Sample records for jurassic-lower cretaceous sincollisional

  1. Review of the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous stratigraphy in Western Cameros basin, Northern Spain

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    Vidal, Maria del Pilar Clemente


    The Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous stratigraphy of the Cameros basin has been reviewed. In Western Cameros the stratigraphic sections are condensed but they have a parallel development with the basin depocentre and the same groups have been identified. The Tera Group consists of two formations: ...

  2. The oldest known snakes from the Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous provide insights on snake evolution. (United States)

    Caldwell, Michael W; Nydam, Randall L; Palci, Alessandro; Apesteguía, Sebastián


    The previous oldest known fossil snakes date from ~100 million year old sediments (Upper Cretaceous) and are both morphologically and phylogenetically diverse, indicating that snakes underwent a much earlier origin and adaptive radiation. We report here on snake fossils that extend the record backwards in time by an additional ~70 million years (Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous). These ancient snakes share features with fossil and modern snakes (for example, recurved teeth with labial and lingual carinae, long toothed suborbital ramus of maxillae) and with lizards (for example, pronounced subdental shelf/gutter). The paleobiogeography of these early snakes is diverse and complex, suggesting that snakes had undergone habitat differentiation and geographic radiation by the mid-Jurassic. Phylogenetic analysis of squamates recovers these early snakes in a basal polytomy with other fossil and modern snakes, where Najash rionegrina is sister to this clade. Ingroup analysis finds them in a basal position to all other snakes including Najash.

  3. Dinosaur ichnofauna of the Upper Jurassic/Lower Cretaceous of the Paraná Basin (Brazil and Uruguay) (United States)

    Francischini, H.; Dentzien–Dias, P. C.; Fernandes, M. A.; Schultz, C. L.


    Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous sedimentary layers are represented in the Brazilian Paraná Basin by the fluvio-aeolian Guará Formation and the Botucatu Formation palaeoerg, respectively, overlapped by the volcanic Serra Geral Formation. In Uruguay, the corresponding sedimentary units are named Batoví and Rivera Members (both from the Tacuarembó Formation), and the lava flows constitute the Arapey Formation (also in Paraná Basin). Despite the lack of body fossils in the mentioned Brazilian formations, Guará/Batoví dinosaur fauna is composed of theropod, ornithopod and wide-gauge sauropod tracks and isolated footprints, as well as theropod teeth. In turn, the Botucatu/Rivera dinosaur fauna is represented by theropod and ornithopod ichnofossils smaller than those from the underlying units. The analysis of these dinosaur ichnological records and comparisons with other global Mesozoic ichnofauna indicates that there is a size reduction in dinosaur fauna in the more arid Botucatu/Rivera environment, which is dominated by aeolian dunes. The absence of sauropod trackways in the Botucatu Sandstone fits with the increasingly arid conditions because it is difficult for heavy animals to walk on sandy dunes, as well as to obtain the required amount of food resources. This comparison between the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous dinosaur fauna in south Brazil and Uruguay demonstrates the influence of aridization on the size of animals occupying each habitat.


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    Full Text Available The Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Apulia platform margin and the transition to adjacent basinal deposits (inner platform to basin are well exposed in the Gargano Promontory. Detailed field work has allowed to recognize eight main facies associations which reflect various depositional environments, and which document a differentiated zonation, from the inner platform to the basin. A shallow lagoon existed in the internal part of the Gargano Promontory with a transition to tidal flat areas (F1. Oolitic shoals (F2 bordered this internal peritidal area passing seaward to a reef-flat with abundant corals (F3. A reef-front, associated with a coral rubble zone, has been found in some areas (F4. In the external margin zone, massive wackestones with Ellipsactinia occur (F5 and pass gradually to a rudstone facies on the proximal slope (F6. The base-of-slope facies association consists of pelagic sediments interbedded with gravity-displaced deposits (F7 and F8. The depositional profile of the Apulia Platform is typical of the Tethyan Jurassic-Early Cretaceous platforms, with slope declivities in the order of 25°-28°. The remarkable progradation of the platform in the northern tract of the Gargano (Lesina and Varano lakes area and its substantial stability east- and southwards (Mattinata area suggest a possible windward position of the margin in this latter portion and, in contrast, a leeward position of the northern portion.   

  5. Petrogenesis and origin of the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous magmatism in Central High Atlas (Morocco): Major, trace element and isotopic (Sr-Nd) constraints (United States)

    Essaifi, Abderrahim; Zayane, Rachid


    During an uplift phase, which lasted ca. 40 Ma, from the Late Jurassic (165 Ma) to the Early Cretaceous (125 Ma), transitional to moderately alkaline magmatic series were emplaced in the Central High Atlas. The corresponding magmatic products include basaltic lava flows erupted within wide synclines and intrusive complexes composed of layered mafic intrusions and monzonitic to syenitic dykes emplaced along narrow anticlinal ridges. The igneous rock sequence within the intrusive complexes is composed of troctolites, olivine-gabbros, oxide-gabbros, monzonites and syenites. The chemical compositions of the various intrusive rocks can be accounted for by crystal accumulation, fractional crystallization and post-magmatic remobilization. The evolution from the troctolites to the syenites was mainly controlled by a fractional crystallization process marked by early fractionation of olivine, plagioclase and clinopyroxene, followed by separation of biotite, amphibole, apatite, and Ti-magnetite. Hydrothermal activity associated with emplacement of the intrusions within the Jurassic limestones modified the elemental and the Sr isotopic composition of the hydrothermally altered rocks In particular the monzonitic to syenitic dykes underwent an alkali metasomatism marked by depletion in K and Rb and enrichment in Na and Sr. As a result, their Sr isotopic composition was shifted towards higher initial Sr isotopic ratios (0.7067-0.7075) with respect to the associated gabbros (0.7036-0.7046). On the contrary, the Nd isotopic compositions were preserved from isotope exchange with the limestones and vary in a similar range to those of the gabbros (+1.6 < εNdi < +4.1). The isotopic and the trace element ratios of the uncontaminated samples were used to constrain the source characteristics of this magmatism. The Sr-Nd isotopic data and the incompatible element ratios (e.g. La/Nb, Zr/Nb, Th/U, Ce/Pb) are consistent with generation from an enriched upper mantle similar to an ocean

  6. Geologic framework for the assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in sandstone reservoirs of the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous Cotton Valley Group, U.S. Gulf of Mexico region (United States)

    Eoff, Jennifer D.; Dubiel, Russell F.; Pearson, Ofori N.; Whidden, Katherine J.


    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is assessing the undiscovered oil and gas resources in sandstone reservoirs of the Upper Jurassic–Lower Cretaceous Cotton Valley Group in onshore areas and State waters of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico region. The assessment is based on geologic elements of a total petroleum system. Four assessment units (AUs) are defined based on characterization of hydrocarbon source and reservoir rocks, seals, traps, and the geohistory of the hydrocarbon products. Strata in each AU share similar stratigraphic, structural, and hydrocarbon-charge histories.

  7. Chapter 2. Assessment of undiscovered conventional oil and gas resources--Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous Cotton Valley group, Jurassic Smackover interior salt basins total petroleum system, in the East Texas basin and Louisiana-Mississippi salt basins provinces. (United States)

    Dyman, T.S.; Condon, S.M.


    The Jurassic Smackover Interior Salt Basins Total Petroleum System is defined for this assessment to include (1) Upper Jurassic Smackover Formation carbonates and calcareous shales and (2) Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous Cotton Valley Group organic-rich shales. The Jurassic Smackover Interior Salt Basins Total Petroleum System includes four conventional Cotton Valley assessment units: Cotton Valley Blanket Sandstone Gas (AU 50490201), Cotton Valley Massive Sandstone Gas (AU 50490202), Cotton Valley Updip Oil and Gas (AU 50490203), and Cotton Valley Hypothetical Updip Oil (AU 50490204). Together, these four assessment units are estimated to contain a mean undiscovered conventional resource of 29.81 million barrels of oil, 605.03 billion cubic feet of gas, and 19.00 million barrels of natural gas liquids. The Cotton Valley Group represents the first major influx of clastic sediment into the ancestral Gulf of Mexico. Major depocenters were located in south-central Mississippi, along the Louisiana-Mississippi border, and in northeast Texas. Reservoir properties and production characteristics were used to identify two Cotton Valley Group sandstone trends across northern Louisiana and east Texas: a high-permeability blanket-sandstone trend and a downdip, low-permeability massive-sandstone trend. Pressure gradients throughout most of both trends are normal, which is characteristic of conventional rather than continuous basin-center gas accumulations. Indications that accumulations in this trend are conventional rather than continuous include (1) gas-water contacts in at least seven fields across the blanket-sandstone trend, (2) relatively high reservoir permeabilities, and (3) high gas-production rates without fracture stimulation. Permeability is sufficiently low in the massive-sandstone trend that gas-water transition zones are vertically extensive and gas-water contacts are poorly defined. The interpreted presence of gas-water contacts within the Cotton Valley

  8. Paleomagnetic tests for tectonic reconstructions of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Woyla Group, Sumatra (United States)

    Advokaat, Eldert; Bongers, Mayke; van Hinsbergen, Douwe; Rudyawan, Alfend; Marshal, Edo


    -Early Cretaceous Andean margin above a NE dipping subduction zone. We sampled limestones of the Woyla Group, and sediments of the West Sumatra margin for paleomagnetic analyses. Here we present new paleomagnetic data from Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous limestones of the Woyla Arc. Preliminary results suggest that the Woyla Arc was formed near equatorial latitudes. This precludes interpretations that the Woyla arc was derived from Gondwana, near the northern Indian margin. To account for (1) synchronous magmatism at the Woyla Arc and the West Sumatra continental margin, and (2) the juxtaposition of unmetamorphosed units of the Woyla Arc to highly metamorphosed units of the West Sumatra margin, we interpret the Woyla Group to be intra-oceanic arc formed above a SW dipping subduction zone in the Early Cretaceous, which was subsequently thrusted over the West Sumatra margin during the mid-Cretaceous.

