Abstract

Late Eocene foraminiferal extinction shows diverse patterns of selective morphologic and latitudinal extinction. Taxa with discoidal shape, calcareous tests, and narrow and low-latitudinal ranges are at significantly greater risk of extinction. Elevated extinction intensities in calcareous tests are mainly due to the presence of larger benthic foraminifera that evolved in late Paleocene and diversified through the lower to middle Eocene. Selectivity of late Eocene foraminiferal extinction indicates that this extinction event was not a globally uniform event. Although this result does not verify an extraterrestrial impact or any other proposed cause of extinction, it does constrain the causes of late Eocene extinction. Furthermore, the geography of late Eocene foraminiferal extinction, and previously studied Cenomanian/Turonian extinction, demonstrates that mass extinctions exhibit different patterns of selectivity.

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