Geology and taphonomy of the base of the Taquaral Member, Irati Formation (Permian, Paraná Basin), Brazil

Artur Chahud, Setembrino Petri


The taphonomy of Early Permian vertebrates from a sandy facies at the base of the Taquaral Member, Irati Formation, was surveyed in order to acquire data for the interpretation of the sedimentary processes and paleoenvironment of deposition. Six outcrops from the Rio Claro municipality and surrounding areas, from the Brazilian State of São Paulo, were investigated. The vertebrate groups are Chondrichthyes (Xenacanthiformes, Ctenacanthiformes and Petalodontiformes), Osteichthyes (Actinopterygii and Sarcopterygii) and Tetrapodomorpha. They occur as loose teeth, scales, spines and bone remains. The sandy facies is characterized by fining upward deposition. The coarser sandstone immediately above the underlying Tatuí Formation is rich in Chondrichthyes. However, the fine sandstone above, immediately beneath the silty shale facies, is devoid of Chondrichthyes, though Osteichthyes scales, teeth and bones were present. The taphonomy is important for inferring sedimentary processes and then the paleoenvironments. The poor sorting of the sandstone and the presence of fossils that are mostly abraded or worn are indicative of a high energy environment. In contrast, the presence of fossils in a good state of preservation, some without abrasion and breakages are indicative of only limited transport. Differences of fossil spatial density, numbers of specimens and taxa may be explained by the dynamics of deposition, from details of the palaeoenvironment can be obtained.


Taphonomy; Permian; Actinopterygii; Sarcopterygii; Chondrichthyes.

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