Publication Type:

Book Chapter


Copper, Paul


Current paleontological research, in honor of Claude Babin, Elsevier on behalf of Universite Claude Bernard, Departement des Sciences de la Terre, Lyon, France, Volume 20, p.133-148 (1997)




Anticosti Island, aquatic environment, Articulata, biocenoses, biomineralization, Bivalvia, bottom currents, Brachiopoda, Canada, currents, eastern canada, ecology, growth, Invertebrata, marine environment, mass extinctions, metabolism, modern analogs, Mollusca, Morphology, paleoecology, Paleozoic, productivity, quebec, shell beds, shells, Silurian, substrates, taphonomy, thanatocenoses, tropical environment


Paleozoic-Mesozoic articulate brachiopods differ from bivalves in their preservation and capacity to produce shellbeds by (1) a stable low-magnesium calcite shell with finely fibrous structure, (2) a stronger tooth-socket hinge, (3) lack of a ligament forcing the shell apart at death, and (4) lower predation susceptibility. Articulate orders and families differ in their shape, size and hinge strength, producing variable shell pavement types, developing differing bioclasts resulting in variable textures and structures. Brachiopods pavements influenced bottom currents (turbulence, drag), and live brachiopods affected the overlying watermass by their lophophore pumping activity. Vulnerability to mass extinction episodes (Late Devonian, end Permian, end Cretaceous) narrowed articulate brachiopod selection to two surviving groups (terebratulids, rhynchonellids), which may be related to shell structure, low energetics, slow rates of metabolism and growth, low oxygen and temperature tolerance, and inedible, small soft tissue mass, all of which may have had an effect on shellbed production and taphonomy.


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