Skip to main content Accessibility help

Spatial distribution of Crustacea and associated organisms in the Luoping Biota (Anisian, Middle Triassic), Yunnan Province, China: evidence of periodic mass kills

  • Rodney M. Feldmann (a1), Carrie E. Schweitzer (a2), Shixue Hu (a3) (a4), Jinyuan Huang (a3) (a4), Changyong Zhou (a3) (a4), Qiyue Zhang (a3) (a4), Wen Wen (a3) (a4), Tao Xie (a3) (a4) and Evin Maguire (a1)...


The distribution of all recognized biotic elements was mapped on five extensive surfaces of the Middle Triassic Guanling Formation exposed in quarries near Luoping, Yunnan Province, China. A 0.5 m2 grid was overlain on the surfaces, and all recognizable fossils were located by placing them in one of nine quadrants within the grid. A total of 240 m2 were mapped, and each specimen observed was recorded as one of 15 categories, subsequently grouped as pelagic, benthic, and other (bone, trace fossils, algae). The pelagic component, fish, thylacocephalans, and mysidaceans, dominated all layers. The benthic component was sparse on all surfaces; epifaunal, vagrant organisms were the dominant forms, suggesting that the substrate was unsuitable for infaunal and sessile epifaunal organisms. Shrimp and bivalves dominated the benthic organisms. Two of the surfaces were overwhelmingly dominated by mysidaceans, and one was dominated by thylacocephalans, suggesting that their remains documented periodic mass kills of swarming, pelagic organisms. Scanning electron microscope analysis of the bedding surfaces revealed nothing remarkable about the sediment, suggesting that the cause of death of the organisms was likely due to an event within the water column, possibly an algae bloom, not recorded in the sediment record.



