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Goniatites sphaericus (Sowerby, 1814), the archetype of Palaeozoic ammonoids: a case of decreasing phenotypic variation through ontogeny
The Late Viséan (Early Carboniferous) ammonoid species Goniatites sphaericus (Sowerby, 1814) is revised with the use of the type material. With respect to conch morphology, suture line and particularly shell ornament, it is regarded as a senior synonym of the species Goniatites fimbriatus (Foord and Crick, 1897) and must therefore be re-established as an important index fossil for the ammonoid stratigraphy of the Rhenohercynian and Subvariscan shelves. The Goniatites fimbriatus Zone has been re-named Goniatites sphaericus Zone on this basis. The study of ontogenetic changes in the conch parameters shows that intraspecific variation occurs within a wide range. In the whorl profile, variation is very high in small juveniles, while in the coiling rate, intermediate growth stages are more strongly affected.
Keywords: Ammonoidea, Carboniferous, Viséan, Intraspecific variation, Ontogeny, Allometry
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