Growth in early species of the conodont Ancyrodella and implications for correlation of the Middle-Upper Devonian boundary

C. Giles Miller


The first occurrence of the conodont Ancyrodella rotundiloba has been used extensively for correlating the Middle-Upper Devonian (Givetian-Frasnian) boundary in sections worldwide despite many arguments as to its precise taxonomic definition. These arguments are summarised herein and three ontogenetic series illustrated from three samples across the Givetian-Frasnian boundary within the Vorota Formation of the Kozhym River section, Sub-Polar Urals, Russia. General trends within the three ontogenetic series suggest that the ratio of basal pit width to platform width in Ancyrodella pristina, and Ancyrodella recta increases through ontogeny but the morphology of lateral secondary keel extensions to the basal pit remains constant and is a useful taxonomic feature. Folds and collars on the basal surface occur only in the later stages of development. The outline of the platform within species is variable and controlled by the formation of incipient nodes in juveniles; gerontic specimens can also have very variable platform outlines. Measurements of platform width to basal pit width ratios and platform shape outlines may not therefore be a good way to compare between species. The three ontogenetic series provide typical late Givetian and early Frasnian examples and increase the potential for correlation of the Middle-Upper Devonian boundary particularly using juvenile Ancyrodella specimens.


conodonts; Devonian; Givetian; Frasnian; Ancyrodella; ontogeny

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