  9. Geological and technological characterization of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous clay deposits (Jebel Ammar, northeastern Tunisia) for ceramic industry (United States)

    Ben M'barek-Jemaï, Moufida; Sdiri, Ali; Ben Salah, Imed; Ben Aissa, Lassaad; Bouaziz, Samir; Duplay, Joelle


    Late Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous clays of the Jebel Ammar study site were used as raw materials for potential applications in ceramic industry. Physico-chemical characterization of the collected samples was performed using atomic absorption spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetry and dilatometry (Bugot's curve). Geotechnical study was also undertaken by the assessment of plasticity and liquidity limits. It was found that high concentrations of silica, alumina with SiO2/Al2O3 ratio characterized the studied clays; its high amounts of CaO and Fe2O3 in the Late Jurassic clays indicated their calcareous nature. In addition, technological tests indicated moderate to low plasticity values for the Late Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous clays, respectively. Clay fraction (<2 μm) reached 50% of the natural clay in some cases. Mineralogical analysis showed that Jurassic clays were dominated by smectite, illite and kaolinite, as clay mineral species; calcite was the main associated mineral. Lower Cretaceous clays were mainly composed of abundant illite accompanied by well-crystallized smectite and kaolinite. Kaolinite gradually increased upwards, reaching 70% of the total clay fraction (i.e. <2 μm). Quartz, calcite and feldspar were the main non-clay minerals. Based on these analyses, the clays meet technological requirements that would allow their use in the ceramic industry and for the manufacturing of ceramic tiles.

  10. Cretacic tectonics in Uruguay

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    Gomez Rifas, C.


    This work is about Cretacic tectonics in Uruguay, this formation is characterized by high level cortex because the basament is cratonized since Middle Devonian. There were formed two main grabens such as Santa Lucia and Mirim-Pelotas which are filled with basalt and sediments.

  11. High diversity in cretaceous ichthyosaurs from Europe prior to their extinction.

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    Valentin Fischer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ichthyosaurs are reptiles that inhabited the marine realm during most of the Mesozoic. Their Cretaceous representatives have traditionally been considered as the last survivors of a group declining since the Jurassic. Recently, however, an unexpected diversity has been described in Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous deposits, but is widely spread across time and space, giving small clues on the adaptive potential and ecosystem control of the last ichthyosaurs. The famous but little studied English Gault Formation and 'greensands' deposits (the Upper Greensand Formation and the Cambridge Greensand Member of the Lower Chalk Formation offer an unprecedented opportunity to investigate this topic, containing thousands of ichthyosaur remains spanning the Early-Late Cretaceous boundary. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To assess the diversity of the ichthyosaur assemblage from these sedimentary bodies, we recognized morphotypes within each type of bones. We grouped these morphotypes together, when possible, by using articulated specimens from the same formations and from new localities in the Vocontian Basin (France; a revised taxonomic scheme is proposed. We recognize the following taxa in the 'greensands': the platypterygiines 'Platypterygius' sp. and Sisteronia seeleyi gen. et sp. nov., indeterminate ophthalmosaurines and the rare incertae sedis Cetarthrosaurus walkeri. The taxonomic diversity of late Albian ichthyosaurs now matches that of older, well-known intervals such as the Toarcian or the Tithonian. Contrasting tooth shapes and wear patterns suggest that these ichthyosaurs colonized three distinct feeding guilds, despite the presence of numerous plesiosaur taxa. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Western Europe was a diversity hot-spot for ichthyosaurs a few million years prior to their final extinction. By contrast, the low diversity in Australia and U.S.A. suggests strong geographical disparities in the diversity pattern of Albian

  12. Cretaceous Crocodyliforms from the Sahara

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    Paul Sereno


    Full Text Available Diverse crocodyliforms have been discovered in recent years in Cretaceous rocks on southern landmasses formerly composing Gondwana.  We report here on six species from the Sahara with an array of trophic adaptations that significantly deepen our current understanding of African crocodyliform diversity during the Cretaceous period.  We describe two of these species (Anatosuchus minor, Araripesuchus wegeneri from nearly complete skulls and partial articulated skeletons from the Lower Cretaceous Elrhaz Formation (Aptian-Albian of Niger. The remaining four species (Araripesuchus rattoides sp. n., Kaprosuchus saharicus gen. n. sp. n., Laganosuchus thaumastos gen. n. sp. n., Laganosuchus maghrebensis gen. n. sp. n. come from contemporaneous Upper Cretaceous formations (Cenomanian in Niger and Morocco.

  13. Hints of the Early Jehol Biota: Important Dinosaur Footprint Assemblages from the Jurassic-Cretaceous Boundary Tuchengzi Formation in Beijing, China (United States)

    Xing, Lida; Zhang, Jianping; Lockley, Martin G.; McCrea, Richard T.; Klein, Hendrik; Alcalá, Luis; Buckley, Lisa G.; Burns, Michael E.; Kümmell, Susanna B.; He, Qing


    New reports of dinosaur tracksites in the Tuchengzi Formation in the newly established Yanqing Global Geopark, Beijing, China, support previous inferences that the track assemblages from this formation are saurischian-dominated. More specifically, the assemblages appear theropod-dominated, with the majority of well-preserved tracks conforming to the Grallator type (sensus lato), thus representing relatively small trackmakers. Such ichnofaunas supplement the skeletal record from this unit that lacks theropods thus far, proving a larger diversity of dinosaur faunas in that region. Sauropods are represented by medium to large sized and narrow and wide-gauge groups, respectively. The latter correspond with earlier discoveries of titanosauriform skeletons in the same unit. Previous records of ornithischian tracks cannot be positively confirmed. Purported occurrences are re-evaluated here, the trackways and imprints, except of a single possible specimen, re-assigned to theropods. Palecologically the Tuchengzi ichnofauna is characteristic of semi-arid fluvio-lacustrine inland basins with Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous deposits in northern China that all show assemblages with abundant theropod and sauropod tracks and minor components of ornithopod, pterosaur and bird tracks. PMID:25901363

  14. New 40Ar-39Ar dating of Lower Cretaceous basalts at the southern front of the Central High Atlas, Morocco: insights on late Mesozoic tectonics, sedimentation and magmatism (United States)

    Moratti, G.; Benvenuti, M.; Santo, A. P.; Laurenzi, M. A.; Braschi, E.; Tommasini, S.


    This study is based upon a stratigraphic and structural revision of a Middle Jurassic-Upper Cretaceous mostly continental succession exposed between Boumalne Dades and Tinghir (Southern Morocco), and aims at reconstructing the relation among sedimentary, tectonic and magmatic processes that affected a portion of the Central High Atlas domains. Basalts interbedded in the continental deposits have been sampled in the two studied sites for petrographic, geochemical and radiogenic isotope analyses. The results of this study provide: (1) a robust support to the local stratigraphic revision and to a regional lithostratigraphic correlation based on new 40Ar-39Ar ages (ca. 120 Ma) of the intervening basalts; (2) clues for reconstructing the relation between magma emplacement in a structural setting characterized by syn-depositional crustal shortening pre-dating the convergent tectonic inversion of the Atlasic rifted basins; (3) a new and intriguing scenario indicating that the Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous basalts of the Central High Atlas could represent the first signal of the present-day Canary Islands mantle plume impinging, flattening, and delaminating the base of the Moroccan continental lithosphere since the Jurassic, and successively dragged passively by the Africa plate motion to NE. The tectono-sedimentary and magmatic events discussed in this paper are preliminarily extended from their local scale into a peculiar geodynamic setting of a continental plate margin flanked by the opening and spreading Central Atlantic and NW Tethys oceans. It is suggested that during the late Mesozoic this setting created an unprecedented condition of intraplate stress for concurrent crustal shortening, related mountain uplift, and thinning of continental lithosphere.

  15. Cretaceous rocks of the Western Interior basin

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    Molenaar, C.M.; Rice, D.D.


