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Cretaceous brachiopods from james ross island antarctic peninsula and their paleobiogeographic affinities



Cretaceous brachiopods from james ross island antarctic peninsula and their paleobiogeographic affinities



Journal of Paleontology 65(3): 396-411



Articulate brachiopods from the Aptian-Coniacian (Kotick Point and Whisky Bay Formations, Gustav Group) and the Santonian-Campanian (Santa Marta Formation, Marambio Group) of James Ross Island are described. A new terebratulid species, Rectithyris whiskyi n. sp., is described from the late Albian-early Coniacian of the Whisky Bay Formation. The record from the late Albian is supported by palynological evidence making it contemporaneous with other species of Rectithyris from Europe. The relative abundance of Rectithyris whiskyi n. sp. in late Turonian to early Coniacian sections indicates an extended biohorizon that may aid biostratigraphic correlation in the James Ross Island region. The brachiopods have some affinities with faunas described from Europe, northern Siberia, North America, Madagascar, southern India, Western Australia, and Alexander Island, Antaractic Peninsula. Elements of the James Ross Island brachiopod fauna probably migrated by the following routes: 1) from northern high latitudes via the Eastern Pacific; 2) from Europe via the north and central Atlantic and opening south Atlantic Ocean; and 3) via Eastern Tethys, the East African Seaway, to the south Atlantic Ocean. Brachiopod evidence supports a fully marine connection between the central Atlantic and south Atlantic Ocean (Route 2) possibly as early as the late Albian (as do ammonite faunas from western Africa), and certainly by the late Turonian. Route 3 was established in the Cretaceous by the Aptian?-Albian to eastern Africa and Madagascar and to the Antarctic Peninsula by the late Turonian. Faunal links between James Ross Island and Western Australia support the Lake Cretaceous juxtaposition of these plates. A distinct austral brachiopod fauna may be present in the Cretaceous from the Aptian onwards (although current evidence is scant). Antarctic Peninsular and Western Australian faunas yield five brachiopod genera (and their species) endemic to Gondwanalands' southern marine fauna. Other genera known from the Antarctic Peninsula (Kingena, Ptilorhynchia, and Retctithyris) and the Northern Hemiphere may have species endemic to Gondwanaland.

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Accession: 007167052

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DOI: 10.2307/1305787


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