Exceptionally well-preserved Permocalculus cf. tenellus (Pia) (Gymnocodiaceae) from Upper Permian Khuff Formation limestones, Saudi Arabia
Keywords: Permocalculus, sporangia, Upper Permian, Khuff Formation, Saudi Arabia, shallow marine, palaeoecology
Abstract. An exceptionally well-preserved specimen of the articulated rhodophyte Permocalculus, compared with P. tenellus sensu Elliott, 1955, is described from fine-grained Upper Permian limestones of the Khuff Formation of Saudi Arabia. Longitudinal medullary and sheaf-like cortical filaments extend through the uniserial series of elongate-globular, concave- and convex-terminating, interlocking segments for which they are interpreted to have functioned in articulation. The filaments tend to splay and branch laterally into the cortex where they terminate at the pores. At the terminal aperture, the filaments extend as bifurcating and possibly trifurcating branches and may serve as the origin of a new segment. Numerous elongate-globular chambers, up to five in each row and intimately involved with the filaments, are developed in the outer medulla and are considered to represent reproductive sporangia. The specimen is considered to have occupied predominantly low-energy, normal to slightly elevated salinity, shallow conditions within the subtidal regime of a lagoon.