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Batocrinidae (Crinoidea) from the Lower Mississippian (lower Viséan) Fort Payne Formation of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama: systematics, geographic occurrences, and facies distribution

  • William I. Ausich (a1), Elizabeth C. Rhenberg (a2) and David L. Meyer (a3)
Abstract

The Batocrinidae are characteristic faunal elements in Lower Mississippian shallow-marine settings in North America. Recent delineation of objectively defined genera allows a reexamination of batocrinid species and their distribution in the Fort Payne Formation (early Viséan, late Osagean), a well-studied array of carbonate and siliciclastic facies. The Fort Payne batocrinid fauna has 14 species assigned to six genera, plus hybrid specimens. Magnuscrinus spinosus (Miller and Gurley, 1895a) is reassigned to its original placement in Eretmocrinus. Hybrid specimens (Ausich and Meyer, 1994) are regarded as Eretmocrinus magnificus×Eretmocrinus spinosus. Macrocrinus casualis is the dominant species of Macrocrinus in the Fort Payne, and M. mundulus and M. strotobasilaris are recognized in the Fort Payne Formation for the first time. Magnuscrinus cumberlandensis n. sp. is named, 13 species are designated as junior synonyms, the name for the hybrid specimens is changed to Eretmocrinus magnificus×Eretmocrinus spinosus, and the previous occurrences of two species in the Fort Payne are rejected. The Eastern Interior Seaway was a mixed carbonate-siliciclastic setting with both shallow- and deep-water epicontinental sea facies ranging from relatively shallow autochthonous green shales to deep-water turbidite facies. Dizygocrinus was restricted to shallow-water carbonate and siliciclastic facies, Eutrochocrinus was restricted to shallow-water carbonate facies, and Magnuscrinus was restricted to deep-water facies. Species distributions varied from Abatocrinus steropes, Alloprosallocrinus conicus, Macrocrinus mundulus, and Uperocrinus nashvillae, which occurred throughout the Eastern Interior Seaway, to species that were restricted to a single facies. Eretmocrinus magnificus, Alloprosallocrinus conicus, and Uperocrinus robustus were the dominant batocrinids in the Fort Payne Formation.

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