Publisher © Czech Geological Survey, ISSN: 2336-5757 (online), 0514-8057 (print)

New zoopaleontological finds in the Ploužnice Horizon (Pennsylvanian) of the Krkonoše Piedmont Basin

 

Stanislav Štamberg, Martin Lapacík

Geoscience Research Reports 51, 2018, pages 103–106
Map sheets: Jičín (03-43)

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Published online: 25 July 2018

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Abstract

The Ploužnice Horizon is a part of the Semily Formation (Stephanian C) of the Krkonoše Piedmont Basin, and is one of the paleontologically and biostratigraphically essential horizons of the Upper Carboniferous. Rich fauna was discovered recently in the Ploužnice Horizon from the newly opened locality of Ploužnice “Small Ravine” (Štamberg et al. 2016). In view of abundant and diverse fauna at this site, the subsequent investigation in the vicinity of the Ploužnice village was focused on similar layers rich in fossils. The attention was focused on the classic locality of Ploužnice “Railroad cut milestone 61.2”, (Fig. 1), first described by Frič (1912) who depicted and described a thin layer of red claystone with fauna as a “bone bed”. Later, isolated scales of actinopterygians were collected at the above site, but the layer described by Frič as a “bone bed” was not found. The extension of bone bed was discovered during the present excavations at the studied locality but it is exposed five meters higher, on a steep slope of the railroad cut. The sequence of strata containing a 15 cm thick fossiliferous bed of red tuffaceous siltstone, including a tiny 5 mm thick layer of bone bed with rich fauna (Fig. 2A), together with the underlying 10 cm thick nodular chert, is identical with the sequence of strata at the locality of Ploužnice „Small Ravine”. These are obviously outcrops of the same layers at both localities. This conclusion is supported by the occurrence of similar fish remains. Sharks (Chondrichthyes Huxley, 1880) are represented by the families Sphenacanthidae Maisey, 1982, and Xenacanthidae Fritsch, 1889. Placoid scales (Fig. 2B) of the family Sphenacantidae are numerous, and are more common than at the Ploužnice “Small Ravine” locality. Teeth of the same family were discovered for the first time in the Krkonoše Piedmont Basin. The teeth crowns consist of the large central cusp and two or three cusps laterally (Figs 2C, D). All cusps have a conspicuous crest converging to the apex of the cusps. These teeth are similar to those of Sphenacanthus carbonarius (Giebel, 1848), described by Soler-Gijón (1997) from the Puertollano Basin, and they are also known from the Saale, Saar, Dunkard and Kladno-Rakovník basins. Xenacanthid sharks are represented by isolated teeth of Orthacanthus sp. only (Figs 2F, G). Isolated scales of acanthodians (Acanthodii Owen, 1846) are the most common fish remains in the studied “bone bed”, and are accompanied by spines from the anterior border of acanthodian fins (Fig. 2A), and by fragments of their pectoral girdle. Actinopterygians (Actinopterygii Cope, 1877) show small sculptured scales and small, sharply pointed teeth, with a distinct acrodentin apex, corresponding to “Elonichthys” sp., described by Štamberg (2016). The group of actinopterygians completes the find of the lower jaw of Sphaerolepis kounoviensis Frič, 1877 with sharply pointed teeth covering the jaw in a brush-like arrangement (Fig. 2E).
 

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