An introduction to the Mesozoic biotas of Scandinavia and its Arctic territories
Published:January 01, 2016
Benjamin P. Kear, Johan Lindgren, Jørn H. Hurum, Jesper Milàn, Vivi Vajda, 2016. "An introduction to the Mesozoic biotas of Scandinavia and its Arctic territories", Mesozoic Biotas of Scandinavia and its Arctic Territories, B. P. Kear, J. Lindgren, J. H. Hurum, J. Milàn, V. Vajda
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The Mesozoic biotas of Scandinavia have been studied for nearly two centuries. However, the last 15 years have witnessed an explosive advance in research, most notably on the richly fossiliferous Triassic (Olenekian–Carnian) and Jurassic (Tithonian) Lagerstätten of the Norwegian Arctic Svalbard archipelago, Late Cretaceous (Campanian) Kristianstad Basin and Vomb Trough of Skåne in southern Sweden, and the UNESCO heritage site at Stevns Klint in Denmark – the latter constituting one of the most complete Cretaceous–Palaeogene (Maastrichtian–Danian) boundary sections known globally. Other internationally significant deposits include earliest (Induan) and latest Triassic (Norian–Rhaetian) strata from the Danish autonomous territory of Greenland, and the Early Jurassic (Sinemurian–Pliensbachian) to Early Cretaceous (Berriasian) rocks of southern Sweden and the Danish Baltic island of Bornholm, respectively. Marine palaeocommunities are especially well documented, and comprise prolific benthic macroinvertebrates, together with pelagic cephalopods, chondrichthyans, actinopterygians and aquatic amniotes (ichthyopterygians, sauropterygians and mosasauroids). Terrestrial plant remains (lycophytes, sphenophytes, ferns, pteridosperms, cycadophytes, bennettitaleans and ginkgoes), including exceptionally well-preserved carbonized flowers, are also world famous, and are occasionally associated with faunal traces such as temnospondyl amphibian bones and dinosaurian footprints. While this collective documented record is substantial, much still awaits discovery. Thus, Scandinavia and its Arctic territories represent some of the most exciting prospects for future insights into the spectacular history of Mesozoic life and environments.
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Mesozoic Biotas of Scandinavia and its Arctic Territories
Scandinavia and its Arctic territories of Svalbard and Greenland represent geographical regions with a long history of Mesozoic palaeontology. However, the last few decades have witnessed a surge of new discoveries. Especially famous are the Triassic and Late Jurassic Lagerstätten of East Greenland and Spitsbergen in the Svalbard Archipelago, together with the Late Cretaceous strata of southern Sweden and the UNESCO World Heritage locality at Stevns Klint in Denmark. The latter records one of the most complete terminal Mesozoic rock successions known globally. Collectively, these deposits encompass the spectrum of Mesozoic biotic evolution, including the explosive radiation of marine faunas after the Permian–Triassic extinction, seminal specialization of amniotes for life in the sea, Late Triassic–Jurassic domination of the land by dinosaurs and the Cretaceous development of modern terrestrial floras and marine ecosystems. This volume, authored by leading experts in the field, encapsulates key aspects of the latest research and will provide a benchmark for future investigations into the Scandinavian Mesozoic world.