    The Cretaceous rocks of the conterminous United States are discussed in this chapter. Depositional facies and lithology are reviewed along with economic resources. The economic resources include coal, hydrocarbons, and uranium

  16. Dinosaurs and the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution (United States)

    Lloyd, Graeme T; Davis, Katie E; Pisani, Davide; Tarver, James E; Ruta, Marcello; Sakamoto, Manabu; Hone, David W.E; Jennings, Rachel; Benton, Michael J


    The observed diversity of dinosaurs reached its highest peak during the mid- and Late Cretaceous, the 50 Myr that preceded their extinction, and yet this explosion of dinosaur diversity may be explained largely by sampling bias. It has long been debated whether dinosaurs were part of the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution (KTR), from 125–80 Myr ago, when flowering plants, herbivorous and social insects, squamates, birds and mammals all underwent a rapid expansion. Although an apparent explosion of dinosaur diversity occurred in the mid-Cretaceous, coinciding with the emergence of new groups (e.g. neoceratopsians, ankylosaurid ankylosaurs, hadrosaurids and pachycephalosaurs), results from the first quantitative study of diversification applied to a new supertree of dinosaurs show that this apparent burst in dinosaurian diversity in the last 18 Myr of the Cretaceous is a sampling artefact. Indeed, major diversification shifts occurred largely in the first one-third of the group's history. Despite the appearance of new clades of medium to large herbivores and carnivores later in dinosaur history, these new originations do not correspond to significant diversification shifts. Instead, the overall geometry of the Cretaceous part of the dinosaur tree does not depart from the null hypothesis of an equal rates model of lineage branching. Furthermore, we conclude that dinosaurs did not experience a progressive decline at the end of the Cretaceous, nor was their evolution driven directly by the KTR. PMID:18647715

  17. Early cretaceous dinosaurs from the sahara. (United States)

    Sereno, P C; Wilson, J A; Larsson, H C; Dutheil, D B; Sues, H D


    A major question in Mesozoic biogeography is how the land-based dinosaurian radiation responded to fragmentation of Pangaea. A rich fossil record has been uncovered on northern continents that spans the Cretaceous, when continental isolation reached its peak. In contrast, dinosaur remains on southern continents are scarce. The discovery of dinosaurian skeletons from Lower Cretaceous beds in the southern Sahara shows that several lineages of tetanuran theropods and broad-toothed sauropods had a cosmopolitan distribution across Pangaea before the onset of continental fragmentation. The distinct dinosaurian faunas of Africa, South America, and Asiamerica arose during the Cretaceous by differential survival of once widespread lineages on land masses that were becoming increasingly isolated from one another.

  18. Late Cretaceous vicariance in Gondwanan amphibians.

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    Ines Van Bocxlaer

    Full Text Available Overseas dispersals are often invoked when Southern Hemisphere terrestrial and freshwater organism phylogenies do not fit the sequence or timing of Gondwana fragmentation. We used dispersal-vicariance analyses and molecular timetrees to show that two species-rich frog groups, Microhylidae and Natatanura, display congruent patterns of spatial and temporal diversification among Gondwanan plates in the Late Cretaceous, long after the presumed major tectonic break-up events. Because amphibians are notoriously salt-intolerant, these analogies are best explained by simultaneous vicariance, rather than by oceanic dispersal. Hence our results imply Late Cretaceous connections between most adjacent Gondwanan landmasses, an essential concept for biogeographic and palaeomap reconstructions.

  19. Early diagenetic dolomitization and dedolomitization of Late Jurassic and earliest Cretaceous platform carbonates: A case study from the Jura Mountains (NW Switzerland, E France) (United States)

    Rameil, Niels


    Early diagenetic dolomitization is a common feature in cyclic shallow-water carbonates throughout the geologic record. After their generation, dolomites may be subject to dedolomitization (re-calcification of dolomites), e.g. by contact with meteoric water during emersion. These patterns of dolomitization and subsequent dedolomitization frequently play a key role in unravelling the development and history of a carbonate platform. On the basis of excellent outcrops, detailed logging and sampling and integrating sedimentological work, high-resolution sequence stratigraphic interpretations, and isotope analyses (O, C), conceptual models on early diagenetic dolomitization and dedolomitization and their underlying mechanisms were developed for the Upper Jurassic / Lower Cretaceous Jura platform in north-western Switzerland and eastern France. Three different types of early diagenetic dolomites and two types of dedolomites were observed. Each is defined by a distinct petrographic/isotopic signature and a distinct spatial distribution pattern. Different types of dolomites are interpreted to have been formed by different mechanisms, such as shallow seepage reflux, evaporation on tidal flats, and microbially mediated selective dolomitization of burrows. Depending on the type of dolomite, sea water with normal marine to slightly enhanced salinities is proposed as dolomitizing fluid. Based on the data obtained, the main volume of dolomite was precipitated by a reflux mechanism that was switched on and off by high-frequency sea-level changes. It appears, however, that more than one dolomitization mechanism was active (pene)contemporaneously or several processes alternated in time. During early diagenesis, percolating meteoric waters obviously played an important role in the dedolomitization of carbonate rocks that underlie exposure surfaces. Cyclostratigraphic interpretation of the sedimentary succession allows for estimates on the timing of early diagenetic (de

  20. Astronomical calibration of the Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous)

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    Husson, Dorothée; Galbrun, Bruno; Laskar, Jacques


    /Pg boundary, considering the uncertainty of the long-term variation of the 405 ka eccentricity cycle. The first proposal provides a Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary age of 65.59 ± 0.07 Ma and the second an age of 66 ± 0.07 Ma, which is coherent with the most recent radio-isotopic datings. Magnetochron boundaries...... and the Campanian/Maastrichtian boundary are dated relative to these numerical ages of the K/Pg boundary....

  1. Non-marine carbonate facies, facies models and palaeogeographies of the Purbeck Formation (Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous) of Dorset (Southern England). (United States)

    Gallois, Arnaud; Bosence, Dan; Burgess, Peter


    Non-marine carbonates are relatively poorly understood compared with their more abundant marine counterparts. Sedimentary facies and basin architecture are controlled by a range of environmental parameters such as climate, hydrology and tectonic setting but facies models are few and limited in their predictive value. Following the discovery of extensive Early Cretaceous, non-marine carbonate hydrocarbon reservoirs in the South Atlantic, the interest of understanding such complex deposits has increased during recent years. This study is developing a new depositional model for non-marine carbonates in a semi-arid climate setting in an extensional basin; the Purbeck Formation (Upper Jurassic - Lower Cretaceous) in Dorset (Southern England). Outcrop study coupled with subsurface data analysis and petrographic study (sedimentology and early diagenesis) aims to constrain and improve published models of depositional settings. Facies models for brackish water and hypersaline water conditions of these lacustrine to palustrine carbonates deposited in the syn-rift phase of the Wessex Basin will be presented. Particular attention focusses on the factors that control the accumulation of in-situ microbialite mounds that occur within bedded inter-mound packstones-grainstones in the lower Purbeck. The microbialite mounds are located in three units (locally known as the Skull Cap, the Hard Cap and the Soft Cap) separated by three fossil soils (locally known as the Basal, the Lower and the Great Dirt Beds) respectively within three shallowing upward lacustrine sequences. These complex microbialite mounds (up to 4m high), are composed of tabular small-scale mounds (flat and long, up to 50cm high) divided into four subfacies. Many of these small-scale mounds developed around trees and branches which are preserved as moulds (or silicified wood) which are surrounded by a burrowed mudstone-wackestone collar. Subsequently a thrombolite framework developed on the upper part only within


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    Full Text Available Fragmentary cranial bones of dinosaur origin have been recently recovered from the Kem Kem beds (Upper Cretaceous, Cenomanian of Morocco. They include two incompletely preserved maxillary bones evidencing diagnostic features of abelisaurid theropods. These new finds provide further evidence of Abelisauridae in the Late Cretaceous of Morocco. 

  3. Low ecological disparity in Early Cretaceous birds (United States)

    Mitchell, Jonathan S.; Makovicky, Peter J.


