Article: Early–Middle Jurassic lytoceratid ammonites with constrictions from Morocco: palaeobiogeographical and evolutionary implications
Raphael Bourillot, Pascal Neige, Aurelien Pierre and Christophe Durlet
The ammonite genus Alocolytoceras Hyatt, 1900 is an uncommon lytoceratid with distinctive shell ornament. A set of 58 specimens, recently collected at Amellago in the central High Atlas (Morocco), has enabled us to trace a succession of three species over eight biozones from the Toarcian to the Aalenian. Two specimens from the Lusitanian Basin are added for comparison. Following a review of the genus, based on original specimens and data from the literature, seven species are considered valid. A palaeobiogeographical synthesis of 13 regions demonstrates irregular distribution patterns over time, with a constant presence in the south-west Tethys and an instance of rapid diversification of an endemic fauna in north-west Europe. Our data challenge the conventional view that lytoceratid ammonite evolution was ‘conservative’.