Geological Society of London
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Phanerozoic history of deep-sea trace fossils

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posted on 2016-06-21, 11:59 authored by Alfred Uchman

The Phanerozoic diversity of deep-sea trace fossils, based on 151 flysch formations, displays distinct, non-linear changes through the Phanerozoic, with peaks in the Ordovician-Early Silurian and Early Carboniferous, lowered in the Permian-older Late Jurassic, a peak in the Tithonian-Aptian, lowered in the Albian, and the maximum in the Eocene. The contribution of graphoglyptids in trace fossil assemblages rises gradually up to the end of the Cretaceous, shows a peak in the Palaeocene-Eocene but a depression in the Oligocene. All the changes were probably influenced by competition for food and food supply, bottom water temperatures and oxygenation, and frequency of flysch habitats. There is no clear influence of major biotic crises (Ordovician/Silurian, Cretaceous/Tertiary, Palaeocene/Eocene) on the diversity of deep trace fossils, except the Eocene/Oligocene crisis.