Nearshore fauna of the Tucumcari Formation (Lower Cretaceous, Albian), Quay County, New Mexico
— Barry S. Kues and Spencer G. Lucas


The Lower Cretaceous Tucumcari Formation of Quay County, New Mexico, contains a diverse marine fauna of early late Albian age. In this paper, 49 taxa from relatively nearshore, sandy facies of the Tucumcari (predominantly a midshoreface environment) are briefly discussed and illustrated, many for the first time. The taxa include one foraminiferan, three coral, one annelid, one ctenostome bryozoan, 29 bivalve, seven gastropod, one scaphopod, one ammonite, three echinoid, and two fish species. Taxa from more offshore, open-bay environments, represented by dark gray mudstone and shale facies of the Tucumcari, are not considered here. The nearshore fauna is dominated by bivalves, which account for nearly 60% of the total diversity and more than 90% of the total abundance of specimens. Common to abundant bivalves include Texigryphaea pitcheri, Neithea occidentalis, Plicatula incongrua, Peilinia tevicostata, Scabrotrigonia emoryi, and Protocardia texana, whereas the only other other species aproaching these bivalves in abundance at some localities is the gastropod Turritella "seriatimgranulata". Rare taxa represent a significant percentage (39%) of the total number of species. Among these rare taxa are the first reported occurrences in the Tucumcari Formation of colonial corals, ctenostome bryozoa, scaphopods, regular and spatangoid echinoids, and shark and pycnodontid fish teeth.

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Recommended Citation:

  1. Kues, Barry S.; Lucas, Spencer G., 2001, Nearshore fauna of the Tucumcari Formation (Lower Cretaceous, Albian), Quay County, New Mexico, in: Geology of the Llano Estacado, Lucas, Spencer G.; Ulmer-Scholle, Dana S., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 52nd Field Conference, pp. 229-249.

[see guidebook]