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Distribution of the order Proetida (Trilobita) in Baltoscandian Ordovician strata; pp. 10–23

Full article in PDF format | doi:10.3176/earth.2009.1.02

Helje Pärnaste, Adrian Popp, Robert M. Owens


The trilobite order Proetida forms a minor but important faunal element within the Ordovician strata of Baltoscandia. This review follows the current systematic, taxonomic, and stratigraphical usage and discusses the distribution of these trilobites within the context of the Confacies Belt model. A database of species-level information was derived from numerous publications relating to the Scandinavian and Baltic states and relevant neighbouring regions. Important additional information on strati­graphical occurrences of genera has been derived from glacial erratic boulders (geschiebe) from northern Germany and adjacent areas. The representatives from Baltoscandia of three superfamilies, Bathyuroidea, Aulacopleuroidea, and Proetoidea, are listed. The genus level was chosen as the most practicable to plot on the maps, one showing the time interval for the Kukruse Regional Stage (or Global Stage Slice Sa1), the other that for the Pirgu and Porkuni stages (or stage slices Ka4 and Hi1–Hi2). These intervals each show a diversity peak within the ranges of about 30 genera of Proetida and over 70 species from the Ordovician successions of Baltoscandia. Out of these a total of nine genera cross the Ordovician–Silurian boundary.

The regional comparisons from within Baltoscandia show differences in facies dependency of certain genera, with possibly also a latitudinal component. During the late Ordovician the faunal resemblance appears to be closest to the neighbouring palaeocontinent Avalonia, suggesting a faunal exchange between or pathways to both continents from elsewhere. Besides climatic and geographical proximity of palaeocontinents, sea-level changes also have to be considered in explaining the distribution of Proetida in Baltoscandia.

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