Upper upper Albian (Mortoniceras rostratum Zone) cephalopods from Clansayes (Drôme, south-eastern France)

Romain Jattiot, Jens Lehmann, Benjamin Latutrie, Amane Tajika, Emmanuelle Vennin, Pauline Vuarin, Arnaud Brayard, Emmanuel Fara, Vincent Trincal


We document an upper upper Albian (Mortoniceras rostratum Zone) cephalopod assemblage from Clansayes (Drôme, south-eastern France). Although fossils are rare in local exposures and in the single sampled level, a decade of intensive fossil collecting yielded 290 ammonite and 5 nautilid specimens. In total, we describe 1 species of nautilid and 24 species (within 17 genera) of ammonites, including 13 heteromorphs. Only two of these ammonite taxa were previously recorded from the upper upper Albian at Clansayes, which demonstrates the value of this fauna with regard to taxonomy, palaeobiology and palaeobiogeography. Based on morphological and biometric analyses performed on an extensive material (104 specimens), we discriminate two species for the heteromorphic ammonite genus Mariella Nowak, 1916 within the Mortoniceras rostratum Zone. In addition, we investigate shell chirality patterns in Mariella from the late Albian of southern France. Upon comparison of the Clansayes material with older material from the immediately underlying upper Albian Mortoniceras fallax Zone at the neighbouring Salazac locality, we identify an increase in the proportion of sinistral specimens. This observed increase in the frequency of sinistral Mariella specimens may hypothetically be part of a global evolutionary pattern, considering that nearly all documented younger Cenomanian Mariella (and more generally Cenomanian turrilitids) are sinistral.


Ammonites; Cretaceous; Upper Albian; Taxonomy; South-eastern France; Shell chirality

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