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Siveter et al., 2019

Japan's earliest ostracods

Siveter, D. J., Tanaka, G., Williams, M., Männik, P.
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Mesozoic, Cenozoic and especially Holocene ostracod faunas have been documented from Japan. Not surprisingly, considering the plate tectonic factors at play, very few ostracod faunas are known from its early Paleozoic successions. Our pilot studies have recovered new ostracod assemblages from early Paleozoic terranes of Japan. Acid preparation of carbonates has yielded low diversity, poorly preserved yet significant palaeocopid and podocopid ostracod faunas from Wenlock/Ludlow Series Silurian rocks at Gionyama in the Kurosegawa Terrane, Miyazaki Prefecture, Kyushu, and Hitoegane in the Hida-Gaien Terrane, Gifu Prefecture, Honshu. The ostracod faunas include new eurychilinoid (Pauproles supparata gen. et sp. nov.), hollinoid (Hollinella orienta sp. nov.) and beyrichioid (Clintiella antifrigga sp. nov.) palaeocopid taxa. Conodonts recovered from the same sample as the ostracods from Gionyama confirm a mid-Silurian age for the part of the Gionyama Formation in question. The ostracod faunas recovered from Gionyama and Hitoegane are the first confirmed, well-documented record of the group from the Silurian of Japan and are therefore the earliest known ostracods from that country (a previous record of purported Ordovician ostracods from Japan is incorrect). The ostracod taxa display links with the paleocontinents of particularly Laurentia and Baltica and demonstrate a pan-tropical signature; it appears that climate control was stronger than geographical control in shaping this pattern of ostracod distribution. The material recovered includes adult dimorphic (assumed sexual) pairs of three palaeocopid species, which represent Japan's oldest (423–433 million years) known ‘couples’.

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