- © 2005 Cambridge University Press
The Lower Cambrian Pardailhan Formation of the Montagne Noire (Southern France) has yielded a diverse fossil assemblage including bivalved arthropods (the bradoriids Monceretia erisylvia gen. et sp. nov., Cambria danvizcainia sp. nov. and Matthoria? sp., together with Isoxys sp.) associated with trilobites, hyolithids, inarticulate brachiopods, sponge spicules, ichnofossils and chancelloriid sclerites. This assemblage provides new evidence about the biodiversity of Early Cambrian marine communities in palaeocontinental Gondwana. The bradoriids are Cambriidae, a family with widespread distribution in offshore shelf marine environments during Early Cambrian times. The present study confirms the presence of cambriids within a subtropical latitudinal belt that encompasses Laurentia, Siberia and the Gondwanan margins from Southern France to South China. Although knowledge of the distribution of fossil cambriids is patchy, at the generic level they appear to be provincial, with Petrianna from Laurentia, Shangsiella and Auriculatella from South China, Cambria from Siberia and Gondwana (Armorica), and Monceretia gen nov. from Gondwana (Armorica). The presence of Isoxys in the Montagne-Noire confirms the cosmopolitan distribution of this genus in the Early and Middle Cambrian tropics. Cambriid bradoriids occupy a biostratigraphically narrow time interval, probably equating to part of the Atdabanian and Botomian stages of Russian terminology. Their presence in the Pardailhan Formation supports the notion of a Botomian age, determined from archaeocyathan evidence. The North American bradoriid genus Matthoria, also possibly present in the Pardailhan Formation, is reassigned to the Cambriidae.