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Carboniferous chondrichthyan assemblages from the Surprise Canyon and Watahomigi formations (latest Mississippian–Early Pennsylvanian) of the western Grand Canyon, Northern Arizona

  • John-Paul M. Hodnett (a1) (a2) and David K. Elliott (a3)

Abstract

Two chondrichthyan assemblages of Late Mississippian/Early Pennsylvanian age are now recognized from the western Grand Canyon of northern Arizona. The latest Serpukhovian Surprise Canyon Formation has yielded thirty-one taxa from teeth and dermal elements, which include members of the Phoebodontiformes, Symmoriiformes, Bransonelliformes, Ctenacanthiformes, Protacrodontoidea, Hybodontiformes, Neoselachii (Anachronistidae), Paraselachii (Gregoriidae, Deeberiidae, Orodontiformes, and Eugeneodontiformes), Petalodontiformes, and Holocephali. The euselachian grade taxa are remarkably diverse with four new taxa recognized here; the Protacrodontidae: Microklomax carrieae new genus new species and Novaculodus billingsleyi new genus new species, and the Anchronistidae: Cooleyella platera new species and Amaradontus santucii new genus new species The Surprise Canyon assemblage also has the youngest occurrence of the elasmobranch Clairina, previously only known from the Upper Devonian. The Surprise Canyon Formation represents a nearshore fluvial infilling of karstic channels, followed by a shallow marine bioherm reef, and finally deeper open water deposition. The early Bashkirian Watahomigi Formation represents open marine deposition and contains only two taxa: a new xenacanthiform, Hokomata parva new genus new species, and the holocephalan Deltodus. The relationship between the Surprise Canyon and Watahomigi chondrichthyan assemblages and other significant coeval chondrichthyan assemblages suggests that there may have been eastern and western distinctions among the Euamerican assemblages during the Serpukhovian due to geographic separation by the formation of Pangea.

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      Carboniferous chondrichthyan assemblages from the Surprise Canyon and Watahomigi formations (latest Mississippian–Early Pennsylvanian) of the western Grand Canyon, Northern Arizona
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