Late Miocene asterozoans (Echinodermata) from the James Ross Island Volcanic Group
Asterozoans (Echinodermata) of Late Miocene age (6.02 ± 0.12 Ma) are preserved as external moulds in water-lain tuffs of the James Ross Island Volcanic Group (JRIVG), James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula. The asterozoans are complete, and appear to represent specimens suffocated after having been pinioned by rapid sedimentation on the distal fringe of an erupting sub-aqueous tuff cone. Although the coarse nature of the host sediments has obliterated the fine morphological detail of the specimens, at least one suggests evidence of entrainment by a turbidity current. A second shows evidence of detachment of the distal tip of one of its arms. In addition to fossil discoveries from glaciomarine sediments, the volcanic tuffs of the JRIVG represent a new source of fossil data that can be used to interpret the ecology and environment of the Antarctic marine shelf biota during the Neogene.
Authors: Williams, Mark, Smellie, John L., Johnson, Joanne S. ORCID record for Joanne S. Johnson, Blake, Daniel B.