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Biostratigraphy and palaeoecology of Lower Ordovician graptolites from the Fezouata Shale (Moroccan Anti-Atlas)

Abstract : The Fezouata Shale (=Fezouata Formation) has produced the most complete Lower Ordovician graptolite succession known from the African continent, which was studied from 32 sections located along the western, central, and eastern Moroccan Anti-Atlas. A composite biostratigraphic and chronostratigraphic scheme is presented for the entire formation that, in ascending order, comprises the Anisograptus matanensis-Rhabdinopora flabelliformis anglica zones (uppermost lower Tremadocian), \textquotedblleftAdelograptus\textquotedblright tenellus and Aorograptus victoriae zones (middle Tremadocian), Araneograptus murrayi and Hunnegraptus copiosus zones (upper Tremadocian), ?Cymatograptus protobalticus Zone (lower Floian), ?Baltograptus jacksoni Zone (middle Floian), and the Baltograptus minutus Zone plus an \textquotedblleftAzygograptus interval\textquotedblright (upper Floian). Most of these zones or biozones are recorded for the first time in Africa, together with important graptolite species such as Ancoragraptus bulmani (Spjeldnaes), ?Cym. protobalticus (Monsen), ?B. jacksoni Rushton, Clonograptus multiplex (Nicholson), B. minutus (Tornquist) and Azygograptus eivionicus Elles. A correlation with the graptolite sucession from the Algerian Sahara is also suggested, reinforced by the common record of the minute anisograptid Choristograptus louhai Legrand, providing its second world occurrence in the Tremadocian of Morocco. The prior late Tremadocian dating of the Fezouata Lagerstatte is here extended to the middle Floian as revealed by the graptolite biochronology. The repeated record along the lower and middle parts of the Fezouata Formation of deep water mesopelagic species of the genera Araneograptus with mass occurrences of conical colonies, together with large horizontal rhabdosomes of Paratemnograptus, Paradelograptus, Clonograptus, \textquotedblleftTetragraptus\textquotedblright and Holograptus/Schizograptus do not fit the sedimentological interpretation of deposition of these strata in much shallower inshore to mid-shelf environments. This inconsistency has implications when inferring the living conditions of the Fezouata soft-bodied assemblages. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Juan Carlos Gutierrez-Marco, Emmanuel L. O. Martin. Biostratigraphy and palaeoecology of Lower Ordovician graptolites from the Fezouata Shale (Moroccan Anti-Atlas). Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 2016, 460 (SI), pp.35--49. ⟨10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.07.026⟩. ⟨hal-02333284⟩

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