Abstract

A detailed taxonomical description of scleractinian corals from the Maastrichtian of Mexico (Cardenas Formation) is given for the first time. The coral association comprises 16 taxa which belong to 9 families: Dictuophyllia conferticostata (Vaughan), Cladocora jamaicaensis Vaughan, Cladocora gracilis (d'Orbigny), Antiguastrea cellulosa (Duncan), Multicolumnastraea cyathiformis (Duncan), Placocoenia major Felix, Siderastrea vancouverensis Vaughan, Siderastrea adkinsi (Wells), Goniopora sp., Actinacis haueri Reuss, Actinacis parvistella Oppenheim, Actinhelia elegans (Goldfuss), Meandrophyllia oceani (de Fromentel), Dermosmiliopsis orbignyi Alloiteau, Trochoseris aperta Duncan, and Cyathoseris formosa d'Achiardi. The corals described herein were collected from mixed coral-rudist and coral-dominated assemblages in the Arroyo de la Atarjea, and one unnamed riverbed which lithologically correspond to the Arroyo de la Atarjea section, both of which belong to the upper member of the Cardenas Formation. On the genus level, 94% of the Mexican fauna corresponds to the Maastrichtian coral assemblages of Jamaica. Moreover, the Cardenas fauna shows close affinities to both Upper Cretaceous coral associations of central Europe and the Caribbean, as well as to Lower Tertiary faunas of Central America and the Caribbean. On the species level, 68.8% of the Cardenas corals are known from Lower Tertiary strata of Central America, the Caribbean, South America, Asia, European/Mediterranean region, and/or southeastern parts of the USA.

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