|Name: Tlayúa |
Age: Early Cretaceous (100 mya)
With the geological and palaeontological information
collected over more than 14 years in the Tlayua quarry, a palaeoecological
model has been developed as a framework to better understand the
conditions under which the Lagerstatte was formed.
The model includes al least six distinct areas, adjacent or near to
- To the west of the deposit, there was land (Acatlandia)
and was the source of the iron-rich clays, responsible for the
red-orange color (due to hematite) of Tlayua's sediments and for the
terrestrial organisms present in the palaeobiota.
to the land was Tlayua's lagoon, where the fossiliferous beds
and all organisms derived from several environments, were deposited.
- East of Tlayua was a large bio-rich reefal lagoon, with all
the life forms present in this biotope; these form the major bulk
of the biota with the other reef inhabitants.
- Indirect evidence
calls for a barrier separating the calmed and often stagnant waters
of Tlayua from high energy and teeming bio-rich lagoon. This barrier
was breached only during the time of storms or very high tides,
rafting the organisms from the other environments.
- The great barrier reef, located to the east of the bio-rich
- The open oceanic waters, that correspond to the
western portion of the Tethys Ocean and are represented in the
Tlayua assemblage by algae, ammonites, crinoids, and fishes that
show pelagic adaptations.