Early Jurassic (middle Hettangian) marine gastropods from the Pogibshi Formation (Alaska) and their paleobiogeographical significance

Mariel Ferrari, Robert B. Blodgett, Montana S. Hodges, Christopher L. Hodges


A middle Hettangian marine gastropod assemblage is reported from the Kenai Peninsula of south-central Alaska supplying new paleontological evidence of this group in Lower Jurassic rocks of North America. Pleurotomaria pogibshiensis sp. nov. is described from the middle Hettangian marine succession informally known as Pogibshi formation, being the first occurrence of the genus in the Kenai Peninsula and the oldest occurrence of the genus in present-day Alaska and North America. One species of the genus Lithotrochus, namely Lithotrochus humboldtii (von Buch), is also reported for the first time from the Kenai Peninsula. Lithotrochus has been considered as endemic to South America for a time range from the early Sinemurian to the late Pliensbachian. The newest occurrence of Lithotrochus in rocks of the Pogibshi formation extends the paleobiogeographical and chronostratigraphical distribution of the genus into the present-day Northern Hemisphere. However, the Southern Hemisphere affinities are consistent with the hypothetical interpretations (although supported both by paleobiogeographical and paleomagnetic data) that the Peninsular terrane of south-central Alaska is far-traveled and may have originated at much more southerly paleolatitudes than its present-day position. Two other Early Jurassic caenogastropods typical of the Andean region of South America and of the Tethyan epicontinental seas are described for the first time in the Pogibshi formation, and these are Pseudomelania sp. and Pictavia sp. The new gastropod assemblage reported here shows close affinities with coeval South American and European gastropod faunas, supplying new evidence to interpret their distribution during the Early Jurassic.


Gastropods; Mid-Hettangian; Pogibshi Formation; Alaska; Taxonomy; Paleobiogeography

How to cite this article Ferrari, M.; Blodgett, R.; Hodges, M.; Hodges, C. 2020, Early Jurassic (middle Hettangian) marine gastropods from the Pogibshi Formation (Alaska) and their paleobiogeographical significance. Andean Geology 47 (3): 559-576. [doi:]