Article: Middle Llandovery (Aeronian) graptolites of the western Murzuq Basin and Al Qarqaf Arch region, south-west Libya
The taxonomy and biostratigraphy of the Aeronian graptoloid graptolites of the Tanezzuft Formation (Murzuq Basin and Al Qarqaf Arch area) is presented and discussed with respect to their palaeoenvironmental setting and palaeobiogeographical links. The gregarius-libycus, 'leptotheca', convolutus and sedgwickii assemblage biozones and tenuis Subzone are recognized and correlated with the generalized zonal scheme and with graptoloid successions in peri-Gondwanan Europe. The Rhuddanian/Aeronian boundary is tentatively placed at the base of the gregarius-libycus Biozone. Telychian faunas have not been identified. Fourteen of the 23 species recorded herein belong to the middle Aeronian convolutus Biozone assemblage. The overall low diversity may be the result of inhabiting unstable, occasionally turbulent and/or oxic environments. The lowest diversity, but with abundant graptoloid rhabdosomes, is observed in proximal silty and sandy deposits. The presence of 'Paraclimacograptus' libycus suggests biogeographical links to Aeronian graptolite faunas of Jordan and South America. The convolutus Zone assemblage is very similar to the coeval faunas of the Saudi Arabian Qusayba shales. The occurrence of several species endemic to northern and north-western Gondwana and peri-Gondwana provides further evidence for a distinct palaeoclimatic/palaeolatitudinal control on graptolite distribution.