Abstract

From the oldest Cretaceous marine sediments of Jamaica, the Copper Limestone within the Devils Racecourse Formation (Benbow Inlier, Clarendon Block), the oldest known coral fauna of the Caribbean is described. The small but diverse fauna encompasses 18 species in 17 genera of the suborders Amphiastraeina, Archeocaeniina, Heterocoeniina, Faviina, Fungiina, Microsolenina, and Stylinina. The fauna contains the first representatives of the suborder Amphiastraeina in the Caribbean and the Americas. One genus of the family Amphiastreidae, Monoaulastrea, and three species— Monoaulastrea rawi, Latusastrea rubrolineata, Camptodocis corralesi—are described as new. The preoccupied coral genus Floria is replaced by the new name Floriastrea. The new fauna shows relationships to faunas from the late Berriasian to late Albian. Most species are shared with the Hauterivian faunas from Georgia in the central Tethys and the Paris Basin in the Boreal, but also with younger faunas such as the Barremian of Central Mexico, the early Aptian of Greece and the early Albian of the Bisbee Basin (Northern Mexico).

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