielczyk27
Estimated H-index: 27
(FMNH: Field Museum of Natural History),
Jean-Sébastien Steyer8
Estimated H-index: 8
(CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)
+ 3 AuthorsStephen Tolan2
Estimated H-index: 2
Dicynodont fossils were first collected in the Luangwa Basin, Zambia, in the 1920s, but limited detailed study and taxonomic uncertainty have obscured their biostratigraphic utility and their implications for topics such as dicynodont biogeography and the effects of the end-Permian extinction. Here we present a comprehensive taxonomic revision of the dicynodonts of the Luangwa Basin, taking into account specimens in all major museum collections and new material collected by our team in 2009. We ...
Published on Dec 1, 2013in Evolutionary Biology-new York
Sophie Sanchez15
Estimated H-index: 15
(Uppsala University),
Rainer R. Schoch29
Estimated H-index: 29
(Museum für Naturkunde)
Evolutionary stasis (long-term stability of morphology in an evolving lineage) is a pattern for which explanations are usually elusive. The Triassic tetrapod Gerrothorax pulcherrimus, a gill-bearing temnospondyl, survived for 35 million years in the Germanic Basin of Central Europe persisting throughout the dinosaur-dominated Late Triassic period. This evolutionary stasis coincides with the occurrence of this species in a wide range of habitats and environmental conditions. By the combination of...
Published on Nov 1, 2013in Comptes Rendus Palevol1.82
Christian A. Sidor27
Estimated H-index: 27
(UW: University of Washington)
Abstract The Moradi Formation of northern Niger preserves a rare glimpse of tetrapods inhabiting the low paleolatitude regions of Pangea during Late Permian times. In contrast to the broadly distributed and dicynodont-dominated Karoo fauna known from southern Pangea (e.g., South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Malawi), recent work has shown that (1) Moradi tetrapods are endemic, and (2) the taxonomic composition of the Moradi fauna is unlike that of any other Upper Permian fauna. In this contribut...
Published on Sep 16, 2013in Journal of Sedimentary Research2.28
Jessica M. Giles1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Chesapeake Energy),
Michael J. Soreghan19
Estimated H-index: 19
(OU: University of Oklahoma)
+ 2 AuthorsStephen T. Hasiotis29
Estimated H-index: 29
(KU: University of Kansas)
Abstract Lower to mid-Permian deposits of the Midcontinent (U.S.A.) record a significant and long recognized aridification because they archive the shift from more humid facies (e.g., coal, organic shale) of the Pennsylvanian to widespread redbeds, semiarid to seasonal paleosols (Calcisols, Vertisols), and evaporites by the mid-Permian. The provenance, transport and depositional processes of the voluminous Permian redbeds of the Midcontinent, however, remain largely undefined. The Artinskian Wel...
Published on Jul 1, 2013in Journal of Sedimentary Research2.28
Robert A. Gastaldo30
Estimated H-index: 30
(Colby College),
Bryce A. Pludow1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Colby College),
Johann Neveling10
Estimated H-index: 10
Mudclast aggregates are documented in the Lower Triassic, anabranching fluvial deposits of the Katberg Formation, Karoo Basin, South Africa. Here, aggregates are: (1) coarse silt to fine sand size, (2) of a heterogeneous texture consisting of several clay clasts, some of which display the presence of clay skins, (3) uniquely shaped, not simply filling pore space between other grains as matrix, and (4) in association with reworked carbonate nodules and mud-chip rip-up clasts. They occur in basal ...
Published on Jul 1, 2013in Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology1.74
Linda A. Tsuji15
Estimated H-index: 15
(UW: University of Washington),
Christian A. Sidor27
Estimated H-index: 27
(UW: University of Washington)
+ 3 AuthorsOumarou Ide11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Abdou Moumouni University)
ABSTRACT We describe newly recovered cranial material of Bunostegos akokanensis, a pareiasaurian reptile known from the Upper Permian Moradi Formation of northern Niger. Bunostegos is highly autapomorphic, with diagnostic cranial features including two or three hemispherical bosses located above and between the external nares; laterally projecting supraorbital ‘horn’ formed by an enlarged postfrontal; large foramen present on ventral surface of postfrontal; and hemispherical supratemporal boss l...
Cited By8
Newest
Published on Jul 5, 2019in Biological Journal of The Linnean Society2.20
Elizaveta A. Boitsova1
Estimated H-index: 1
(SPbU: Saint Petersburg State University),
Pavel P. Skutschas13
Estimated H-index: 13
(SPbU: Saint Petersburg State University)
+ 3 AuthorsOlga A Masuytina
Published on May 27, 2019in Historical Biology1.49
Brodsky Dantas Macedo Farias , Cesar Leandro Schultz24
Estimated H-index: 24
(UFRGS: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul),
Marina Bento Soares13
Estimated H-index: 13
(UFRGS: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul)
ABSTRACTProvelosaurus americanus from the Guadalupian of Brazil, is the only species of pareiasaur known from South America and its studies are limited to anatomical descriptions. Here, we examined the microstructure of limb bones, a rib fragment and osteoderms of P. americanus, aiming to answer questions related to its paleobiology. The bone tissues of this specimen comprise poorly vascularised parallel-fibred bone interrupted by growth marks indicating slow, cyclical growth. This is consistent...