    Ecological divergence is thought to be coupled with evolutionary radiations, yet the strength of this coupling is unclear. When birds diversified ecologically has received much less attention than their hotly debated crown divergence time. Here, we quantify how accurately skeletal morphology can predict ecology in living and extinct birds, and show that the earliest known assemblage of birds (= pygostylians) from the Jehol Biota (≈ 125 Ma) was substantially impoverished ecologically. The Jehol avifauna has few representatives of highly preservable ecomorphs (e.g. aquatic forms) and a notable lack of ecomorphological overlap with the pterosaur assemblage (e.g. no large or aerially foraging pygostylians). Comparisons of the Jehol functional diversity with modern and subfossil avian assemblages show that taphonomic bias alone cannot explain the ecomorphological impoverishment. However, evolutionary simulations suggest that the constrained ecological diversity of the Early Cretaceous pygostylians is consistent with what is expected from a relatively young radiation. Regardless of the proximate biological explanation, the anomalously low functional diversity of the Jehol birds is evidence both for ecological vacancies in Cretaceous ecosystems, which were subsequently filled by the radiation of crown Aves, and for discordance between taxonomic richness and ecological diversity in the best-known Mesozoic ecosystem. PMID:24870044

  4. Late Cretaceous restructuring of terrestrial communities facilitated the end-Cretaceous mass extinction in North America. (United States)

    Mitchell, Jonathan S; Roopnarine, Peter D; Angielczyk, Kenneth D


    The sudden environmental catastrophe in the wake of the end-Cretaceous asteroid impact had drastic effects that rippled through animal communities. To explore how these effects may have been exacerbated by prior ecological changes, we used a food-web model to simulate the effects of primary productivity disruptions, such as those predicted to result from an asteroid impact, on ten Campanian and seven Maastrichtian terrestrial localities in North America. Our analysis documents that a shift in trophic structure between Campanian and Maastrichtian communities in North America led Maastrichtian communities to experience more secondary extinction at lower levels of primary production shutdown and possess a lower collapse threshold than Campanian communities. Of particular note is the fact that changes in dinosaur richness had a negative impact on the robustness of Maastrichtian ecosystems against environmental perturbations. Therefore, earlier ecological restructuring may have exacerbated the impact and severity of the end-Cretaceous extinction, at least in North America.

  5. New Australian sauropods shed light on Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography (United States)

    Poropat, Stephen F.; Mannion, Philip D.; Upchurch, Paul; Hocknull, Scott A.; Kear, Benjamin P.; Kundrát, Martin; Tischler, Travis R.; Sloan, Trish; Sinapius, George H. K.; Elliott, Judy A.; Elliott, David A.


    Australian dinosaurs have played a rare but controversial role in the debate surrounding the effect of Gondwanan break-up on Cretaceous dinosaur distribution. Major spatiotemporal gaps in the Gondwanan Cretaceous fossil record, coupled with taxon incompleteness, have hindered research on this effect, especially in Australia. Here we report on two new sauropod specimens from the early Late Cretaceous of Queensland, Australia, that have important implications for Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography. Savannasaurus elliottorum gen. et sp. nov. comprises one of the most complete Cretaceous sauropod skeletons ever found in Australia, whereas a new specimen of Diamantinasaurus matildae includes the first ever cranial remains of an Australian sauropod. The results of a new phylogenetic analysis, in which both Savannasaurus and Diamantinasaurus are recovered within Titanosauria, were used as the basis for a quantitative palaeobiogeographical analysis of macronarian sauropods. Titanosaurs achieved a worldwide distribution by at least 125 million years ago, suggesting that mid-Cretaceous Australian sauropods represent remnants of clades which were widespread during the Early Cretaceous. These lineages would have entered Australasia via dispersal from South America, presumably across Antarctica. High latitude sauropod dispersal might have been facilitated by Albian–Turonian warming that lifted a palaeoclimatic dispersal barrier between Antarctica and South America. PMID:27763598

  6. Physical behaviour of Cretaceous calcareous nannofossil ooze

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buls, Toms; Anderskouv, Kresten; Friend, Patrick L.


    Geomorphic features such as drifts, sediment waves and channels have been documented in the Upper Cretaceous of north-west Europe. These features are interpreted to result from bottom currents and have been used to refine chalk depositional models and quantify palaeocirculation patterns. Chalk...... was first deposited as calcareous nannofossil ooze and geomorphic features are the result of sediment reworking after deposition. There is limited knowledge on the processes that govern nannofossil ooze mobility, thus forcing uncertainty onto numerical models based on sedimentological observations...... of deposition thresholds (τcd) from ca 0·04 to 0·13 Pa reflects the influence of variable suspended sediment concentration and τ0 on settling particle size due to the identified potential for chalk ooze aggregation and flocculation. Additionally, deposition thresholds seem to be affected by the size of eroded...

  7. Cretaceous Vertebrate Tracksites - Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast World Heritage Nomination Site (United States)

    Huh, M.; Woo, K. S.; Lim, J. D.; Paik, I. S.


    South Korea is one of the best known regions in the world for Cretaceous fossil footprints, which are also world-renowned. Korea has produced more scientifically named bird tracks (ichnotaxa) than any other region in the world. It has also produced the world's largest pterosaur tracks. Dinosaur tracksites also have the highest frequency of vertebrate track-bearing levels currently known in any stratigraphic sequence. Among the areas that have the best track records, and the greatest scientific significance with best documentation, Korea ranks very highly. Objective analysis of important individual tracksites and tracksite regions must be based on multiple criteria including: size of site, number of tracks, trackways and track bearing levels, number of valid named ichnotaxa including types, number of scientific publications, quality of preservation. The unique and distinctive dinosaur tracksites are known as one of the world's most important dinosaur track localities. In particular, the dinosaur track sites in southern coastal area of Korea are very unique. In the sites, we have excavated over 10,000 dinosaur tracks. The Hwasun sites show diverse gaits with unusual walking patterns and postures in some tracks. The pterosaur tracks are the most immense in the world. The longest pterosaur trackway yet known from any track sites suggests that pterosaurs were competent terrestrial locomotors. This ichnofauna contains the first pterosaur tracks reported from Asia. The Haenam Uhangri pterosaur assigns to a new genus Haenamichnus which accomodates the new ichnospecies, Haenamichnus uhangriensis. At least 12 track types have been reported from the Haman and Jindong Formations (probably late Lower Cretaceous). These include the types of bird tracks assigned to Koreanornis, Jindongornipes, Ignotornis and Goseongornipes. In addition the bird tracks Hwangsanipes, Uhangrichnus, the pterosaur track Haenamichnus and the dinosaur tracks, Brontopodus, Caririchnium, Minisauripus and

  8. Rib fracture in Prognathodon saturator (Mosasauridae, Late Cretaceous)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulp, Anne S.; Walenkamp, G. H I M; Hofman, P.A.M.; Rothschild, B. M.; Jagt, J. W M


    Two unusual bumps occur on the internal surface of a rib of the marine reptile Prognathodon saturator from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) of Maastricht, The Netherlands. These bumps are interpreted as stress fractures, possibly related to agonistic behaviour.

  9. Dinosaur morphological diversity and the end-Cretaceous extinction. (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Butler, Richard J; Prieto-Márquez, Albert; Norell, Mark A


    The extinction of non-avian dinosaurs 65 million years ago is a perpetual topic of fascination, and lasting debate has focused on whether dinosaur biodiversity was in decline before end-Cretaceous volcanism and bolide impact. Here we calculate the morphological disparity (anatomical variability) exhibited by seven major dinosaur subgroups during the latest Cretaceous, at both global and regional scales. Our results demonstrate both geographic and clade-specific heterogeneity. Large-bodied bulk-feeding herbivores (ceratopsids and hadrosauroids) and some North American taxa declined in disparity during the final two stages of the Cretaceous, whereas carnivorous dinosaurs, mid-sized herbivores, and some Asian taxa did not. Late Cretaceous dinosaur evolution, therefore, was complex: there was no universal biodiversity trend and the intensively studied North American record may reveal primarily local patterns. At least some dinosaur groups, however, did endure long-term declines in morphological variability before their extinction.

  10. Cretaceous paleogeography and depositional cycles of western South America (United States)

    Macellari, C. E.

    The western margin of South America was encroached upon by a series of marine advances that increased in extent from the Early Cretaceous to a maximum in the early Late Cretaceous for northern South America (Venezuela to Peru). In southern South America, however, the area covered by the marine advances decreased from a maximum in the Early Cretaceous to a minimum during mid-Cretaceous time, followed by a widespread advance at the end of the period. A series of unconformity-bounded depositional cycles was recognized in these sequences: five cycles in northern South America, and six (but not exactly equivalent) cycles in the Cretaceous back-arc basins of southern South America (Neuquén and Austral, or Magallanes, Basins). Both widespread anoxic facies and maximum flooding of the continent in northern South America coincide in general terms with recognized global trends, but this is not the case in southern South America. Here, anoxic facies are restricted to the Lower Cretaceous and seem to be controlled by local aspects of the basin evolution and configuration. The contrasts observed between northern and southern South America can be explained by differences in tectonic setting and evolution. To the north, sediments were deposited around the tectonically stable Guayana-Brazilian Massifs, and thus registered global "signals" such as anoxic events and major eustatic changes. The southern portion of the continent, on the contrary, developed in an active tectonic setting. Here, the mid-Cretaceous Peruvian Orogeny overprinted, to a large extent, world-wide trends and only the earliest and latest Cretaceous conform to global depositional patterns.

