Exceptionally preserved conodont natural assemblages from the Middle Triassic Luoping Biota, Yunnan Province, China: implications for architecture of conodont feeding apparatus

Jinyuan Huang*, Carlos Martinez-Perez, Q Zhang, K Zhang, M Luo, W Wen, C Zhou, X Min, Z Ma, T Xie, Michael Benton, Philip C J Donoghue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Articulated natural assemblages contain direct evidence of the element numbers, morphologies, positions and structures for reconstructing the feeding apparatuses of conodont animals, but these kind of materials are very rare in fossil records. Here we report ten new conodont natural assemblages from Member II of the Guanling Formation in Luoping County, eastern Yunnan Province, southwestern China. These assemblages were obtained from the fossil-bearing layers of the Luoping Biota, dated to the early Middle Triassic Anisian stage (Pelsonian substage). These fossiliferous laminated limestones mainly consist of calcites and dolomites, with platy clay minerals and pyrites as subordinate components, indicating that the conodont assemblages were preserved in a lower energy and anoxic sedimentary environment. The new natural assemblages preserve the primary collapse orientations of the Nicoraella feeding apparatus from the Luoping Biota, showing the relative original positions of the S, M and P elements, that could be further used to refine the architecture of this apparatus in space variable M elements and the position unclear P1 elements. Integrating previously reported three-dimensional and bilaterally symmetrical fused clusters, we statistically analyze the size of the positional homogenous elements within different sized materials, in particular S4, S3, or S2 elements, indicates that elements ontogenic changes do not affect the apparatus architecture. Architecture of Nicoraella apparatus remains stable in the process of ontogeny, so our reconstructed model is credible. It is the first time that ample types of materials have been used to restore a conodont apparatus within one genus, namely natural assemblages (articulated and disarticulated), fused clusters (articulated, disarticulated, compressed, and relatively three dimensional), and abundant discrete elements, respectively. These materials together record the most complete information on architecture in the gondolelloid apparatuses, thus enabling us to reconstruct a reliable fifteen element apparatus and propose it as a standard template for gondolelloid apparatus reconstruction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1762-1776
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Earth Science
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was financially supported by the China Geological Survey (Nos. DD20230219, DD20221635-004, DD20190054), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 42272030, 41502013, 41772022, 41661134047), and the Project of the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain (No. PID2020-117373GA-I00) to Carlos Martínez-Pérez. We thank Yuheng Fang, Kunyang Wang, Guan Wang and Ying Yang for the SEM figures scanning of the natural assemblage specimens. Mr. Chao Tan from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, CAS, is also thanked for digital repair work on the conodont apparatus using Autodesk Maya. We are grateful to Zuoyu Sun and Martyn Lee Golding for their comments and suggestions on the early draft. The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/s12583-022-1793-z .

Funding Information:
This study was financially supported by the China Geological Survey (Nos. DD20230219, DD20221635-004, DD20190054), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 42272030, 41502013, 41772022, 41661134047), and the Project of the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain (No. PID2020-117373GA-I00) to Carlos Martínez-Pérez. We thank Yuheng Fang, Kunyang Wang, Guan Wang and Ying Yang for the SEM figures scanning of the natural assemblage specimens. Mr. Chao Tan from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, CAS, is also thanked for digital repair work on the conodont apparatus using Autodesk Maya. We are grateful to Zuoyu Sun and Martyn Lee Golding for their comments and suggestions on the early draft. The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/s12583-022-1793-z.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, Part of Springer Nature.

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Exceptionally preserved conodont natural assemblages from the Middle Triassic Luoping Biota, Yunnan Province, China: implications for architecture of conodont feeding apparatus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this