www.scielo.br/aabc Distributional patterns of †Mawsoniidae (Sarcopterygii: Actinistia)


Mawsoniidae are a fossil family of actinistian fish popularly known as coelacanths, which are found in continental and marine paleoenvironments. The taxon is considered monophyletic, including five valid genera (Axelrodichthys, Chinlea, Diplurus, Mawsonia and Parnaibaia) and 11 genera with some taxonomical controversy (Alcoveria, Changxingia, Garnbergia, Heptanema, Indocoelacanthus, Libys, Lualabaea, Megalocoelacanthus, Moenkopia, Rhipis and Trachymetopon). The genera restricted to the Northern Hemisphere (Diplurus and Chinlea) possess the oldest records (Late Triassic), whereas those found in the Southern Hemisphere (Mawsonia, Axelrodichthys, and Parnaibaia) extend from Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous, especially in Brazil and Africa. We identified distributional patterns of Mawsoniidae, applying the panbiogeographical method of track analysis, and obtained three generalized tracks (GTs): GT1 (Northeastern Newark) in strata of the Newark Group (Upper Triassic); GT2 (Midwestern Gondwana) in the Lualaba Formation (Upper Jurassic); and GT3 (Itapecuru-Alcântara-Santana) in the Itapecuru-Alcântara-Santana formations (Lower Cretaceous). The origin of Mawsoniidae can be dated to at least Late Triassic of Pangaea. The tectonic events related to the breakup of Pangaea and Gondwana and the evolution of the oceans are suggested as the vicariant events modeling the distribution of this taxon throughout the Mesozoic

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