  11. Island life in the Cretaceous - faunal composition, biogeography, evolution, and extinction of land-living vertebrates on the Late Cretaceous European archipelago


    Csiki Sava,Zoltan; Buffetaut,Eric; Ősi,Attila; Pereda-Suberbiola,Xabier; Brusatte,Stephen


    Abstract The Late Cretaceous was a time of tremendous global change, as the final stages of the Age of Dinosaurs were shaped by climate and sea level fluctuations and witness to marked paleogeographic and faunal changes, before the end-Cretaceous bolide impact. The terrestrial fossil record of Late Cretaceous Europe is becoming increasingly better understood, based largely on intensive fieldwork over the past two decades, promising new insights into latest Cretaceous faunal evolution. We revi...

  12. Rates of morphological evolution are heterogeneous in Early Cretaceous birds (United States)

    Lloyd, Graeme T.


    The Early Cretaceous is a critical interval in the early history of birds. Exceptional fossils indicate that important evolutionary novelties such as a pygostyle and a keeled sternum had already arisen in Early Cretaceous taxa, bridging much of the morphological gap between Archaeopteryx and crown birds. However, detailed features of basal bird evolution remain obscure because of both the small sample of fossil taxa previously considered and a lack of quantitative studies assessing rates of morphological evolution. Here we apply a recently available phylogenetic method and associated sensitivity tests to a large data matrix of morphological characters to quantify rates of morphological evolution in Early Cretaceous birds. Our results reveal that although rates were highly heterogeneous between different Early Cretaceous avian lineages, consistent patterns of significantly high or low rates were harder to pinpoint. Nevertheless, evidence for accelerated evolutionary rates is strongest at the point when Ornithuromorpha (the clade comprises all extant birds and descendants from their most recent common ancestors) split from Enantiornithes (a diverse clade that went extinct at the end-Cretaceous), consistent with the hypothesis that this key split opened up new niches and ultimately led to greater diversity for these two dominant clades of Mesozoic birds. PMID:27053742

  13. Tribosphenic mammal from the North American Early Cretaceous. (United States)

    Cifelli, R L


    The main groups of living mammals, marsupials and eutherians, are presumed to have diverged in the Early Cretaceous, but their early history and biogeography are poorly understood. Dental remains have suggested that the eutherians may have originated in Asia, spreading to North America in the Late Cretaceous, where an endemic radiation of marsupials was already well underway. Here I describe a new tribosphenic mammal (a mammal with lower molar heels that are three-cusped and basined) from the Early Cretaceous of North America, based on an unusually complete specimen. The new taxon bears characteristics (molarized last premolar, reduction to three molars) otherwise known only for Eutheria among the tribosphenic mammals. Morphometric analysis and character comparisons show, however, that its molar structure is primitive (and thus phylogenetically uninformative), emphasizing the need for caution in interpretation of isolated teeth. The new mammal is approximately contemporaneous with the oldest known Eutheria from Asia. If it is a eutherian, as is indicated by the available evidence, then this group was far more widely distributed in the Early Cretaceous than previously appreciated. An early presence of Eutheria in North America offers a potential source for the continent's Late Cretaceous radiations, which have, in part, proven difficult to relate to contemporary taxa in Asia.

  14. Structural extremes in a cretaceous dinosaur.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C Sereno

    Full Text Available Fossils of the Early Cretaceous dinosaur, Nigersaurus taqueti, document for the first time the cranial anatomy of a rebbachisaurid sauropod. Its extreme adaptations for herbivory at ground-level challenge current hypotheses regarding feeding function and feeding strategy among diplodocoids, the larger clade of sauropods that includes Nigersaurus. We used high resolution computed tomography, stereolithography, and standard molding and casting techniques to reassemble the extremely fragile skull. Computed tomography also allowed us to render the first endocast for a sauropod preserving portions of the olfactory bulbs, cerebrum and inner ear, the latter permitting us to establish habitual head posture. To elucidate evidence of tooth wear and tooth replacement rate, we used photographic-casting techniques and crown thin sections, respectively. To reconstruct its 9-meter postcranial skeleton, we combined and size-adjusted multiple partial skeletons. Finally, we used maximum parsimony algorithms on character data to obtain the best estimate of phylogenetic relationships among diplodocoid sauropods. Nigersaurus taqueti shows extreme adaptations for a dinosaurian herbivore including a skull of extremely light construction, tooth batteries located at the distal end of the jaws, tooth replacement as fast as one per month, an expanded muzzle that faces directly toward the ground, and hollow presacral vertebral centra with more air sac space than bone by volume. A cranial endocast provides the first reasonably complete view of a sauropod brain including its small olfactory bulbs and cerebrum. Skeletal and dental evidence suggests that Nigersaurus was a ground-level herbivore that gathered and sliced relatively soft vegetation, the culmination of a low-browsing feeding strategy first established among diplodocoids during the Jurassic.

  15. Molecular fossils in Cretaceous condensate from western India (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Sharmila; Dutta, Suryendu; Dutta, Ratul


    The present study reports the biomarker distribution of condensate belonging to the early Cretaceous time frame using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The early Cretaceous palaeoenvironment was inscribed into these molecular fossils which reflected the source and conditions of deposition of the condensate. The saturate fraction of the condensate is characterized by normal alkanes ranging from n-C9 to n-C29 (CPI-1.13), cycloalkanes and C14 and C15 sesquiterpanes. The aromatic fraction comprises of naphthalene, phenanthrene, their methylated derivatives and cyclohexylbenzenes. Isohexylalkylnaphthalenes, a product of rearrangement process of terpenoids, is detected in the condensate. Several aromatic sesquiterpenoids and diterpenoids have been recorded. Dihydro- ar-curcumene, cadalene and ionene form the assemblage of sesquiterpenoids which are indicative of higher plant input. Aromatic diterpenoid fraction comprises of simonellite and retene. These compounds are also indicative of higher plants, particularly conifer source which had been a predominant flora during the Cretaceous time.

  16. Marine reptiles from the Late Cretaceous of northern Patagonia (United States)

    Gasparini, Z.; Casadio, S.; Fernández, M.; Salgado, L.


    During the Campanian-Maastrichtian, Patagonia was flooded by the Atlantic and reduced to an archipelago. Several localities of northern Patagonia have yielded marine reptiles. Analysis of several assemblages suggests that the diversity and abundance of pelagic marine reptiles in northern Patagonia was higher by the end of the Cretaceous than previously thought. Several plesiosaurids, including Aristonectes parvidens and the polycotylid Sulcusuchus, and the first remains of mosasaurinae have been found. The Cretaceous marine reptile record from South America is scanty. Nevertheless, materials described here suggest that Tethyan and Weddelian forms converged in northern Patagonia, as seen with invertebrates.

  17. Late Cretaceous neosuchian crocodiles from the Sultanate of Oman

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buscalioni, Angela D.; Schulp, Anne S.; Jagt, John W M; Hanna, Samir S.; Hartman, Axel Frans

    Two apparently new crocodilian taxa from the Late Cretaceous (Late Campanian-Maastrichtian) Al-Khod Conglomerate of the Sultanate of Oman are described. The fragmentary state of preservation precludes formal naming, yet enables comparisons to be made with other taxa. One is a short-snouted

  18. Noble metals in cretaceous/tertiary sediments from El Kef

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuslys, M.; Kraehenbuehl, U.


    Sediments from El Kef, Tunisia, were analysed by RNAA for Au, Ir and Os. All three elements show a 10-20 fold enrichment at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. This enrichment must be the result of the addition of material with a high concentration of noble metals. It is plausible that this exotic material has an extra-terrestrial origin. (orig.)

  19. Noble metals in Cretaceous/Tertiary sediments from El Kef

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuslys, M.; Kraehenbuehl, U.


    Sediments from El Kef, Tunisia, were analysed by RNAA for Au, Ir and Os. All three elements show a 10-20 fold enrichment at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. This enrichment must be the result of the addition of material with a high concentration of noble metals. It is plausible that this exotic material has an extraterrestrial origin. (orig.)

  20. Early Cretaceous greenhouse pumped higher taxa diversification in spiders. (United States)

    Shao, Lili; Li, Shuqiang


    The Cretaceous experienced one of the most remarkable greenhouse periods in geological history. During this time, ecosystem reorganizations significantly impacted the diversification of many groups of organisms. The rise of angiosperms marked a major biome turnover. Notwithstanding, relatively little remains known about how the Cretaceous global ecosystem impacted the evolution of spiders, which constitute one of the most abundant groups of predators. Herein, we evaluate the transcriptomes of 91 taxa representing more than half of the spider families. We add 23 newly sequenced taxa to the existing database to obtain a robust phylogenomic assessment. Phylogenetic reconstructions using different datasets and methods obtain novel placements of some groups, especially in the Synspermiata and the group having a retrolateral tibial apophysis (RTA). Molecular analyses indicate an expansion of the RTA clade at the Early Cretaceous with a hunting predatory strategy shift. Fossil analyses show a 7-fold increase of diversification rate at the same period, but this likely owes to the first occurrences spider in amber deposits. Additional analyses of fossil abundance show an accumulation of spider lineages in the Early Cretaceous. We speculate that the establishment of a warm greenhouse climate pumped the diversification of spiders, in particular among webless forms tracking the abundance of insect prey. Our study offers a new pathway for future investigations of spider phylogeny and diversification. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  1. Cretaceous magmatism in North-Eastern India and Gondwanaland ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    Cretaceous magmatism of NEI: Major Objectives. • Age and duration of Sylhet Traps and its connection to Kerguelene hotspot and Gondwanaland breakup? • Age of carbonatite magmatism associated with the traps? • Relationship of basaltic-carbonatite magmatism with. Aptian (~116 Ma) Mass Extinction event? • Nature of ...

