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Upper Miocene and Recent Mysid Statoliths in Central and Eastern Paratethys

Gheorghe Voicu
Micropaleontology
Vol. 27, No. 3 (1981), pp. 227-247
DOI: 10.2307/1485236
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1485236
Page Count: 21
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Upper Miocene and Recent Mysid Statoliths in Central and Eastern Paratethys
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Abstract

Statoliths, or ballast-stones, secreted by the shrimplike mysids (Mysidae, Mysidacea, Crustacea) are a long neglected microscopic form, the study of which is of great interest to biology, geology and natural resource economy. The first systematic study of the composition and structure of fossil and Recent statoliths is reported here, and a nomenclature for the description of statoliths is presented. This gives rise to the first systematic method of classification of the fossil species and revision of the method formerly used in Recent species of the Mysidae. Furthermore, the analysis of statoliths offers new criteria by which to evaluate phylogenesis of the known mysids, and has resulted in the identification of 2 fossil species of the genus Paramysis (one new, described here) from among a number of statolith types found in the Paratethys Miocene. A zone characterized by mysid statoliths in brackish-marine strata is diagnostic of the lower and part of the middle Sarmatian in the Central and Eastern Paratethys. In paleogeographic terms, the correlation between mysid statoliths of the Paratethys and the Indo-Pacific indicates that the general uplift of the Carpathian orogen took place during the early, not the middle, Sarmatian. Mysid statoliths, which are composed of calcite in fresh-water and brackish-water forms and fluorite in marine forms, are indicators of paleosalinity. The fluorite in living marine mysids constitutes a very large, nearly inexhaustible resource in the areas where mysids proliferate, and strata in which fossil marine statoliths have accumulated may eventually be explored for large-scale mining of organically concentrated fluorite.

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