The area under study belongs to the Jurassic Ethiopian Province (western North Africa, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar and Kachchh). Work was begun in 1978 in northern Sinai with the discovery of the large, rare Callovian brachiopod Septirhynchia hirschi and subsequent sampling of 6,000 feet of sediment at Gebel Maghara and Gebel Engabashi. In the Negev, southern Israel, we described a brachiopod fauna from the Matmor Formation that was deposited on a low energy, peritidal, shallow marine shelf. During the latter part of the Jurassic we recognize a connection with the pelagic western Neotethys. Some brachiopod genera are common in northern Sinai (e.g. Sphriganaria, Ectyphoria, Sinaithyris) but are missing in the Negev (Hamakhtesh Hagadol). Daghanirhynchia is abundant in Jordan and Sinai but absent in the Negev. We are investigating the reasons for this anomalous distribution pattern as well as the reasons for the large degree of endemism in the province. Current work in progress includes a further study of brachiopod faunas of the southern Tethyan margin, specifically in the Negev, southern Israel, and Mt. Hermon, northern Israel, Gebel Maghara and Gebel Minshera, northern Sinai, and Wadi Zarqa, northwest Jordan. Upon completion of these projects we expect to correlate the Jurassic strata across the Dead Sea Rift from Israel to Jordan and complete a study of the paleocommunities in the region.
Feldman, H. R., Wilson, M. A., & Belowich, A. J. (2015). Taxonomy, paleobiogeography and paleoecology of Jurassic Ethiopian brachiopods: A progress report. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 47(7), 567.
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