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Article: Early Jurassic brachiopods from Gibraltar, and their Tethyan affinities

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 40
Part: 2
Publication Date: May 1997
Page(s): 497 513
Author(s): Ellis F. Owen and Edward P. F. Rose
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How to Cite

OWEN, E. F., ROSE, E. P. F. 1997. Early Jurassic brachiopods from Gibraltar, and their Tethyan affinities. Palaeontology40, 2, 497–513.

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A spiriferinid Liospiriferina rostrata, two rhynchonellids Gibbirhynchia correcta and Pontaltorhynchia schopeni gen. nov., a terebratulid Merophricus mediterranea, and a zeilleriid Calpella aretusa gen. nov., constitute the first invertebrate fauna to be described systematically from the 'Gibraltar Limestone'. This formation, a 600 m thick cyclic sequence of well-cemented peritidal dolomitic limestones, has also yielded stromatolitic and oncoidal algae, a stromatoporoid, and locally common but generically indeterminate gastropods and bivalves. The brachiopods are of early Lias (Sinemurian) age, based on comparisons with faunas largely from Morocco and Sicily, and those described from the upper Sinemurian of the Central Apennines, Italy. The Sinemurian age verified for a significant part of the Rock of Gibraltar, an isolated and partly overturned klippe, allows its correlation with other tectonically displaced carbonates in the Betic-Rif arc which borders the western extremity of the Mediterranean Sea. Elements of a similar brachiopod fauna ranging from Italy through Gibraltar to Morocco are associated with thick Liassic platform carbonates which characterized the southern continental margin of the Tethys until its widespread collapse, generally in the mid-late Liassic.
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