Broeggeria Walcott and other upper Cambrian and Tremadocian linguloid brachiopods from NW Argentina

Abstract

The Broeggeria assemblage is a peculiar brachiopod association that has been recorded mainly from Tremadocian black shales of Baltoscandia, the Anglo-Welsh Basin, Nova Scotia, South Urals and Kazakhstan. Here, we report a low diversity brachiopod association dominated by Broggeria omaguaca n. sp. from upper Tremadocian open-shelf mudstones of northwestern Argentina. The dark-grey transgressive muddy interval bearing the Broeggeria assemblage starts with an erosive flooding surface marked by a glauconite-rich bed containing reworked bioclasts, which overlies storm-dominated shoreface sandstones. Lithologic and taphonomic evidence indicates that the fauna from the mudstones represents a palaeocommunity inhabiting oxygen-depleted bottoms. Besides Broeggeria omaguaca, which by far is the more abundant linguloid, the assemblage includes the obolids Palaeoglossa elongata (Harrington) and Libecoviella aff. tilcarensis Benedetto and Muñoz, and the punctate orthide Lipanorthis andinus Benedetto. Associated trilobites are abundant and low diversity, the more common being the large asaphid Asaphellus jujuanus Harrington. Coeval strata exposed in the Santa Victoria area contain rare specimens of Broeggeria omaguaca associated with Leptembolon argentinum Benedetto and Muñoz and Palaeoglossa elongata. Comparable dysoxic black shales of Furongian age bearing the olenid trilobite Parabolina (Neoparabolina) frequens have yielded a monospecific association of Lingulella n. sp. The records of Broeggeria at global scale support its late Cambrian origin in the Anglo-Welsh Basin (Avalonia) and its rapid migration into the Karatau–Naryn terrane (a part of the Kazakhstanian collage). By the early Tremadocian, Broeggeria spread to Belgium and to the neighbouring Megumia terrane, migrating later (mid-late Tremadocian) to Baltica, Southern Urals, Kazakhstanian terranes, Perunica and the Central Andean Basin. By the late Floian/early Dapingian, Broeggeria colonized palaeoequatorial deep shelves (Spitsbergen). Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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