Skip to main content Accessibility help

Facies distribution and taphonomy of echinoids from the Fort Payne Formation (late Osagean, early Viséan, Mississippian) of Kentucky

  • Jeffrey R. Thompson (a1) and William I. Ausich (a2)


Paleozoic echinoids are exceptionally rare, and little is known of their paleoenvironmental distribution. The echinoid fauna of the Fort Payne Formation (Late Osagean, Early Viséan) of south-central Kentucky is documented. Four genera, ?Archaeocidaris, Lepidocidaris, ?Lepidesthes, and an unidentified lepidocentrid, were recovered and represent three different families. This fauna, and their associated paleoenvironments, give important new insights into the facies distribution of Paleozoic echinoids and the taphonomic biases that affect this distribution. Lepidocidaris is known from the green shale facies, which comprises the core of Fort Payne’s carbonate buildups. ?Archaeocidaris and the lepidocentrid are known from the wackestone buildups and crinoidal packstone buildups. ?Lepidesthes is also known from crinoidal packstone and wackestone buildups, which argues against a semi-infaunal life mode for this taxon. All relatively semiarticulated echinoids were known from autochthonous facies, whereas the only echinoids from the allochthonous facies were disarticulated hemipyramids. Furthermore, deeper-water carbonate buildups were apparently capable of supporting diverse echinoid faunas during the Viséan.



