Stratigraphic and temporal context and faunal diversity of Permian-Jurassic continental tetrapod assemblages from the Fundy rift basin, eastern Canada

  • Hans-Dieter Sues Senior Research Geologist and Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian Institution
  • Paul Eric Olsen Storke Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
Keywords: Paleontology, vertebrates, stratigraphy, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Fundy basin, Nova Scotia.

Abstract

The Fundy basin in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick is the largest exposed rift basin of the Newark Supergroup and also extends beneath the Bay of Fundy. Its strata can be divided into four tectonostratigraphic sequences (TS). TS I is represented by the probably Permian Honeycomb Point Formation and possibly the Lepreau Formation. TS II includes the Wolfville Formation with the probably Middle Triassic Economy Member and the early Late Triassic Evangeline Member. These members have yielded markedly different assemblages of continental tetrapods. TS III comprises most of the Blomidon Formation, which is Norian to Rhaetian in age. The Blomidon Formation has yielded few skeletal remains of tetrapods to date but many tetrapod tracks. TS IV includes the late Rhaetian top of the Blomidon Formation and the McCoy Brook Formation, which overlies the North Mountain Basalt and is latest Rhaetian and earliest Jurassic (Hettangian) in age. The McCoy Brook Formation has yielded a diversity of continental tetrapods and lacks any of the characteristic Late Triassic forms. Recent work has correlated the Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Jurassic (Hettangian) to a level well above the North Mountain Basalt. Thus most of the tetrapod fossils from the McCoy Brook Formation are latest Rhaetian in age, but the higher horizon with skeletal remains of sauropodomorph dinosaurs may be earliest Hettangian in age. The Fundy basin preserves the only known, stratigraphically tightly constrained record of the profound biotic changes in continental ecosystems across the Triassic-Jurassic transition.

Author Biographies

Hans-Dieter Sues, Senior Research Geologist and Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian Institution
Hans-Dieter (Hans) Sues is Senior Scientist and Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. He is a leading expert on the evolutionary morphology, paleoecology, and phylogeny of Mesozoic reptiles and mammalian precursors. Sues successfully led major field projects in the United States and other countries in search of dinosaurs and other fossil vertebrates.Sues received his M.A. and Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University. He conducted postdoctoral research at McGill University and the National Museum of Natural History.To date Sues has authored or co-authored more than 130 refereed articles and book chapters, including 14 papers in Science and Nature. He co-authored Triassic Life on Land: The Great Transition (2010), edited Evolution of Herbivory in Terrestrial Vertebrates (2000), and co-edited Terrestrial Ecosystems through Time (1992), In the Shadow of the Dinosaurs (1994), and Major Transitions in Vertebrate Evolution (2007). Sues also serves as editor for various scientific journals and book series.Sues’s research and museum work have been widely covered by the press and media nationally and internationally. In recognition of his scientific contributions, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and received an Alexander von Humboldt Research Award.Sues has been a tireless advocate for the importance of museum collections in addressing major contemporary scientific issues and in science education. He has rebuilt curatorial research programs at the Royal Ontario Museum and the National Museum of Natural History. He has served as President of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and Vice President of the Natural Science Collections Alliance.
Paul Eric Olsen, Storke Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
Paul E. Olsen is a leading expert on the geology and paleontology of the Triassic-Jurassic strata of the Newark Supergroup of eastern North America and correlative strata in North Africa. He has conducted fieldwork and published widely on this subject for nearly 40 years.
Published
2015-04-07
How to Cite
Sues, H.-D., & Olsen, P. E. (2015). Stratigraphic and temporal context and faunal diversity of Permian-Jurassic continental tetrapod assemblages from the Fundy rift basin, eastern Canada. Atlantic Geology, 51(1), 139 - 205. https://doi.org/10.4138/atlgeol.2015.006
Section
Articles

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