  2. Stratigraphy of Guichon Formation (lower cretaceous) in litoral basin, Uruguay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goso, C.; Perea, D.; Perinotto, J.


    This report is about the stratigraphic al analysis of the Guichon Formation (lower cretaceous, litoral basin in Uruguay). The facies association is represented by conglomerates mainly fine sandstones and mud stones wi ch is interpreted as an alluvial system. A regional palaeogeography and a new geochronological alternative are established for this formation. (author).

  3. Patterns of larval development in Cretaceous pipid frogs

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roček, Zbyněk; van Dijk, E.


    Roč. 51, č. 1 (2006), s. 111-126 ISSN 0567-7920 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3013206 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Anura * Pipidae * Cretaceous Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.076, year: 2006

  4. Origin of Cretaceous phosphorites from the onshore of Tamil Nadu ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Cretaceous phosphorites occur as light brown to yellow- ish brown or white nodules in Karai Shale of the Uttatur Group in the onshore Cauvery basin. Nodules exhibit phosphatic nucleus encrusted by a chalky shell of carbonate. The nucleus of the nodules consists of light and dark coloured laminae, phosphate ...

  5. A sequence of events across the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, J.; Romein, A.J.T.


    The lithological and biological sequence of events across the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T), as developed in thick and complete landbased sections and termed the standard K/T event sequence, is also found in many DSDP cores from all over the globe. Microtektite-like spherules have been found in

  6. The end-Cretaceous in the southwestern Tethys (Elles, Tunisia)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thibault, Nicolas Rudolph; Galbrun, Bruno; Gardin, Silvia


    An integrated study of magnetic mass susceptibility (MS), bulk stable isotopes and calcareous nannofossil paleoecological changes is undertaken on the late Maastrichtian of the Elles section, Tunisia, spanning the last ca. 1 Myr of the Cretaceous. A cyclostratigraphic analysis reveals the presenc...

  7. Soil development on loess overlying Cretaceous sediments and Devonian limestones

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žigová, Anna; Šťastný, Martin


    Roč. 12, č. 3 (2015), s. 267-278 ISSN 1214-9705 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : loess * Cretaceous and Devonian rocks * mineral composition * soil development * Luvic Chernozem * Albic Luvisol Subject RIV: DF - Soil Science Impact factor: 0.561, year: 2015

  8. Late Cretaceous seasonal ocean variability from the Arctic. (United States)

    Davies, Andrew; Kemp, Alan E S; Pike, Jennifer


    The modern Arctic Ocean is regarded as a barometer of global change and amplifier of global warming and therefore records of past Arctic change are critical for palaeoclimate reconstruction. Little is known of the state of the Arctic Ocean in the greenhouse period of the Late Cretaceous epoch (65-99 million years ago), yet records from such times may yield important clues to Arctic Ocean behaviour in near-future warmer climates. Here we present a seasonally resolved Cretaceous sedimentary record from the Alpha ridge of the Arctic Ocean. This palaeo-sediment trap provides new insight into the workings of the Cretaceous marine biological carbon pump. Seasonal primary production was dominated by diatom algae but was not related to upwelling as was previously hypothesized. Rather, production occurred within a stratified water column, involving specially adapted species in blooms resembling those of the modern North Pacific subtropical gyre, or those indicated for the Mediterranean sapropels. With increased CO(2) levels and warming currently driving increased stratification in the global ocean, this style of production that is adapted to stratification may become more widespread. Our evidence for seasonal diatom production and flux testify to an ice-free summer, but thin accumulations of terrigenous sediment within the diatom ooze are consistent with the presence of intermittent sea ice in the winter, supporting a wide body of evidence for low temperatures in the Late Cretaceous Arctic Ocean, rather than recent suggestions of a 15 degrees C mean annual temperature at this time.

  9. Lower Cretaceous Puez key-section in the Dolomites - towards the mid-Cretaceous super-greenhouse (United States)

    Lukeneder, A.; Halásová, E.; Rehákova, D.; Józsa, Š.; Soták, J.; Kroh, A.; Jovane, L.; Florindo, F.; Sprovieri, M.; Giorgioni, M.; Lukeneder, S.


    Investigations on different fossil groups in addition to isotopic, paleomagnetic and geochemical analysis are combined to extract the Early Cretaceous history of environmental changes, as displayed by the sea level and climate changes. Results on biostratigraphy are integrated with other dating methods as magnetostraigraphy, correlation and cyclostratigraphy. The main investigation topics of the submitted project within the above-described framework are the biostratigraphic (Lukeneder and Aspmair, 2006, 2012), palaeoecological (Lukeneder, 2008, 2012), palaeobiogeographic, lithostratigraphic (Lukeneder, 2010, 2011), cyclostratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic development of the Early Cretaceous in the Puez area. The main sections occur in expanded outcrops located on the southern margin of the Puez Plateau, within the area of the Puez-Geisler Natural Park, in the northern part of the Dolomites (South Tyrol, North Italy). The cephalopod, microfossil and nannofossil faunas and floras from the marly limestones to marls here indicates Hauterivian to Albian/Cenomanian age. Oxygen isotope values from the Lower Cretaceous Puez Formation show a decreasing trend throughout the log, from -1.5‰ in the Hauterivian to -4.5‰ in the Albian/Cenomanian. The decreasing values mirror an increasing trend in palaeotemperatures from ~ 15-18°C in the Hauterivian up to ~25-30 °C in the Albian/Cenomanian. The trend probably indicates the positive shift in temperature induced by the well known Mid Cretaceous Ocean warming (e.g., Super-Greenhouse). The cooperative project (FWF project P20018-N10; 22 international scientists): An integrative high resolution project. Macro- and microfossils, isotopes, litho-, cyclo-, magneto-and biostratigraphy as tools for investigating the Lower Cretaceous within the Dolomites (Southern Alps, Northern Italy) -The Puez area as a new key region of the Tethyan Realm), is on the way since 2008 by the Natural History Museum in Vienna and the 'Naturmuseum S

  10. Definition of Greater Gulf Basin Lower Cretaceous and Upper Cretaceous Lower Cenomanian Shale Gas Assessment Unit, United States Gulf of Mexico Basin Onshore and State Waters (United States)

    Dennen, Kristin O.; Hackley, Paul C.


    An assessment unit (AU) for undiscovered continuous “shale” gas in Lower Cretaceous (Aptian and Albian) and basal Upper Cretaceous (lower Cenomanian) rocks in the USA onshore Gulf of Mexico coastal plain recently was defined by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The AU is part of the Upper Jurassic-Cretaceous-Tertiary Composite Total Petroleum System (TPS) of the Gulf of Mexico Basin. Definition of the AU was conducted as part of the 2010 USGS assessment of undiscovered hydrocarbon resources in Gulf Coast Mesozoic stratigraphic intervals. The purpose of defining the Greater Gulf Basin Lower Cretaceous Shale Gas AU was to propose a hypothetical AU in the Cretaceous part of the Gulf Coast TPS in which there might be continuous “shale” gas, but the AU was not quantitatively assessed by the USGS in 2010.

  11. Arctic black shale formation during Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenniger, Marc; Nøhr-Hansen, Henrik; Hills, Len V.


    The Late Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2) represents a major perturbation of the global carbon cycle caused by the widespread deposition of organic-rich black shales. Although the paleoceanographic response and the spatial extent of bottom-water anoxia in low and mid-paleolatitudes are re......The Late Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2) represents a major perturbation of the global carbon cycle caused by the widespread deposition of organic-rich black shales. Although the paleoceanographic response and the spatial extent of bottom-water anoxia in low and mid...... caused massive organic-carbon burial on the Arctic shelf in general, with important implications for hydrocarbon source-rock distribution in the Arctic region....

  12. Paleoenvironments of the Jurassic and Cretaceous Oceans: Selected Highlights (United States)

    Ogg, J. G.


