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The Early Miocene Cape Melville Formation fossil assemblage and the evolution of modern Antarctic marine communities

Whittle, Rowan; Quaglio, Fernanda; Griffiths, Huw; Linse, Katrin; Crame, J. Alistair. 2014 The Early Miocene Cape Melville Formation fossil assemblage and the evolution of modern Antarctic marine communities. Naturwissenschaften, 101 (1). 47-59. 10.1007/s00114-013-1128-0

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This article has been accepted for publication and will be published by Springer in Naturwissenschaften. The final publication is available at link.springer.com. Copyright Springer.
Early Miocene Cape Melville Formation AAM.pdf - Accepted Version

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Abstract/Summary

The fossil community from the Early Miocene Cape Melville Formation (King George Island, Antarctica) does not show the archaic retrograde nature of modern Antarctic marine communities, despite evidence, such as the presence of dropstones, diamictites and striated rocks, that it was deposited in a glacial environment. Unlike modern Antarctic settings, and the upper units of the Eocene La Meseta Formation on Seymour Island, Antarctica, which are 10 million years older, the Cape Melville Formation community is not dominated by sessile suspension feeding ophiuroids, crinoids or brachiopods. Instead, it is dominated by infaunal bivalves, with a significant component of decapods, similar to present day South American settings. It is possible that the archaic retrograde structure of the modern community did not fully evolve until relatively recently, maybe due to factors such as further cooling and isolation of the continent leading to glaciations, which resulted in a loss of shallow shelf habitats.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s00114-013-1128-0
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Environmental Change and Evolution
ISSN: 0028-1042
Date made live: 16 Jan 2014 10:04 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/503542

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