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Distribution of gastropods within the Cretaceous Tethyan realm

  • Heinz A. Kollmann
Part of the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften Schriftenreihe der Erdwissenschaftlichen Kommissionen book series (ERDWISSENSCHAFT, volume 9)

Summary

Fossil assemblages of different geographical regions and within certain latitudes which are equivalent on the genus or family level indicate temperature-controlled realms in the geologic past. Paleobiogeographically, the Tethys is placed within the Tropical realm of the Mesozoic. In addition to the low-latitude Tropical realm. Warm Temperate. Temperate, and probably also Subpolar marine provinces can be distinguished by the distribution of fossils in Cretaceous rocks. In low latitudes, the horizontal distribution is to a varying degree vertically reproduced.

Like all benthic organisms the gastropods are restricted to specific environments. This distribution pattern is discussed for the nerineaceans (including the itieriids), the actaeonellids (Actaeonella and Trochactaeon), the cassiopids and the genera Trajanella and Discotectus. Valid biostratigraphic analyses can be obtained only by comparing stratigraphic ranges within the same environments.

Normally, marine gastropod assemblages of rocky surfaces or patches of hard substrates show high diversities of archaeogastropods. Level bottom communities are characterized by a high diversity of mesogastropods and cephalaspidean opisthobranchs. The evolution of neogastropods allows this group to become increasingly dominant during the Creataceous; the number of nerineacean genera is in the process of decreasing after the Cenomanian.

The origin of the neogastropods was within the Temperate marine zone. In the Tethyan realm, neogastropods were not recorded prior to the Upper Albian. It is assumed, that the first neogastropods were buccinids which have evolved from deposit-feeding groups.

The Tethyan gastropods were profoundly affected by the terminal Cretaceous events. The extinction of Tethyan gastropods is interpreted as having been primarily caused by a change of surface water temperature distribution in the marine biosphere.

Keywords

Lower Cretaceous Carbonate Platform Fossil Assemblage Internal Mold Nodular Limestone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinz A. Kollmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Naturhistorisches MuseumWienAustria

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