Faunal composition and paleoenvironmental reconstruction of a Middle-Late Triassic boundary assemblage in the Pyrenean basin (Catalonia, NE Spain)

Ruben Garcia-Artigas, Ramon Mercedes-Martín, Joan Cartanyà, Arnau Bolet, Marc Riccetto, Josep Fortuny*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The Ladinian-Carnian transition in the Tethys domain was accompanied by an important environmental change representing a milestone in the climate evolution of the Triassic. However, estimations on paleodiversity composition and paleoenvironmental conditions across this interval are scarce in marine settings due to the lack of fossil-bearing successions. In this work, a refined paleontological and sedimentological study has allowed us to better characterize a well-preserved marine?Ladinian-Carnian carbonate succession in the South Central Pyrenees (Odèn site, Catalonia, NE Spain). Vertebrate faunas include numerous actinopterygian specimens, forming an assemblage composed of at least four taxa: Peltopleurus cf. P. nuptialis Lombardo, 1999, Saurichthys sp., Colobodus giganteus (Beltan, 1972), and an indeterminate halecomorph. Specimens belonging to the genus Peltopleurus are dominant; the long-snouted Saurichthys, the halecomorph, and the large-bodied Colobodus giganteus are less abundant. Tetrapod remains are scarcely present and are assigned to sauropterygians. Invertebrate faunas include bivalves (Pseudocorbula gregaria [MÜnster in Goldfuss, 1838]) and brachiopods (Lingula sp.). The fossil assemblage was recovered from organic-rich laminated silty mudstone layers. Sedimentological and textural analyses suggest that fossil biotas were deposited below the fair-weather wave base in shallow subtidal coastal settings. These environments were sporadically sourced by silt/clay. The age of the Odèn site, on the basis of the recovered fauna, is assigned to the?late Ladinian-middle Carnian (Middle-Late Triassic), which is in agreement with previously published ages based on palynomorph data. The refined integration of paleontological, sedimentological, and biostratigraphic data from the Odèn site and other vertebrate-bearing localities in the Tethys domain can help better constrain the paleoenvironmental conditions and paleogeographical configuration impacting ecosystem diversity during the late Ladinian-Carnian interval.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-427
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Paleontology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2022


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