Hide All
Benton, M.J., Zhang, Q., Hu, S., Chen, A.-Q., Wen, W., Liu, J., Huang, J., Zhou, C., Xie, T., Tong, T., and Choo, B., 2013, Exceptional vertebrate biotas from the Triassic of China, and the expansion of marine ecosystems after the Permo-Triassic mass extinction: Earth–Science Reviews, v. 125, p. 199243.
Briggs, D.E.G., and Rolfe, W.D.I., 1983, New Concavicarida (new order: ?Crustacea) from the Upper Devonian of Gogo, Western Australia, and the palaeoecology and affinities of the group: Special Papers in Palaeontology, v. 30, p. 249276.
Charbonnier, S., Vannier, J., Hantzpergue, P., and Gaillard, C., 2010, Ecological Significance of the arthropod fauna from the Jurassic (Callovian) La Voulte Lagertstätte: Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, v. 55, p. 111132.
Durham, J.W., 1966, Classification, in Durham, J.W., Caster, K.E., Exline, H., et al., eds., Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part U, Echinodermata 3, Asterozoa-Echinozoa, Lawrence, Geological Society of America and University of Kansas, p. U270U295.
Emig, C.C., 1983, Comportement experimental de Lingula anatine (brachiopode, inarticulé) dans divers substrats meubles (Baie de Mutsu, Japon): Marine Biology, v. 75, p. 207213.
Emig, C.C., 1997, Ecology of inarticulated brachiopods, in Williams, A., Brunton, H.C., and Carlson, S.J., eds., Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part H, Brachiopoda Revised, Volume 1: Lawrence, Geological Society of America and University of Kansas, p. 473502.
Feldmann, R.M., Schweitzer, C.E., Hu, S., Zhang, Q., Zhou, C., Xie, T., Huang, J., and Wen, W., 2012, Macrurous Decapoda from the Luiping Biota (Middle Triassic) of China: Journal of Paleontology, v. 86, p. 425441.
Feng, Z.Z., Bao, Z.D., and Li, S., 1997, Lithofacies paleogeography of Middle and Lower Triassic of South China: Petroleum Industry Press, Beijing, 222 p. (in Chinese with English abstract).
Fu, W.H., Wilson, G.D., Jiang, D.Y., Sun, Y.L., Hao, W.C., and Sun, Z.Y., 2010, A new species of Protamphisopus Nicholls (Crustacea, Isopoda, Phreatoicidea) from Middle Triassic Luoping Fauna of Yunnan Province, China: Journal of Paleontology, v. 84, p. 10011011.
Gall, J.-C., and Grauvogel, L., 1967, Faune du Buntsandstein II, Les Halicynés: Annales de Paléontologie, v. 53, p. 314.
Hessler, R.R., 1969, Peracarida, in Moore, R.C., ed., Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part R, Arthropoda 4 (1), Lawrence, Geological Society of America and University of Kansas, p. R360R393.
Hu, S.-X., Zhang, Q.-Y., Chen, Z.-Q., Zhou, C.-Y., , T., Xie, T., Wen, W., Huang, J.Y., and Benton, M.J., 2010, The Luoping biota: exceptional preservation, and new evidence on the Triassic recovery from end-Permian mass extinction: Proceedings of The Royal Society, v. B, p. 19.
Jing, Y.L., Zhang, K.X., and Lin, Q.X., 2005, Sedimentary geochemistry characteristics and paleoenvironmental meaning of Helongshan Formation and Nanlinghu Formation in Meishan, Changxing County, Zhejiang Province: Geological Science and Technology Information, v. 24, p. 3540. [in Chinese with English abstract]
Müller, A.H., 1955, Über einen Neufund von Halicyne plana und die systematische Stellung von Halicyne (Crustacea?): Paläontologische Zeitschrift, v. 29, p. 131135.
Munster, G., and Zu, G., 1839, Abbildung und Beschreibung der fossilen langschwänzigen Krebse in den Kalkschiefern von Bayern. Beitrage zur Petrefactenkunde, v. 2: Bayreuth, Germany, Commission der Buchner’schen Buchhandlung, v 88 p, 20 pls.
Pinna, G., Arduini, P., Pesarini, C., and Teruzzi, G., 1982, Thylacocephala: una nuova classe di crostacei fossili: Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano, v. 123, p. 469482.
Rolfe, W.D.I., 1985, Form and function in Thylacocephala, Conchyliocarida and Concavicarida (?Crustacea): a problem of interpretation: Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, v. 76, p. 391399.
Roger, J., 1946, Les invertébrés des couches à poisons du crétace supérieur du Liban: Mémoires de la Société Géologique de France, Nouvelle Série, v. 51, p. 192.
Schram, F.R., 1974, Paleozoic Peracarida of North America: Fieldiana Geology, v. 33, p. 95124.
Schram, F.R., 1977, Paleozoogeography of Late Paleozoic and Triassic Malacostraca: Systematic Zoology, v. 26, p. 367379.
Schram, F.R., 1986, Crustacea, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 606 p.
Schram, F.R., 1990, On Mazon Creek Thylacocephala: Proceedings of the San Diego Society of Natural History, v. 3, p. 116.
Schram, F.R., Vonk, R., and Hoe, C.H.J., 1997, Mazon Creek Cycloidea: Journal of Paleontology, v. 71, p. 261284.
Schram, F.R., Hof, C.H.J., and Steeman, F.A., 1999, Thylacocephala (Arthropoda: Crustacea?) from the Cretaceous of Lebanon and implications for thylacocephalan systematics: Palaeontology, v. 42, p. 769797.
Schweigert, G., 2007, Juracyclus posidoniae n. gen. and sp., the first cycloid arthropod from the Jurassic: Journal of Paleontology, v. 81, p. 213215.
Schweigert, G., and Dietl, G., 2007, Miscellanea aus dem Nusplinger Plattenkalk (Ober–Kimmeridgium, Schwäbische Alb). 8. Neufunde der Garnele Aeger Münster, 1839 und ein von dieser erzeugtes Spruenfossil. Jahresberichte und Mitteilungen des Oberrheinischen Geologischen Vereins: Neue Folge, v. 89, p. 105114.
Schweitzer, C.E., Feldmann, R.M., Hu, S., Huang, H, Zhou, C., Zhang, Q., Wen, W., and Xie, T., 2014, Penaeoid Decapoda (Dendrobranchiata) from the Luoping Biota (Middle Triassic) of China:.systematics and taphonomic framework: Journal of Paleontology, v. 88, p. 457474.
Secretan, S., 1983, Une nouvelle classe fossile dans la super-classe des Crustacés: Conchyliocarida: Paris, Comptes Rendus Académie des Sciences, v. 296, p. 741743.
Secretan, S., 1985, Conchyliocarida, a class of fossil crustaceans: relationships to Malacostraca and postulated behaviour: Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, v. 76, p. 381389.
Stachowitsch, M., 1991, Anoxia in the northern Adriatic Sea: rapid death, slow recoveryin Tyson, R.V., and Pearson, T.H., eds., Modern and Ancient Continental Shelf Anoxia: Geological Society Special Publication, v. 58, p. 119129.
Stachowitsch, M., 1992, Benthic communities: Eutrophication’s “memory mode,”in Vollenweider, R.A., Marchetti, R., and Viviani, R., eds., Marine Coastal Eutrophication: Science of the Total Environment, Suppl. 1992, p. 10171028.
Sun, Y., Liu, J., , T., Xu, X., Zhang, Q., Lou, X., and Jiang, X., 2009, Oxygen and carbon isotopic compositions of Mekkle Triassic carbonates from the Dawazi section of Luoping, Yunnan: implications for paleoenvironment of the Luoping Lagerstte: Acta Geological Sinica, v. 83, p. 11101117.
Taylor, R.S., Schram, F.R., and Yan-Bin, S., 2001, A new upper Middle Triassic shrimp (Crustacea: Lophogastrida) from Guizhou, China, with discussion regarding other fossil “Mysidaceans”: Journal of Paleontology, v. 75, p. 310318.
Vannier, J., Chen, J.-Y., Huanbg, D.-Y., Charbonnier, S., and Wang, X.-Q., 2006, The Early Cambrian origin of thylacocephalan arthropods: Act Palaeontologica Polonica, v. 51, p. 201214.
Wang, Z., and Zhong, D., 1994, Triassic conodont biostratigraphy from different facies in eastern Yunnan, western Guizhou and northern Guangxi: Acta Micropalaeontologica Sinica, v. 11, no. 4, p. 379–412 (in Chinese with English abstract).
Zhang, Q.Y., Zhou, C.Y., , T., Xie, T., Luo, X.Y., Liu, W., Sun, Y.Y., Huang, J.Y., and Zhao, L.S., 2009, A conodont-based Middle Triassic age assignment for the Luoping Biota of Yunnan, China. Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences, v. 52, p. 16731678.
Zhou, C., Qiyue, Z., Hu, S., , T., and Bai, J., 2010, Geochemical records of paleoenvironment associated with the Middle Triassic Luoping Biota, Yunnan, southwest China: Journal of Earth Science Special Issue, v. 21, p. 225227.


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