Hide All
Allison, P.A., 1990, Variation in rates of decay and disarticulation of Echinodermata: Implications for the application of actualistic data: Palaios, v. 5, p. 432440.
Ausich, W.I., and Meyer, D.L., 1990, Origin and composition of carbonate buildups and associated facies in the Fort Payne Formation (Lower Mississippian, south-central Kentucky): An integrated sedimentologic and paleoecologic analysis: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 102, p. 129146.
Ausich, W.I., Kammer, T.W., and Lane, N.G., 1979, Fossil communities of the Borden (Mississippian) Delta in Indiana and Northern Kentucky: Journal of Paleontology, v. 53, p. 11821196.
Casseday, S.A., and Lyon, S.S., 1862, Description of two new genera and eight new species of fossil Crinoidea from the rocks of Indiana and Kentucky: Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, v. 5, p. 1631.
Chestnut, D.R., and Ettensohn, F.R., 1988, Hombergian (Chesterian) echinoderm paleontology and paleoecology, south-central Kentucky: Bulletins of American Paleontology, v. 95, 102 p.
Donovan, S.K., Lewis, D.N., and Crabb, P., 2003, Lower Carboniferous Echinoderms of North-West England: Palaeontological Association Fold-Out Fossils 1.
Donovan, S.K., Lewis, D.N., and Bouman, R.W., 2014, Echinoid remains preserved in a Derbyshire screwstone (Mississippian, Visean, Brigantian), UK: Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, v. 60, p. 135139.
Fell, H.B., 1966, Cidaroida, in Moore, R.C., ed., Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Echinodermata, Part U(3): Boulder and Lawrence, Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, 725 p.
Fleming, J., 1828, History of British Animals Exhibiting the Descriptive Characters and Systematical Arrangement of the Genera and Species of Quadrupeds, Birds, Reptiles, Fishes, Mollusca, and Radiata of the United Kingdom; Including the Indigenous, Extirpated, and Extinct Kinds, Together with Periodical and Occasional Visitors: London, Duncan and Malcolm, 565 p.
Greb, S.F., Potter, P.E., Meyer, D.L., and Ausich, W.I., 2008, Mud mounds, paleoslumps, crinoids, and more; the geology of the Fort Payne Formation at Lake Cumberland, south-central Kentucky: Field trip for the Kentucky Chapter of the American Institute of Professional Geologists: Kentucky Geological Survey Online Publication, (accessed January 2014).
Greenstein, B.J., 1991, An integrated study of echinoid taphonomy: Predictions for the fossil record of four families: Palaios, v. 6, p. 519540.
Greenstein, B.J., 1993, Is the fossil record of the regular echinoids really so poor? A comparison of living and subfossil assemblages: Palaios, v. 8, p. 587601.
Hannon, J.S., and Meyer, D.L., 2014, Microendolithic structures from the Fort Payne Formation (Lower Mississippian), Kentucky and Tennessee: Implications for the paleoenvironment of carbonate mud-mounds: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 393, p. 2029.
Hawkins, H.L., 1935, Two genera of Carboniferous Echinoidea (Lepidocidaris and Hyattechinus) new to Britain: Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, v. 91, p. 239250.
Jackson, R.T., 1896, Studies of Palaechinoidea: Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, v. 7, p. 171254.
Jackson, R.T., 1912, Phylogeny of the Echini, with a revision of the Paleozoic species: Memoirs of the Boston Society for Natural History, v. 7, p. 1490.
Jackson, R.T., 1926, Lepidesthes howesi sp. nov., a Carboniferous echinoid from Northumberland: Geological Magazine, v. 63, p. 529533.
Jackson, R.T., 1929, Palaeozoic echini of Belgium: Mémoires du Musée Royal D’Histoire Naturelle de Belgique, v. 38, p. 196.
Khetani, A.B., and Read, J.F., 2002, Sequence development of a mixed carbonate-siliciclastic high-relief ramp, Mississippian, Kentucky, U.S.A.: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 72, p. 657672.
Kidwell, S.M., and Baumiller, T.K., 1990, Experimental disintegration of regular echinoids: Roles of temperature, oxygen, and decay thresholds: Paleobiology, v. 16, p. 247271.
Kier, P.M., 1958, New American Paleozoic echinoids: Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, v. 135, p. 126.
Kier, P.M., 1965, Evolutionary trends in Paleozoic echinoids: Journal of Paleontology, v. 39, p. 436465.
Kier, P.M., and Grant, R.E., 1965, Echinoid distribution and habits, Key Largo Coral Reef Preserve, Florida: Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, v. 149, p. 168.
Krause, R.A., and Meyer, D.L., 2004, Sequence stratigraphy and depositional dynamics of carbonate buildups and associated facies from the lower Mississippian Fort Payne Formation of southern Kentucky, U.S.A.: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 74, p. 831844.
Krivicich, E.B., Ausich, W.I., and Keyes, R.G., 2013, Crinoidea from the Fort Payne Chert of north-central Alabama and south-central Tennessee (Phylum Echinodermata; Mississippian): Southeastern Geology, v. 49, p. 133143.
Krivicich, E.B., Ausich, W.I., and Meyer, D.L., 2014, Crinoid assemblages from the Fort Payne Formation (late Osagean, early Viséan) from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama: Journal of Paleontology, v. 88, p. 11541162.
Lane, N.G., 1973, Paleontology and paleoecology of the Crawfordsville fossil site (upper Osagian: Indiana) with sections by J.L. Matthews, E.G. Driscoll, and E.L. Yochelson: University of California Publications in Geological Sciences, v. 99, 147 p.
Lees, A., 1997, Biostratigraphy, sedimentology and palaeobathymetry of Waulsortian buildups and peri-Waulsortian rocks during the late Tournaisian regression, Dinant area, Belgium: Geological Journal, v. 32, p. 136.
Leske, N.G., 1778, Iacobi Theodori Klein Naturalis disposito Echinodermatum, Edita et aucta a N.G. Leske: Leipzig, G. E. Beer, 278 p.
