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Environmental distribution of Bathonian (Middle Jurassic) neoselachians in southern England

By Charlie J. Underwood and D.J. Ward

Abstract

Within the Bathonian (Middle Jurassic) a wide range of depositional environments were present across Britain. Within this dominantly carbonate shelf setting, there is a general palaeoenvironmental transition from open marine shelf in the south of England, to marine and non-marine lagoons in south-central England. Isolated teeth of neoselachians are frequent at several localities within a range of marine and lagoonal facies. Extensive bulk sampling has allowed teeth from over 20 neoselachian taxa to be recovered from several distinct facies. The distributions of many species suggest that they were strongly environmentally controlled, with few taxa being commonly present within both open marine and lagoonal settings. Some taxonomic groups appear to have been restricted to specific environments, with hexanchids and palaeospinacids only being recorded within open marine facies. Within other groups, environmental segregation is at generic and specific level, with different species of Protospinax, orectolobids, batoids and scyliorhinids being recorded within different facies. The differential distribution of neoselachians within the Bathonian demonstrates that the initial phase of neoselachian radiation during the late Early and Middle Jurassic was accompanied by diversification into a wide range of ecological niches. This greatly increases our understanding of the mechanisms and timing of neoselachian radiation and Jurassic fish palaeoecolog

Topics: es
Publisher: Verlag
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.bbk.ac.uk.oai2:111

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