Biostratigraphy and paleontology of some conchostracan-bearing beds in southern Africa

Tasch, Paul
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Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research
The present field and laboratory study was undertaken in conjunction with a monograph being prepared on Gondwana estheriids. Detailed biostratigraphic reports are lacking on the southern African conchostracan-bearing beds. The available paleontological treatment ranges from mere mentions of certain fossils being present to spare systematics. During the summer of 1979 a limited exploration program was undertaken at localities in the Clarens Formation (Cave Sandstone) outcrop belt where conchostracans had been reported (Stockley 1947, Haughton 1924, and especially Ellenberger et al. 1964). In particular, sites at Siberia and Barkly Pass (both in the Republic of South Africa) and at Thabaneng and Mofoka's Store (both in Lesotho) were found to yield excellent new biostratigraphic and paleontological data. The exploration covered some 1500 square miles (2400km2 of the Clarens Formation (Cave Sandstone) outcrop belt (Text fig. 1). Conchostracan-bearing Cave Sandstone sites noted by Paul Ellenberger (1970) at Leloaleng, Masitisi, Mohaleshoek, Brakfontein and elsewhere were systematically explored. Because of the lack of precise locality data enabling one to pinpoint the fossiliferous bed(s) even an intensive search did not uncover the reported fossiliferous beds. Exploration of one of Ellenberger's localities at Wonderkop (RSA) was abandoned after a preliminary search due to time limitations. This site may yet prove productive.
estheriids, Gondwana, Clarens Formation, Cave Sandstone, Ellenberger, Siberia, Barkly Pass, Thaboneng, Mofoka's Store