Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

Palaeoecology of Late Triassic conodonts: Constraints from oxygen isotopes in biogenic apatite

Manuel Rigo and Michael M. Joachimski

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 55 (3), 2010: 471-478 doi:

The oxygen isotopic composition of conodont apatite derived from the Late Triassic (Carnian to lower Norian), Pignola 2 and Sasso di Castalda sections in the Lagonegro Basin (Southern Apennines, Italy) was studied in order to constrain the habitat of Late Triassic conodont animals. Oxygen isotope ratios of conodonts range from 18.5 to 20.8‰ V−SMOW, which translate to palaeotemperatures ranging from 22 to 31°C, assuming a δ18O of Triassic subtropical sea water of −0.12‰ V−SMOW. These warm temperatures, which are well comparable to those of modern subtropical−tropical oceans, along with the body features of the conodont animal suggest that conodont δ18O values reflect surface water temperatures, that the studied conodont taxa lived in near−surface waters, and that δ18O values of Late Triassic conodonts can be used for palaeoclimatic reconstructions.

Key words: Conodonta, palaeoecology, oxygen isotope, palaeotemperatures, Late Triassic, Tethys.

Manuel Rigo [], Department of Geosciences, University of Padova, Via Giotto 1, 35121 Padova, Italy (corresponding author) and Michael M. Joachimski [], GeoZentrum Nordbayern, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Schlossgarten 5, 91054 Erlangen, Germany.

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