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

Hans-Dieter Sues, Paul Eric Olsen

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.


Keywords


Paleontology; vertebrates; stratigraphy; Permian; Triassic; Jurassic; Fundy basin; Nova Scotia.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4138/atlgeol.2015.006