Leslie, S.A., Ausich, W.I., and Meyer, D.L., 1996, Lower Mississippian sedimentation dynamics and conodont biostratigraphy (lowermost Fort Payne Formation along the southeastern margin of the Eastern Interior Seaway): Southeastern Geology, v. 36, p. 2735.
Lewis, D.N., and Donovan, S.K., 2005, Archaeocidaris M’Coy (Echinoidea) from the Carboniferous of Egypt: Scripta Geologica, v. 129, p. 159167.
Lewis, R.Q., and Potter, P.E., 1978, Surface rocks in the western Lake Cumberland area, Clinton, Russell, and Wayne Counties, Kentucky: Geological Society of Kentucky, Kentucky Geological Survey, Annual Field Conference, 41 p.
Lovén, S., 1874, Etudes sur les Echinoides: Kongl. Svenska Vertenskaps-Akademiens Handlingar, v. 11, p. 191.
Lyon, S.S., and Casseday, S.A., 1859, Description of nine new species of Crinoidea from the Subcarboniferous rocks of Indiana and Kentucky: American Journal of Science and Arts, ser. 2, v. 28, p. 233246.
M’Coy, F., 1844, A Synopsis of the Characters of the Carboniferous Limestone Fossils of Ireland: Dublin, University Press, 207 p.
Meek, F.B., and Worthen, A.H., 1865, Descriptions of new Crinoidea, etc. from the Carboniferous rocks of Illinois and some of the adjoining states: Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, v. 17, p. 155166.
Meek, F.B., and Worthen, A.H., 1868, Paleontology of Illinois: Geological Survey of Illinois, v. 3, p. 291565.
Meek, F.B., and Worthen, A.H., 1869, Descriptions of new Crinoidea and Echinoidea, from the Carboniferous rocks of the Western States, with a note on the genus Onychaster: Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, v. 21, p 6783.
Meek, F.B., and Worthen, A.H., 1873, Descriptions of invertebrates from Carboniferous system: Illinois Geological Survey, v. 5, p. 321619.
Meyer, D.L., Ausich, W.I., and Terry, R.E., 1989, Comparative taphonomy of echinoderms in carbonate facies: Fort Payne Formation (Lower Mississippian) of Kentucky and Tennessee: Palaios, v. 4, p. 533572.
Meyer, D.L., Ausich, W.I., Bohl, D.T., Norris, W.A., and Potter, P.E., 1995, Carbonate mud-mounds in the Fort Payne Formation (lower Carboniferous), Cumberland Saddle region, Kentucky and Tennessee, USA: Special Publications International Association of Sedimentologists, v. 23, p. 273287.
Miller, S.A., 1879, Remarks upon the Kaskasia Group, and descriptions of new species of fossils from Pulaski County, Kentucky: Journal of the Cincinnati Society of Natural History, v. 2, p. 3142.
Miller, J., and Grayson, R.F., 1972, Origin and structure of the Lower Viséan “reef” limestones near Clitheroe, Lancashire: Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, v. 38, p. 607638.
Miller, J., and Grayson, R.F., 1982, The regional context of Waulsortian facies in Northern England, in Bolton, K., Lane, H.R., and LeMonda, D.V., eds., Symposium on the Palaeoenvironmental Setting and Distribution of Waulsortian Facies: El Paso, El Paso Geological Society, p. 1733.
Miller, S.A., and Gurley, W.F.E., 1893, Description of some new species of invertebrates from the Palaeozoic rocks of Illinois and adjacent states: Illinois State Museum, Bulletin 3, 81 p.
Mottequin, B., Poty, E., and Prestianni, C., 2015, Catalogue of the types and illustrated specimens recovered from the “black marble” of Dinée, a marine conservation-Lagerstätte from the Mississippian of southern Belgium: Geologica Belgica, v. 18, p. 114.
Nebelsick, J.H., 1996, Biodiversity of shallow-water red sea echinoids: Implications for the fossil record: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK, v. 76, p. 185194.
Nebelsick, J.H., and Kroh, A., 2002, The stormy path from life to death assemblages: The formation and preservation of mass accumulations of fossil sand dollars: Palaios, v. 17, p. 378393.
Pryor, W.A., and Sable, E.G., 1974, Carboniferous of the Eastern Interior Basin, in Briggs, G., Carboniferous of the southeastern United States: Geological Society of America Special Paper, v. 148, p. 281313.
Pryor, W.A., Klein, H.H., and Hannan, A.E., 1974, Crinoidal bodies of submarine-debris-flow origin, Early Mississippian, south-central Kentucky: American Association of Petroleum Geologists and Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists Annual Meeting Abstracts, v. 1, p. 7273.
Roemer, C.F., 1851–1856, Erste Periode, Kohlen-Gebirge, in Bronn, H.G., Lethaea Geognostica, 3rd ed., Stuttgart, E. Schweizerbart, v. 2, p. 1788.
Schneider, C.L., 2008, The importance of Echinoids in late Paleozoic ecosystems, in Ausich, W.I., and Webster, G.D., eds., Echinoderm Paleobiology: Bloomington, Indiana University Press, p. 7090.
Schneider, C.L., Sprinkle, J., and Ryder, D., 2005, Pennsylvanian (late Carboniferous) Echinoids from the Winchell Formation, north-central Texas, USA: Journal of Paleontology, v. 79, p. 745762.
Smith, A.B., 1980, Stereom microstructure of the echinoid test: Special Papers in Palaeontology, v. 25, p. 185.
Smith, A.B., 1984, Echinoid Palaeobiology: London, George Allen and Unwin, 190 p.
Smith, A.B., and Savill, J.J., 2001, Bromidechinus, a new Ordovician echinozoan (Echinodermata), and its bearing on the early history of echinoids: Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, v. 92, p. 137147.
Thompson, J.R., Crittenden, J., Schneider, C.L., and Bottjer, D.J., 2015, Lower Pennsylvanian (Bashkirian) echinoids from the Marble Falls Formation, Sab Saba, Texas, USA: Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, v. 276, p. 7989.
Trautschold, H., 1879, Die Kalkbrüche von Mjatschkowa. Eine monographie des oberen bergkalks: Nouveaux Mémoires de la Société Impériale des Naturalists de Moscou, v. 14, p. 182.
White, C.A., 1878, Descriptions of new species of invertebrate fossils from the Carboniferous and Upper Silurian rocks of Illinois and Indiana: Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, v. 30, p. 2937.


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed