Significant influence of anoxic events on faunal turnovers in marine communities is well-established. However, many studies are focused on the impact of anoxic conditions on benthic organisms, while coeval changes in pelagic cephalopod assemblages remain relatively poorly understood. In the present paper we discuss the trends in cephalopod assemblages coinciding with the onset of the early Aptian black shale deposition in European Russia coeval with OAE1a. In few sections of the Saratov Volga area (central part of the Russian Platform), representing both offshore and more proximal nearshore lithofacies of the epicontinental Middle Russian Sea, we have recognized simultaneous changes in ammonite and belemnite successions. Belemnites, represented by the late members of the family Oxyteuthididae, are common in the interval directly preceding anoxic event, but totally disappear with the onset of the black shale deposition. For the Deshayesites ammonites shell size reduction across the mudstone – black shale boundary (maximum shell diameter of adults reduces from ∼20 cm to 7–8 cm) can be observed. Some other ammonites become numerous (Sinzovia) within the black shale interval or show a first occurrence in it (Koeneniceras and Volgoceratoides). In our opinion diminishing of Deshayesites shell size during the early Aptian OAE could be caused by coupling of palaeoenvironmental factors such as progressive warming and regional input of brackish water. Preliminary results of carbon isotope studies of aragonite deriving from the ammonite nacreous layer are also provided.
Ammonites, Belemnites, Black shales, Aptian, OAE-1a, Russian platform, Size reduction