The late Middle Devonian fauna of Red Hill I, Nevada, and its paleobiogeographic implications
- 1Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, and Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045, USA
- *With contribution by Loren E. Babcock, Department of Geological Sciences, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA, E-mail: Babcock.5@OSU.edu
Abstract. The fauna of the Middle Devonian Red Hill I locality, Nevada, is unusual in the co-occurrence of a rich fish assemblage with a rich invertebrate one. Sponges are second in abundance of specimens and number of species only to the fishes and occur together with other invertebrates (conodonts, conulariids, dacryoconarid tentaculites, gastropods, bivalves, brachiopods, arthropods, and unidentifiable ammonoids and echinoderms). The invertebrates indicate a marine depositional paleoenvironment. The conodonts indicate a placement within the lower disparalis Zone, late Givetian. The fish assemblage is dominated by the antiarch Asterolepis. All the other fishes, acanthodians, actinopterygians and sarcopterygians, are less common. The closest biogeographic relationship of the fish fauna is with the Middle/Late Devonian fish fauna of the Baltic Region, followed by that of eastern Canada (Miguasha), Scotland and Iran. This distribution corresponds to the Devonian Euramerica faunal province with connection to eastern Gondwana (Iran and Australia). Localities with the same genera as Red Hill I are interpreted as marine with the exception of the Scottish localities. Asterolepis is the most widely distributed vertebrate genus, mostly marine, but it may be able to enter freshwater like Eusthenopteron if one accepts a freshwater depositional paleoenvironment for the Scottish localities.