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Nat Commun. 2010 Aug 10;1:50. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1049.

Crustaceans from bitumen clast in Carboniferous glacial diamictite extend fossil record of copepods.

Author information

1
Paleontological Institute and Department of Geology, University of Kansas, 1475 Jayhawk Blvd, Lawrence, Kansas 66045, USA. selden@ku.edu

Abstract

Copepod crustaceans are extremely abundant but, because of their small size and fragility, they fossilize poorly. Their fossil record consists of one Cretaceous (c. 115 Ma) parasite and a few Miocene (c. 14 Ma) fossils. In this paper, we describe abundant crustacean fragments, including copepods, from a single bitumen clast in a glacial diamictite of late Carboniferous age (c. 303 Ma) from eastern Oman. Geochemistry identifies the source of the bitumen as an oilfield some 100-300 km to the southwest, which is consistent with an ice flow direction from glacial striae. The bitumen likely originated as an oil seep into a subglacial lake. This find extends the fossil record of copepods by some 188 Ma, and of free-living forms by 289 Ma. The copepods include evidence of the extant family Canthocamptidae, believed to have colonized fresh water in Pangaea during Carboniferous times.

PMID:
20975721
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms1049
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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