Article: Late Emsian Rutoceratoidea (Nautiloidea) from the Prague Basin, Czech Republic: morphology, diversity and palaeoecology
Nautiloids of the superfamily Rutoceratoidea from the late Emsian (late Early Devonian) of the Prague Basin (Czech Republic) are commented upon. Species recognized include the hercoceratids Hercoceras mirum, H.? transiens, Ptenoceras proximum, P. nudum, P. minusculum and Anomaloceras anomalum, as well as the rutoceratids Adelphoceras bohemicum, Homoadelphoceras devonicans, Pseudorutoceras bolli and Goldringia? devonicans. In addition, four new species are described: Parauloceras regulare sp. nov., Roussanoffoceras chlupaci sp. nov., Otomaroceras sp. nov. and Goldringia sp. nov. Morphology and distribution patterns of Pragian and late Emsian rutoceratoid faunas from the Prague Basin are compared. They show that an increased diversity was accompanied by a higher level of specialization of rutoceratoids, which manifested itself in low abundance, increased facies dependence and greater variation in shell size during the Early Devonian. The evolution of sculpture and a contracted aperture, both regarded as protective adaptive features, was also examined, but no adaptive trend towards more pronounced sculpture and constriction of the aperture was found to have occurred in the Early Devonian. A more distinctive sculpture was, however, observed in shallow-water assemblages of P. proximum in comparison with deeper-water faunules, and two additional cephalopod species were examined in order to obtain comparative data. The presence of distinct sculpture patterns in coeval shallow- and deeper-water assemblages suggests limited migration between them and consequently reflects some degree of territoriality in Devonian nautiloids. New data on early shell development in P. proximum are presented. During the Chote? Event, rutoceratoid generic diversity dropped dramatically, one family became extinct and the Early Devonian diversification of the group came to an end. The recovery of nautiloid faunas was slower than that of other cephalopods and associated, unrelated invertebrates. The absence of change in abundance patterns between Pragian and late Emsian rutoceratoid faunas, i.e. prior to and subsequent to ammonoid radiation, suggests that the appearance and radiation of the latter group in the early Emsian did not affect the structure of nautiloid assemblages, i.e. these two clades did not occupy the same niches.