    There are many themes contributing to the sedimentation history of the Mesozoic oceans. This overview briefly examines the roles of the carbonate compensation depth (CCD) and the associated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, of the evolution of marine calcareous microplankton, of major transgressive and regressive trends, and of super-plume eruptions. Initiation of Atlantic seafloor spreading in the Middle Jurassic coincided with an elevated carbonate compensation depth (CCD) in the Pacific-Tethys mega-ocean. Organic-rich sediments that would become the oil wealth of regions from Saudi Arabia to the North Sea were deposited during a continued rise in CCD during the Oxfordian-early Kimmeridgian, which suggests a possible increase in carbon dioxide release by oceanic volcanic activity. Deep-sea deposits in near-equatorial settings are dominated by siliceous shales or cherts, which reflect the productivity of siliceous microfossils in the tropical surface waters. The end-Jurassic explosion in productivity by calcareous microplankton contributed to the lowering of the CCD and onset of the chalk ("creta") deposits that characterize the Tithonian and lower Cretaceous in all ocean basins. During the mid-Cretaceous, the eruption of enormous Pacific igneous provinces (Ontong Java Plateau and coeval edifices) increased carbon dioxide levels. The resulting rise in CCD terminated chalk deposition in the deep sea. The excess carbon was progressively removed in widespread black-shale deposits in the Atlantic basins and other regions - another major episode of oil source rock. A major long-term transgression during middle and late Cretaceous was accompanied by extensive chalk deposition on continental shelves and seaways while the oceanic CCD remained elevated. Pacific guyots document major oscillations (sequences) of global sea level superimposed on this broad highstand. The Cretaceous closed with a progressive sea-level regression and lowering of the CCD that again enabled

  13. Cretaceous sedimentology of the Barmer Basin, Rajasthan, India


    Beaumont, Hazel


    The Barmer Basin, western India, is a well-known and prospected petroleum system. However, the Lower Cretaceous Ghaggar-Hakra Formation has not been recognised as basin fill and not documented prior to this study. The formation outcrops in rotational fault blocks at the Sarnoo Hills and surrounding areas, on the eastern Barmer Basin margin. The thesis here describes and analyses the nature and evolution of the formation at both outcrop and within the subsurface, producing facies and depositio...

  14. Source rock potential of middle cretaceous rocks in Southwestern Montana (United States)

    Dyman, T.S.; Palacas, J.G.; Tysdal, R.G.; Perry, W.J.; Pawlewicz, M.J.


    The middle Cretaceous in southwestern Montana is composed of a marine and nonmarine succession of predominantly clastic rocks that were deposited along the western margin of the Western Interior Seaway. In places, middle Cretaceous rocks contain appreciable total organic carbon (TOC), such as 5.59% for the Mowry Shale and 8.11% for the Frontier Formation in the Madison Range. Most samples, however, exhibit less than 1.0% TOC. The genetic or hydrocarbon potential (S1+S2) of all the samples analyzed, except one, yield less than 1 mg HC/g rock, strongly indicating poor potential for generating commercial amounts of hydrocarbons. Out of 51 samples analyzed, only one (a Thermopolis Shale sample from the Snowcrest Range) showed a moderate petroleum potential of 3.1 mg HC/g rock. Most of the middle Cretaceous samples are thermally immature to marginally mature, with vitrinite reflectance ranging from about 0.4 to 0.6% Ro. Maturity is high in the Pioneer Mountains, where vitrinite reflectance averages 3.4% Ro, and at Big Sky Montana, where vitrinite reflectance averages 2.5% Ro. At both localities, high Ro values are due to local heat sources, such as the Pioneer batholith in the Pioneer Mountains.

  15. Dinosaur trackways from the early Late Cretaceous of western Cameroon (United States)

    Martin, Jeremy E.; Menkem, Elie Fosso; Djomeni, Adrien; Fowe, Paul Gustave; Ntamak-Nida, Marie-Joseph


    Dinosaur trackways have rarely been reported in Cretaceous strata across the African continent. To the exception of ichnological occurrences in Morocco, Tunisia, Niger and Cameroon, our knowledge on the composition of Cretaceous dinosaur faunas mostly relies on skeletal evidence. For the first time, we document several dinosaur trackways from the Cretaceous of the Mamfe Basin in western Cameroon. Small and medium-size tridactyl footprints as well as numerous large circular footprints are present on a single horizon showing mudcracks and ripple marks. The age of the locality is considered Cenomanian-Turonian and if confirmed, this ichnological assemblage could be younger than the dinosaur footprints reported from northern Cameroon, and coeval with or younger than skeletal remains reported from the Saharan region. These trackways were left in an adjacent subsiding basin along the southern shore of the Benue Trough during a time of high-sea stand when the Trans-Saharan Seaway was already disconnecting West Africa from the rest of the continent. We predict that other similar track sites may be occurring along the margin of the Benue Trough and may eventually permit to test hypotheses related to provincialism among African dinosaur faunas.

  16. Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic exhumation history of the Malay Peninsula (United States)

    François, Thomas; Daanen, Twan; Matenco, Liviu; Willingshofer, Ernst; van der Wal, Jorien


    The evolution of Peninsular Malaysia up to the collisional period in the Triassic is well described but the evolution since the collision between Indochina and the Sukhothai Arc in Triassic times is less well described in the literature. The processes affecting Peninsular Malaysia during the Jurassic up to current day times have to explain the emplacement multiple intrusions (the Stong Complex, and the Kemahang granite), the Jurassic/Cretaceous onland basins, the Cenozoic offshore basins, and the asymmetric extension, which caused the exhumation of Taku Schists dome. The orogenic period in Permo-Triassic times, which also formed the Bentong-Raub suture zone, resulted in thickening of the continental crust of current day Peninsular Malaysia due to the collision of the Indochina continental block and the Sukhothai Arc, and is related to the subduction of oceanic crust once present between these continental blocks. The Jurassic/Cretaceous is a period of extension, resulting in the onland Jurassic/Cretaceous basins, synchronous melting of the crust, resulting in the emplacement Stong Complex and the Kemahang granite and thinning of the continental crust on the scale of the Peninsular, followed by uplift of the Peninsular. Different models can explain these observations: continental root removal, oceanic slab detachment, or slab delamination. These models all describe the melting of the lower crust due to asthenospheric upwelling, resulting in uplift and subsequent extension either due to mantle convective movements or gravitational instabilities related to uplift. The Cenozoic period is dominated by extension and rapid exhumation in the area as documented by low temperature thermocrological ages The extension in this period is most likely related to the subduction, which resumed at 45 Ma, of the Australian plate beneath the Eurasian plate after it terminated in Cretaceous times due to the collision of an Australian microcontinental fragment with the Sunda margin in the

  17. Explosive Radiation of Malpighiales Supports a Mid-Cretaceous Origin of Modern Tropical Rain Forests


    Wurdack, Kenneth J.; Jaramillo, Carlos A.; Davis, Charles; Webb, Campbell O.; Donoghue, Michael J.


    Fossil data have been interpreted as indicating that Late Cretaceous tropical forests were open and dry adapted and that modern closed-canopy rain forest did not originate until after the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) boundary. However, some mid-Cretaceous leaf floras have been interpreted as rain forest. Molecular divergence-time estimates within the clade Malpighiales, which constitute a large percentage of species in the shaded, shrub, and small tree layer in tropical rain forests worldwide, p...

  18. The origin and early evolution of metatherian mammals: the Cretaceous record

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    Thomas E. Williamson


    Full Text Available Metatherians, which comprise marsupials and their closest fossil relatives, were one of the most dominant clades of mammals during the Cretaceous and are the most diverse clade of living mammals after Placentalia. Our understanding of this group has increased greatly over the past 20 years, with the discovery of new specimens and the application of new analytical tools. Here we provide a review of the phylogenetic relationships of metatherians with respect to other mammals, discuss the taxonomic definition and diagnosis of Metatheria, outline the Cretaceous history of major metatherian clades, describe the paleobiology, biogeography, and macroevolution of Cretaceous metatherians, and provide a physical and climatic background of Cretaceous metatherian faunas. Metatherians are a clade of boreosphendian mammals that must have originated by the Late Jurassic, but the first unequivocal metatherian fossil is from the Early Cretaceous of Asia. Metatherians have the distinctive tightly interlocking occlusal molar pattern of tribosphenic mammals, but differ from Eutheria in their dental formula and tooth replacement pattern, which may be related to the metatherian reproductive process which includes an extended period of lactation followed by birth of extremely altricial young. Metatherians were widespread over Laurasia during the Cretaceous, with members present in Asia, Europe, and North America by the early Late Cretaceous. In particular, they were taxonomically and morphologically diverse and relatively abundant in the Late Cretaceous of western North America, where they have been used to examine patterns of biogeography, macroevolution, diversification, and extinction through the Late Cretaceous and across the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg boundary. Metatherian diversification patterns suggest that they were not strongly affected by a Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution, but they clearly underwent a severe extinction across the K-Pg boundary.

  19. Intense acidic volcanism at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Javoy, M.; Courtillot, V.


    A 87 Sr/ 86 Sr spike in seawater strontium with amplitude 2 x 10 -4 and duration of order 2 Ma is superimposed on longer-term variations at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. The anomaly has been attributed to increased continental runoff due either to meteorite impact-related acid rain or sea-level regression. We speculate here that the spike could have resulted from intense, explosive acid volcanism preceding the development of the Deccan traps. A good model, both in tectonic position and geochemical characteristics, for these as yet elusive acidic products is provided by granites in the Seychelles Islands and particularly Mahe. (orig.)

