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Ammonite extinction and nautilid survival at the end of the Cretaceous

Neil H. Landman, Stijn Goolaerts, John W. Jagt, Elena A. Jagt-Yazykova, Marcin Machalski and Margaret M. Yacobucci
Ammonite extinction and nautilid survival at the end of the Cretaceous
Geology (Boulder) (June 2014) 42 (8): 707-710


One of the puzzles about the end-Cretaceous extinctions is why some organisms disappeared and others survived. A notable example is the differential extinction of ammonites and survival of nautilids, the two groups of co-occurring, externally shelled cephalopods at the end of the Cretaceous. To investigate the role of geographic distribution in explaining this outcome, we compiled a database of all the occurrences of ammonites and the nautilid genus Eutrephoceras in the last 0.5 m.y. of the Maastrichtian. We also included recently published data on ammonite genera that appear to have briefly survived into the Paleocene. Using two metrics to evaluate the geographic range of each genus (first, a convex hull encompassing all of the occurrences of each genus, and second, the maximum distance between occurrences for each genus), we documented that most ammonite genera at the end of the Maastrichtian were restricted in their geographic distribution, possibly making them more vulnerable to extinction. The geographic distribution of those genera that may have briefly survived into the Paleocene is significantly greater than that of non-surviving genera, implying that more broadly distributed genera were more resistant to extinction. This pattern is further emphasized by the broad distribution of Eutrephoceras, which matches that of the most widely distributed ammonites at the end of the Maastrichtian. However, even the most widely distributed ammonites eventually succumbed to extinction, whereas Eutrephoceras survived. Evidently, a broad geographic distribution may have initially protected some ammonites against extinction, but it did not guarantee their survival.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 42
Serial Issue: 8
Title: Ammonite extinction and nautilid survival at the end of the Cretaceous
Affiliation: American Museum of Natural History, Division of Paleontology, New York, NY, United States
Pages: 707-710
Published: 20140630
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 37
Accession Number: 2014-058226
Categories: Invertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2014264
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
Secondary Affiliation: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, BEL, BelgiumNatuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht, NLD, NetherlandsUniwersytet Opolski, POL, PolandPolska Akademia Nauk, Instytut Paleobiologii, POL, PolandBowling Green State University, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201431
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