Fusulinids from the Howe Limestone Member (Red Eagle Limestone, Council Grove Group) in Northeastern Kansas and Their Significance to the North American Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian)-Permian Boundary
Fusulinids from the Howe Limestone Member (upper part of the Red Eagle Limestone, lower part of the Council Grove Group) are described here for the first time. The Howe fauna is particularly significant because it represents the earliest fusulinids known to occur above the new conodont-based Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian)-Permian boundary at the Glenrock Limestone Member-Bennett Shale Member contact (Red Eagle Limestone) in northeastern Kansas. The Howe fusulinid assemblage is composed entirely of species of the genus Leptotriticites. The species L. hughesensis and L. glenensis were originally described from just beneath the new systemic boundary horizon in the Hughes Creek Shale Member and Glenrock Limestone Member, respectively. L. wetherensis is a species from the Stockwether Limestone Member of north-central Texas, which is thought to directly overlie the new systemic boundary in that region. L. gracilitatus is a species reported from below and above the boundary in west Texas and New Mexico. Therefore, the Howe Limestone Member fusulinid fauna is quite transitional in character. The first typical and diagnostic early Permian (Wolfcampian Series) fusulinids in the midcontinent section appear in steps through the stratigraphically higher Neva Limestone Member of the Grenola Limestone (Paraschwagerina kansasensis), and the Cottonwood and Morrill Limestone Members of the overlying Beattie Limestone (Schwagerina jewetti, S. vervillei). This offset of conodont and fusulinid faunal changes should be taken into account in regional and interregional biostratigraphic correlations of the new systemic boundary.
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