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Conodonts from the Carboniferous and Permian of Svalbard

Conodonts (or euconodonts) were a group of primitive jawless vertebrates which ranged from the Upper Cambrian to the uppermost Triassic. They were the first vertebrates to produce mineralized parts and are primarly known from scattered elements (usually 0.2-2 mm) of their feeding apparatus. The name "conodont" name means "cone-tooth", in reference to their shape. Conodonts are made of apatite, a phosphate mineral which is similar in composition to vertebrate teeth and bones. The conodonts ranged from the Cambrian to the Late Triassic.

Conodonts have become the premier microfossils for dating Palaeozoic and Triassic shallow marine carbonate rocks, and have been widely used in palaeoecological and biogeographical studies. In the current project 12 species are documented from the Middle to Upper Carboniferous, 12 through the Permian and 28 through the Triassic. The conodonts have proven useful in correlating sections between Svalbard and Greenland, North America, Arctic Canada and Russia (including Novaya Zemlya).

Moscovian (Carboniferous) conodonts from Spitsbergen, Svalbard.
Kungurian (Permian) conodont rich carbonates of Spitsbergen.

Selected references

  • Armstrong, H. A., Nakrem, H. A. & Ohta, Y. 1986. Ordovician conodonts from Bulltinden Formation, Motalafjella, central western Spitsbergen. Polar Research 4, 17-23.
  • Nakrem, H. A. 1991. Conodonts from the Permian succession of Bjørnøya (Svalbard). Norsk Geologisk Tidsskrift 71, 235-248.
  • Nakrem, H. A., Nilsson, I. & Simonsen, B. T. 1991. Moscovian (Carboniferous) microfossils (Bryozoa, Conodonta and Fusulinida) from Novaya Zemlya, Arctic U.S.S.R. Polar Research 9(1), 45-64.
  • Nakrem, H. A., Orchard, M.J., Weitschat, W., Hounslow, M.W., Beatty, T.W. & Mørk, A. 2008. Triassic conodonts from Svalbard and their Boreal correlations. Polar Research 27, 523-539.
  • Nakrem, H. A., Szaniawski, H., & Mørk, A. 2001. Permian-Triassic scolecodonts and conodonts from the Svalis Dome, central Barents Sea, Norway - Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 46(1), 67-84.
  • Sobolev, N. N. & Nakrem, H. A. 1996. Middle Carboniferous - Lower Permian conodonts of Novaya Zemlya. Norsk Polarinstitutt Skrifter 199, 128 pp. [Printed 1997]
Published Sep. 14, 2015 11:58 AM - Last modified Sep. 29, 2015 10:39 AM