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On the Cretaceous origin of the order Syracosphaerales and the genus Syracosphaera

Paul R. Bown, Jeremy R. Young and Jacqueline A. Lees
On the Cretaceous origin of the order Syracosphaerales and the genus Syracosphaera
Journal of Micropalaeontology (July 2017) 36 (2): 153-165


New scanning electron microscope observations of unadulterated calcareous nannofossil assemblages on lamina surfaces of Cretaceous Tanzania Drilling Project sediments reveal high diversity in the <3 mu m size-range and high abundances of small and frangible morphologies. These assemblages prompt comparison to modern assemblages, which show similar high diversity and abundance of very small and fragile taxa, although these assemblages are generally not preserved in the fossil record due to taphonomic filtering. Not only are there broad similarities between the general composition of modern assemblages and those of the Tanzanian lagerstatte, but also our discovery of several new Cretaceous taxa provides evidence for greatly extended fossil lineages of extant orders, with implications for both deep-time biodiversity divergence and survival through the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Our findings include: new species that are the first-recorded Mesozoic representatives of the extant Syracosphaeraceae and Papposphaeraceae; potentially previously unrecorded diversity in the Mesozoic Calciosoleniaceae, another extant order, represented by extant species that have been described already; and new species and unusually high abundances of the Mesozoic Stephanolithiaceae. We also highlight the extended range of an incertae sedis Cenozoic genus, Ellipsolithus, into at least the Turonian. Here, we describe seven new miniscule to very small Cretaceous species: Syracosphaera antiqua, S. repagula, Pocillithus macleodii, P. crucifer, Stradnerlithus wendleri, S.? haynesiae and Tortolithus foramen.

ISSN: 0262-821X
EISSN: 2041-4978
Serial Title: Journal of Micropalaeontology
Serial Volume: 36
Serial Issue: 2
Title: On the Cretaceous origin of the order Syracosphaerales and the genus Syracosphaera
Affiliation: University College London, Department of Earth Sciences, London, United Kingdom
Pages: 153-165
Published: 201707
Text Language: English
Publisher: British Micropalaeontological Society, London, United Kingdom
References: 54
Accession Number: 2017-071471
Categories: Paleobotany
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
S11°40'00" - S01°00'00", E29°30'00" - E40°30'00"
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 201737
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