Review and palaeoecological analysis of the late Tremadocian – early Floian (Early Ordovician) cephalopod fauna of the Montagne Noire, France
Abstract. The Early Ordovician successions of the southern Montagne Noire consist of a thick sequence of predominantly siliciclastic sediments of which the late Tremadocian St. Chinian Formation and the earliest Floian La Maurerie Formation contain a comparatively rich and abundant cephalopod association. The cephalopods of the St. Chinian and La Maurerie Formation are interpreted as generally authochthonous, representing a fauna which originally lived in the open water above the sediments or related to the sea bottom. The cephalopod associations of the St. Chinian and La Maurerie formations are similar to other contemporaneous assemblages known from higher palaeolatitudes and associated with deeper depositional settings. They are composed almost exclusively of longiconic orthocones, in this case predominantly of eothinoceratids and baltocerids. The occurrences of Annbactrocera, and Bactroceras in the St. Chinian Formation are at present the earliest unambiguous reports of the Orthocerida. The available data suggest an initial expansion of orthoceroid cephalopod faunas from open water habitats of high paleo-latitudes, and a subsequent expansion on the carbonate platforms during the Floian. The presence of the eothinoceratid Saloceras in abundance demonstrates the Gondwanan affinity of the assemblage whilst adding further support for the presence of a "Saloceras realm" that may have extended along the margins of East and West Gondwana at least into intermediate latitudes. The following new taxa are proposed: Annbactroceras n. gen., Annbactroceras felinense n. sp., Cyclostomiceras thorali n. sp., Felinoceras n. gen., Felinoceras constrictum n. sp., Lobendoceras undulatum n. sp., Rioceratidae n. fam., Saloceras murvielense n. sp., Thoraloceras n. gen., Thoraloceras bactroceroides n. sp.