Discovery of a long-term refuge for ostracods (Crustacea) after the end-Permian extinction: a unique Carnian (Late Triassic) fauna from the Mersin Melange, southern Turkey

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Forel M., TEKİN U. K., Okuyucu C., BEDİ Y., TUNCER A., Crasquin S.

JOURNAL OF SYSTEMATIC PALAEONTOLOGY, vol.17, no.1, pp.9-58, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The Mersin Melange, located in southern Turkey north-west of the city of Mersin, includes blocks and tectonic slices of different origins. The Kilek section in the Mersin Melange was sampled for a thorough examination of its lithology, biostratigraphy and fossil content. Two samples from the cherty limestone layers within the Huglu Tuffites at the top of the section yielded a rich silicified ostracod fauna of late Early Carnian (based on a two-fold Carnian subdivision) or middle Middle Carnian age (based on a three-fold Carnian subdivision), deposited in an open marine environment, in the outer platform-upper slope zone. We report 121 ostracod species belonging to 53 genera. Two new genera are described: Edithobairdia Forel gen. nov. and Gencella Forel gen. nov., as well as 16 new species: Acanthoscapha mersinella Forel sp. nov., Bairdia hugluensis Forel sp. nov., Acratia kollmanni Forel sp. nov., Citrella? carniana Forel sp. nov., Cytheropteron? schornikovi Forel sp. nov., Eucytherura lacerata Forel sp. nov., Gencella taurensis Forel sp. nov., Kerocythere dorsidenticulata Forel sp. nov., Kerocythere tricostata Forel sp. nov., Monoceratina praevulsaformis Forel sp. nov., Patellacythere tourkosella Forel sp. nov., Polycope kilekensis Forel sp. nov., Ptychobairdia praekristanae Forel sp. nov., Simeonella daginikella Forel sp. nov., Spinomicrocheilinella reliquiaella Forel sp. nov. and Triassocythere tavuscayiriensis Forel sp. nov. The diagnosis of Acratia goemoeryi Kozur is emended. The Kilek fauna retains primitive characteristics illustrated by the first known occurrence of Palaeocopida and Rectonariidae (typical Palaeozoic forms) in the Late Triassic, associated with typical Triassic-modern elements such as thick-shelled and ornamented Bairdiidae and diverse Cytheroidea known from the Middle and Late Triassic worldwide. The unique composition of Palaeozoic and Mesozoic taxa from the Kilek section illustrates unexpected long-term survival in a deep-sea refuge zone following the end-Permian extinction, and the diachronous character of the ostracod recovery in different environments.