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Abstract

We describe a new echinoid assemblage, composed of specimens of Bolbaster sp., Cyclaster danicus (Schlüter, 1897), Diplodetus vistulensis (Kongiel, 1950) and Linthia? sp. in a distinctive phosphatic preservation, from the so-called Greensand, a marly glauconitic sandstone horizon at the base of the Danian succession in the Kazimierz Dolny area (central Poland). This assemblage presumably is of early Danian age, with Cyclaster danicus occurring in the lower Danian of Denmark and southern Sweden. The specimens are preserved as internal moulds, composed of phosphatised glauconitic sandstone, occasionally with some test material adhering. The genesis of these moulds involved the following steps: (1) infilling of tests of dead echinoids with glauconitic sand; (2) penetration of the infills by coelobiotic deposit-feeding organisms that produced burrows along the inner test surface; (3) early-diagenetic cementation of infills by calcium phosphate; and (4) exhumation and intraformational reworking of specimens, leading to abrasion, fragmentation and loss of test material in some individuals. Co-occurring are unphosphatised moulds of Echinocorys ex gr. depressa (von Eichwald, 1866) and Pseudogibbaster cf. depressus (Kongiel in Kongiel and Matwiejewówna, 1937), which may represent a younger (middle to late Danian) assemblage. Additionally, the presence of derived late Maastrichtian echinoids, e.g., Temnocidaris (Stereocidaris) ex gr. herthae (Schlüter, 1892), Pleurosalenia bonissenti (Cotteau, 1866) and Hemicara pomeranum Schlüter, 1902, is confirmed for the Greensand, based on new material and re- examination of previously recorded specimens. In summary, members of three echinoid assemblages of different age and preservation occur together in the Greensand. Our results are compatible with former interpretations of this unit as a condensed, transgressive lag with mixed faunas of different age and provenance. However, they are incompatible with the hypothesis that phosphatised Danian fossils preserved in the Greensand are derived from a facies equivalent, now gone, of the lower Danian Cerithium Limestone in eastern Denmark, because all moulds are composed of phosphatised glauconitic sandstone that is utterly different from the calcareous dinocyst-dominated, fine crystalline matrix of the Cerithium Limestone.
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