An exceptionally well-preserved aragonitic coral of the extinct species Goniopora hilli was collected from late Cenozoic sedimentary deposits in the Dominican Republic and dated using U-Pb techniques. Nine coralline subsamples yielded a 238U/206Pb–207Pb/206Pb three-dimensional (3-D) inverse linear concordia age of 5.52 ± 0.15 (2σ) Ma, which, when coupled with 87Sr/86Sr ratios obtained from the same coral, allows for tighter constraints on temporal variability of marine species diversity prior to closure of the Central American Seaway. The recognition that pre-Quaternary aragonitic corals can be suitable for U-Pb dating creates new possibilities for refining the chronologies of late Cenozoic marine sedimentary sequences.

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