Ontogeny, morphology and pedicle attachment of stenothecoids from the middle Cambrian of North Greenland (Laurentia)


Authors: Peel JS

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 96, issue 4; pages: 381 - 399; Received 11 July 2021; Accepted in revised form 27 August 2021; Online 26 September 2021

Keywords: Cambrian, Wuliuan Stage, Stenothecoida, ontogeny, pedicle, North Greenland, Laurentia,

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The bivalved calcareous shells of stenothecoids are generally both inequilateral and inequivalve. They occur in lower and middle Cambrian strata from Laurentia, Siberia, Kazakhstan and China, but their affinities are unresolved. Contemporary workers favour assignment as a separate class of Mollusca or within the stem-group of Brachiopoda. The latter is supported by the present description of pedicle attachment in stenothecoids from the Henson Gletscher Formation (Miaolingian Series, Wuliuan Stage) of North Greenland. Described material from Greenland is mainly preserved as internal moulds showing a high degree of variability that frustrates comparisons with assemblages from other localities and horizons, but provides insight into central features of stenothecoid morphology. Curvature of individual valves is shown to be an unreliable morphological indicator in the North Greenland sample. Early juveniles of Stenothecoides are described confirming the development of a transverse tooth in the interior of the ventral valve throughout ontogeny. A pitted structure near the apex of juvenile internal moulds is interpreted as the scar of a fibrous pedicle attaching the ventral valve to the substrate. Frondose impressions on the shell interior, previously considered to be characteristic of Bagenovia, are described in Stenothecoides. Multiple median scars on the dorsal valve characteristic of Stenothecella (Cambrian Stage 4) are also described in the Wuliuan material from North Greenland. New species: Stenothecoides terraglaciei sp. nov.


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