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Article: A new craniid brachiopod genus from the terminal Ordovician Hirnantia fauna of Myanmar and South China

Papers in Palaeontology - Volume 5 Issue 3 - Cover
Publication: Papers in Palaeontology
Volume: 5
Part: 3
Publication Date: August 2019
Page(s): 521 535
Author(s): Di Chen, and Jiayu Rong
DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1250
Addition Information

How to Cite

CHEN, D., RONG, J. 2019. A new craniid brachiopod genus from the terminal Ordovician Hirnantia fauna of Myanmar and South China . Papers in Palaeontology, 5, 3, 521-535. DOI: /doi/10.1002/spp2.1250

Author Information

  • Di Chen - School of Earth Sciences & Engineering Nanjing University 163 Xianlin Dadao Nanjing 210023 China
  • Jiayu Rong - Center for Excellence in Life & Paleoenvironment Nanjing Institute of Geology & Palaeontology Chinese Academy of Sciences 39 East Road Nanjing 210008 China

Publication History

  • Issue published online: 20 July 2019
  • Manuscript Accepted: 01 October 2018
  • Manuscript Received: 11 July 2018

Funded By

Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Grant Number: XDB26000000
National Natural Science Foundation of China. Grant Number: 41521061

Online Version Hosted By

Wiley Online Library
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Hirnantian costate craniides are rare in the world; many have only been defined using open taxonomic nomenclature and assigned to the genera Acanthocrania and Philhedra. New material from South China and Myanmar allows establishment of a new genus, Xenocrania, including its type species Palaeocyclus? haimei Reed from the Hirnantia fauna in northern Shan State, Myanmar. This genus is characterized by a unique ornamentation with a large degree of intraspecific variation in sympatric and allopatric populations. Three types of ornamentation (A, B and C) are recognized within the same population of this species, and even on the same individual. Based on this high degree of variation, we consider Xenocrania haimei and Acanthocrania yichangensis Zeng from the Hirnantia fauna of Yichang, western Hubei, South China to be conspecific. X. haimei was probably an opportunistic species, exhibiting considerable significant phenotypic pleiotropy (exemplified by a highly variable ornament) in response to severe ecological stress, particularly during the end Ordovician crisis, enabling the species to survive the extinction event. Geographically, Xenocrania gen. nov. occurs not only in the Hirnantia fauna of Myanmar (Sibumasu) and South China, but also in England (Avalonia), Poland (Baltica) and probably also Bohemia (Perunica). A further reassessment of many nominal or indeterminate taxa of Ordovician and Silurian craniides tentatively attributed to Philhedra, Acanthocrania and other related genera is needed.

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