Abstract

Austral planktonic foraminiferal assemblages from immediately above the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary at Ocean Drilling Program Hole 690C (Maud Rise, Weddell Sea) and International Ocean Drilling Program Hole U1514C (southeast Indian Ocean) show a much different record of post-extinction recovery than anywhere outside the circum-Antarctic region. Species of Woodringina and Parvularugoglobigerina, genera with well-documented evolutionary successions within the early Danian P0 and Pα biozones at tropical/subtropical and mid-latitude localities, are absent from southern high latitude sequences. This study proposes new criteria for biostratigraphic correlation of the lowermost Danian Antarctic Paleocene AP0 and AP1 Zones using stratophenetic observations from Scanning Electron Microscope images of lower Danian planktonic foraminifera at deep-sea sites in the southern South Atlantic and southern Indian Ocean. The small but distinctive species Turborotalita nikolasi (Koutsoukos) is a highly reliable index species for the lowermost Danian as it consistently occurs immediately above the K/Pg boundary at multiple southern high latitude sites, which is consistent with its distribution at middle and low latitudes. Also useful for cross-latitude correlation is Parasubbotina neanika n. sp., which first appears within the lowermost Danian worldwide. The geographic distribution of the New Zealand species Antarcticella pauciloculata (Jenkins) and Zeauvigerina waiparaensis (Jenkins), as well as Eoglobigerina maudrisensis n. sp. from just above the K/Pg in the southern South Atlantic and southern Indian Ocean, helps define the extent of the Austral Biogeographic Province and provides evidence for marine communication via marine seaways across Antarctica. While An. pauciloculata was previously considered a benthic species, new stable isotope evidence demonstrates that it lived a planktonic mode of life. It is possible this species evolved from a benthic ancestor and that the benthic to planktonic transition occurred through an intermediate tychopelagic lifestyle at a time when calcareous plankton were less abundant as a result of the terminal Cretaceous mass extinction.

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