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Gedl P.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Kaim A.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Leonowicz P.,University of Warsaw | Boczarowski A.,University of Silesia | And 8 more authors.
Acta Geologica Polonica | Year: 2012

Multidisciplinary studies of the Middle-Upper Bathonian ore-bearing clays at Gnaszyn revealed variable palaeoenvironmental conditions during the deposition of this seemingly monotonous sequence. We interpret the conditions in the bottom environment and the photic zone, and also evaluate the influence of the adjacent land areas, based on sedimentology, geochemistry, sporomorphs and palynofacies composition, benthic (foraminifera, gastropods, bivalves, scaphopods, echinoderms), planktonic (calcareous nannoplankton, dinoflagellate cysts), and nektonic (sharks) fossils. The Gnaszyn succession originated relatively close to the shore, within reach of an intense supply of terrestrial fine clastic and organic particles. The latter are mainly of terrestrial origin and range from 1.5 to 2.5 wt.%. The precise water depth is difficult to estimate but most likely ranges from several tens of metres to a few hundred metres. All fossil groups show minor changes throughout the succession. As the climate seems to have been quite stable during this period we consider sea-level fluctuations to have been the main factor responsible for the changes. The terrestrial input, including freshwater and land-derived clastic and organic particles (sporomorphs and cuticles), increased during periods of sea-level lowstand. As a consequence, stress conditions (lower salinity, higher nutrient availability, lower water transparency) in the photic zone caused blooms of opportunistic planktonic taxa. Furthermore, a faster sedimentation rate led to oxygen depletion and deterioration of the living conditions in the bottom environment due to an increased accumulation of organic matter. As a result, the benthic biota became taxonomically impoverished and commonly dominated by juvenile forms. During periods of high sea level, the source areas were shifted away from the basin, resulting in a decrease in the terrestrial influx, increase in the salinity of surface waters, the appearance of more diverse phytoplankton assemblages, a lower sedimentation rate, and an improvement of living conditions at the bottom.

Rees J.,Soldattorpet 48 | Cuny G.,Copenhagen University | Pouech J.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Mazin J.-M.,CNRS Geological Laboratory of Lyon: earth, planets and environment
Cretaceous Research | Year: 2013

A gypsum quarry at Cherves-de-Cognac in south-western France exposes a large section of Berriasian (basal Cretaceous) sediments deposited in a lagoonal environment. The sediments have yielded rich vertebrate faunas, but only two species of selachians are present; the lonchidiid hybodont Parvodus celsucuspus sp. nov. and the batoid Belemnobatis variabilis. The composition of the fauna, including only a single, seemingly endemic, hybodont species from a time when hybodont faunas are relatively well investigated in Europe, indicate that small hybodonts were not able to migrate longer distances. The recorded batoid species also occurs in southern England, demonstrating that these batoids were primarily marine fishes that regularly explored areas with reduced salinity. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

In order to investigate fat accumulation and the migration strategy of Reed and Sedge Warblers during autumn, their pattern of fat deposition at the onset of migration was recorded and analysed using ringing data from three bird observatories, at Kvismaren, Getterön and Falsterbo in southern Sweden. The data suggest that the birds have adopted a strategy where they do not use all accumulated fat during a single migratory flight, but travel with a higher fat load than necessary for the specific flight stage. By arriving at the next stopover site with some fat remaining, the birds become less vulnerable to the quality of stopover sites and variation in food availability during migration. © 2013 © 2013 British Trust for Ornithology.

Abstract: Callovian and Oxfordian strata in Ogrodzieniec near Zawiercie, southern Poland, have yielded two shark tooth assemblages that collectively include 14 neoselachian taxa. A previously unrecognised member of the Orectolobiformes, Akaimia altucuspis gen. et sp. nov., is described and characterised by a dentition remarkably similar to modern wobbegong sharks (Orectolobidae) by convergence. The assemblages also include the first anterior teeth ever found of the palaeospinacid '. Synechodus'. prorogatus Kriwet, in addition to teeth from two other palaeospinacids, Sphenodus spp., four different orectolobiforms, two hexanchids and Protospinax spp. These shark tooth assemblages contribute to the poorly known Callovian and Oxfordian neoselachian faunas and indicate that the diversity was higher than previously appreciated, particularly within the Orectolobiformes. © The Palaeontological Association.

Systematic sampling through the Middle and Upper Bathonian strata at Gnaszyn has resulted in the discovery of 13 neoselachian teeth. Systematically, the teeth represent five taxa including Sphenodus sp., Protospinax sp. 1, Protospinax sp. 2, Palaeobrachaelurus sp. and another, indeterminate orectolobiform. The presence of two species of the flattened and bottom-dwelling Protospinax and two different orectolobiforms that are likely to have lived near the bottom, is a strong indication of oxygenated bottom conditions at the time of deposition. The dietary preferences of these taxa included a wide variety of benthic invertebrates. The synechodontiform Sphenodus may have been the first pelagic predatory neoselachian in the Jurassic, equipped with high and slender piercing teeth that formed a tearing-type dentition. The diet of Sphenodus probably included bony fish, smaller sharks and cephalopods.

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