Post-Cambrian closure of the deep-water slope-basin taphonomic window

PJ Orr*, MJ Benton, DEG Briggs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Exceptional faunas (Konservat-Lagerstatten that preserve traces of volatile nonmineralized tissues) are statistically overabundant in the Cambrian Period; almost all examples preserved in continental-slope and shelf-basin environments are of this age. The hypothesis that an increase in the amount and complexity of bioturbation was an important agent in the elimination of this deep-water slope-basin taphonomic window is supported. Post-Cambrian ichnofaunal assemblages contain a higher proportion of pascichnia and agrichnia, ethologies produced by a mobile infauna. They also illustrate the lateral partitioning of organisms into different environmental niches; both opportunistic and equilibrium infaunas occur in low-oxygen environments in which the preservation of nonbiomineralized tissues was favored. Direct consumption of carcasses by bioturbating organisms was less important than changes to sediment properties as a result of bioturbation, notably enhanced microbial degradation of reactive organic matter, increased permeability, and the disruption of geochemical gradients necessary for mineral authigenesis.

Translated title of the contributionPost-Cambrian closure of the deep water slope basin taphonomic window
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-772
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume31
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003

Keywords

  • Burgess Shale
  • taphonomy
  • bioturbation
  • exceptional fauna
  • EXCEPTIONAL FOSSIL RECORD
  • SOFT-TISSUE PRESERVATION
  • BURGESS-SHALE
  • DECAY
  • BIOGEOCHEMISTRY
  • MINERALIZATION
  • BIOTURBATION
  • ORGANISMS
  • MINERALS
  • WALES

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Post-Cambrian closure of the deep-water slope-basin taphonomic window'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this