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering2.89
Li Zhang1
Estimated H-index: 1
(China University of Petroleum),
Zhidong Bao3
Estimated H-index: 3
(China University of Petroleum)
+ 5 AuthorsZecheng Wang3
Estimated H-index: 3
(PetroChina)
Abstract Shallow water delta developed during the Late Cretaceous greenhouse climate depositing in the red bed succession of the Yaojia Formation in the Southern Songliao Basin, NE China. The shallow water delta deposits provide an opportunity to understand the influence of high discharge variability in a semi-arid climate on the fluvial patterns, internal sedimentary details, and reservoir quality of distributary channels. The sedimentary process of the shallow water delta in the Yaojia Formati...
Published on Feb 7, 2019in Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology1.74
Sean P. Modesto22
Estimated H-index: 22
(Cape Breton University),
Courtney D. Richards1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 1 AuthorsChristian A. Sidor27
Estimated H-index: 27
(UW: University of Washington)
ABSTRACTRecent field work in the upper Permian Moradi Formation of Niger has yielded new material of the late-occurring and largest moradisaurine captorhinid, Moradisaurus grandis. The material includes two right hemimandibles, which represent individuals that are slightly smaller than the holotype. The smaller size of these mandibles, together with evidence in the form of tooth replacement, strongly suggest that the new material is ontogenetically younger than the holotype. The available eviden...
Published on Dec 1, 2017in Earth-Science Reviews9.53
Massimo Bernardi9
Estimated H-index: 9
(UoB: University of Bristol),
Fabio Massimo Petti11
Estimated H-index: 11
+ 7 AuthorsKenneth D. Angielczyk27
Estimated H-index: 27
(FMNH: Field Museum of Natural History)
Abstract The late Palaeozoic is a pivotal period for the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems. Generalised warming and aridification trends resulted in profound floral and faunal turnover as well as increased levels of endemism. The patchiness of well-preserved, late Permian terrestrial ecosystems, however, complicates attempts to reconstruct a coherent, global scenario. In this paper, we provide a new reconstruction of the Bletterbach Biota (Southern Alps, NE Italy), which constitutes a unique, ...
Published on Dec 1, 2017in Global and Planetary Change4.10
Eudald Mujal6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Autonomous University of Barcelona),
Josep Fortuny3
Estimated H-index: 3
(CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)
+ 6 AuthorsPere Anadón19
Estimated H-index: 19
(CSIC: Spanish National Research Council)
Abstract The most severe biotic crisis on Earth history occurred during the Permian–Triassic (PT) transition around 252 Ma. Whereas in the marine realm such extinction event is well-constrained, in terrestrial settings it is still poorly known, mainly due to the lack of suitable complete sections. This is utterly the case along the Western Tethys region, located at Pangaea's equator, where terrestrial successions are typically build-up of red beds often characterised by a significant erosive gap...
Published on Nov 29, 2017in Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology1.74
Neil J. Tabor26
Estimated H-index: 26
(SMU: Southern Methodist University),
Christian A. Sidor27
Estimated H-index: 27
(UW: University of Washington)
+ 2 AuthorsKenneth D. Angielczyk27
Estimated H-index: 27
(FMNH: Field Museum of Natural History)
ABSTRACT Stable carbon isotope analysis of coexisting soil calcite and organic matter sampled from modern, California soil profiles representing 18 different U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) official soil series yields 51 paired calcite–organic matter δ13C values (Δ13Ccc-om values). These paired values correspond to atmospheric pCO2 estimates ranging from less than ~100 to 2200 ppmv using standard assumed soil pCO2 concentrations at temperatures spanning the typical range of modern soil cal...
Published on Aug 1, 2017in Earth-Science Reviews9.53
Savannah L. Olroyd3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UW: University of Washington),
Christian A. Sidor27
Estimated H-index: 27
(UW: University of Washington)
Abstract Until recently, the Guadalupian (middle Permian) tetrapod fossil record was known almost exclusively from the Karoo Basin of South Africa and the Cis-Urals region of Russia, limiting progress towards understanding global middle Permian tetrapod biogeography. Recent work has shed light on several new or under-explored Guadalupian tetrapod-bearing basins, and we review and synthesize these findings here. We also review changes to the international and Russian Guadalupian time scales and p...
Aurore Canoville11
Estimated H-index: 11
(UCT: University of Cape Town),
Anusuya Chinsamy28
Estimated H-index: 28
(UCT: University of Cape Town)
Numerous morphological studies have been carried out on pareiasaurs; yet their taxonomy and biology remain incompletely understood. Earlier works have suggested that these herbivorous parareptiles had a short juvenile period as compared to the duration of adulthood. Several studies further suggested an (semi-) aquatic lifestyle for these animals, but more recent investigations have proposed a rather terrestrial habitat. Bone paleohistology is regarded as a powerful tool to assess aspects of tetr...
Published on Dec 1, 2015in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology2.62
Raymond F. Smith88
Estimated H-index: 88
,
Christian A. Sidor27
Estimated H-index: 27
(UW: University of Washington)
+ 1 AuthorsJ. Sébastien Steyer17
Estimated H-index: 17
(CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)
Abstract Pangaean paleogeographic models place the Tim Mersoi basin of northern Niger in a 5000-km-wide corridor between Gondwana and Laurasia approximately 15 degrees south of the paleoequator. Late Permian paleoclimate models position this basin between tropical summer-wet to the north and desert to the south. Recent investigations of the fossil vertebrates and paleosols in the late Permian (Lopingian) Moradi Formation confirm that the climate was warm and hyperarid with highly seasonal monsoo...
View next paperLate Permian (Lopingian) terrestrial ecosystems: A global comparison with new data from the low-latitude Bletterbach Biota