Cephalopods from the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) Boundary Interval on the Brazos River, Texas, and Extinction of the Ammonites

James Witts*, Neil Landman, Matthew Garb, Kayla Irizarry, Ekaterina Larina, Nicolas Thibault, Mohammad Razmjooei, Thomas Yancey, Corinne Myers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We report on new collections of cephalopods (ammonites and nautilids) from the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) successions of the Corsicana and Kincaid formations exposed along the Brazos River in Falls County, Texas. An abundant fauna of eight species comprising four genera of ammonites is described from the Corsicana Formation, including Discoscaphites mullinaxorum n. sp. The presence of abundant aptychi (probably lower jaws) of Discoscaphites and Eubaculites, as well as juvenile specimens, indicates a living population that experienced little postmortem drift. The lytoceratid genus Gaudryceras is also reported for the first time from the Brazos River area. Presence of the index taxon Discoscaphites iris (Conrad, 1858) indicates that the fauna belongs to the D. iris Range Zone, the highest ammonite range zone in North America. Correlation with new and existing microfossil data indicates that the fauna represents the uppermost Maastrichtian, and comparison with published records further suggests that this is the most diverse D. iris Zone fauna yet reported from the Gulf and Atlantic Coastal Plains of North America. Three ammonite genera are recorded from the basal units of the K-Pg event deposit at Brazos, which likely represents deposition in the immediate aftermath of the Chicxulub impact event. A single specimen of the nautilid Eutrephoceras is reported from the Danian Kincaid Formation, less than 300 kyr after the K-Pg boundary. These data provide new information on the differing fate of these cephalopod groups during the K-Pg mass extinction and add to the picture of diverse and abundant Maastrichtian ammonite faunas prior to the Chicxulub impact event.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-52
Number of pages52
JournalAmerican Museum Novitates
Issue number3964
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2021

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