  20. Exhumation History Of Brasilian Highlands After Late Cretaceous Alcaline Magmatism (United States)

    Doranti Tiritan, Carolina; Hackspacher, Peter Christian; Carina Siqueira Ribeiro, Marli; Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton; Françoso de Godoy, Daniel


    The southeast Brazilian margin recorded a long history of tectonic and magmatic events after the Gondwana continent break up. The drifting of the South American Platform over a thermal anomaly generated a series of alkaline intrusions that are distributed from the interior to the coast from west to east. Several exhumation events are recorded on the region and we are providing insights on the landscape evolution of the region since Late Cretaceous, comparing low temperature thermochronology results from two alkaline intrusions regions. Poços de Caldas Alkaline Massif (PCAM), is lied in the interior, 300km from the coastline, covering over 800km2 intruding the Precambrian basement around 83Ma, nepheline syenites, phonolites and tinguaites intruded in a continuous and rapid sequence lasting between 1 to 2 Ma. São Sebastião Island (SSI) on the other hand is located at the coast, 200 km southeast of São Paulo. It is characterized by an intrusion in Precambrian/Brazilian orogen and intruded by Early Cretaceous sub-alkaline basic and acid dykes, as well as by Late Cretaceous alkaline stocks (syenites) and dykes (basanite to phonolite). Will be presenting the apatite fission track (AFT) and (U-Th)/He results that shows the main difference between the areas is that PCAM region register older history then the coastal area of SSI, where thermal history starts register cooling event after the South Atlantic rifting process, while in the PCAM area register a previous history, since Carboniferous. The results are giving support to studies that indicate the development of the relief in Brazil being strongly influenced by the local and regional tectonic movements and the lithological and structural settings. The landscape at the Late Cretaceous was witness of heating process between 90 and 60Ma due the intense uplift of South American Platform. The elevation of the isotherms is associated with the mantellic plumes and the crustal thickness that caused thermal anomalies due

  1. The uranium potential of the continental Cretaceous of Patagonia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olsen, H.; Berizzo, J.


    The geological features of the fluvial sedimentation of the Cretaceous of Patagonia - the Grupo Chubut Formation in the provinces of Chubut and Santa Cruz, underlined this environment as one of high favourability for discovering uranium deposits. The area has been explored by the CNEA who found two outstanding levels of fluvial sediments that are today the target of further studies to find new deposits. The general geological features are given, together with the results of the exploration up to date, distribution of radiometric anomalies, deposits discovered and an estimation of the uraniferous potential of the Formation. (author)

  2. Proximal Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary impact deposits in the Caribbean (United States)

    Hildebrand, Alan R.; Boynton, Willam V.


    Trace element, isotopic, and mineralogic studies indicate that the proposed impact at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary occurred in an ocean basin, although a minor component of continental material is required. The size and abundance of shocked minerals and the restricted geographic occurrence of the ejecta layer and impact-wave deposits suggest an impact between the Americas. Coarse boundary sediments at sites 151 and 153 in the Colombian Basin and 5- to 450-meter-thick boundary sediments in Cuba may be deposits of a giant wave produced by a nearby oceanic impact.

  3. The Late Cretaceous frog Gobiates from Central Asia: its evolutionary status and possible phylogenetic relationships

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roček, Zbyněk


    Roč. 29, č. 4 (2008), s. 577-591 ISSN 0195-6671 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Amphibia * Anura * Gobiatidae * Cretaceous * Cretaceous (Mongolia) Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 0.938, year: 2008

  4. The mid-Cretaceous North Atlantic nutrient trap: black shales and OAEs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trabucho Alexandre, J.; Tuenter, E.; Henstra, G.A.; Zwan, C.J. van der; Wal, R.S.W. van de; Dijkstra, H.A.; Boer, P.L. de


    Organic-rich sediments are the salient marine sedimentation product in the mid-Cretaceous of the ocean basins formed in the Mesozoic. Oceanic anoxic events (OAEs) are discrete and particularly organic-rich intervals within these mid-Cretaceous organic-rich sequences and are defined by pronounced

  5. Lamellaptychi from the Lower Cretaceous of south-east Spain (Murcia and Jaen provinces)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vašíček, Zdeněk; Company, M.; Měchová, L.


    Roč. 276, č. 3 (2015), s. 335-351 ISSN 0077-7749 Institutional support: RVO:68145535 Keywords : Lower Cretaceous * aptychi * ammonite zonation * Betic Cordillera Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 0.719, year: 2015

  6. New ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs from the European Lower Cretaceous demonstrate extensive ichthyosaur survival across the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary.

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    Valentin Fischer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ichthyosauria is a diverse clade of marine amniotes that spanned most of the Mesozoic. Until recently, most authors interpreted the fossil record as showing that three major extinction events affected this group during its history: one during the latest Triassic, one at the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary (JCB, and one (resulting in total extinction at the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary. The JCB was believed to eradicate most of the peculiar morphotypes found in the Late Jurassic, in favor of apparently less specialized forms in the Cretaceous. However, the record of ichthyosaurs from the Berriasian-Barremian interval is extremely limited, and the effects of the end-Jurassic extinction event on ichthyosaurs remains poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Based on new material from the Hauterivian of England and Germany and on abundant material from the Cambridge Greensand Formation, we name a new ophthalmosaurid, Acamptonectes densus gen. et sp. nov. This taxon shares numerous features with Ophthalmosaurus, a genus now restricted to the Callovian-Berriasian interval. Our phylogenetic analysis indicates that Ophthalmosauridae diverged early in its history into two markedly distinct clades, Ophthalmosaurinae and Platypterygiinae, both of which cross the JCB and persist to the late Albian at least. To evaluate the effect of the JCB extinction event on ichthyosaurs, we calculated cladogenesis, extinction, and survival rates for each stage of the Oxfordian-Barremian interval, under different scenarios. The extinction rate during the JCB never surpasses the background extinction rate for the Oxfordian-Barremian interval and the JCB records one of the highest survival rates of the interval. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: There is currently no evidence that ichthyosaurs were affected by the JCB extinction event, in contrast to many other marine groups. Ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs remained diverse from their rapid radiation in the Middle

  7. New Ophthalmosaurid Ichthyosaurs from the European Lower Cretaceous Demonstrate Extensive Ichthyosaur Survival across the Jurassic–Cretaceous Boundary (United States)

    Fischer, Valentin; Maisch, Michael W.; Naish, Darren; Kosma, Ralf; Liston, Jeff; Joger, Ulrich; Krüger, Fritz J.; Pérez, Judith Pardo; Tainsh, Jessica


    Background Ichthyosauria is a diverse clade of marine amniotes that spanned most of the Mesozoic. Until recently, most authors interpreted the fossil record as showing that three major extinction events affected this group during its history: one during the latest Triassic, one at the Jurassic–Cretaceous boundary (JCB), and one (resulting in total extinction) at the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary. The JCB was believed to eradicate most of the peculiar morphotypes found in the Late Jurassic, in favor of apparently less specialized forms in the Cretaceous. However, the record of ichthyosaurs from the Berriasian–Barremian interval is extremely limited, and the effects of the end-Jurassic extinction event on ichthyosaurs remains poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings Based on new material from the Hauterivian of England and Germany and on abundant material from the Cambridge Greensand Formation, we name a new ophthalmosaurid, Acamptonectes densus gen. et sp. nov. This taxon shares numerous features with Ophthalmosaurus, a genus now restricted to the Callovian–Berriasian interval. Our phylogenetic analysis indicates that Ophthalmosauridae diverged early in its history into two markedly distinct clades, Ophthalmosaurinae and Platypterygiinae, both of which cross the JCB and persist to the late Albian at least. To evaluate the effect of the JCB extinction event on ichthyosaurs, we calculated cladogenesis, extinction, and survival rates for each stage of the Oxfordian–Barremian interval, under different scenarios. The extinction rate during the JCB never surpasses the background extinction rate for the Oxfordian–Barremian interval and the JCB records one of the highest survival rates of the interval. Conclusions/Significance There is currently no evidence that ichthyosaurs were affected by the JCB extinction event, in contrast to many other marine groups. Ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs remained diverse from their rapid radiation in the Middle Jurassic to

  8. Thyasirid bivalves from Cretaceous and Paleogene cold seeps

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    Krzysztof Hryniewicz


    Full Text Available We present a systematic study of thyasirid bivalves from Cretaceous to Oligocene seep carbonates worldwide. Eleven species of thyasirid bivalves are identified belonging to three genera: Conchocele, Maorithyas, and Thyasira. Two species are new: Maorithyas humptulipsensis sp. nov. from middle Eocene seep carbonates in the Humptulips Formation, Washington State, USA, and Conchocele kiritachiensis sp. nov. from the late Eocene seep deposit at Kiritachi, Hokkaido, Japan. Two new combinations are provided: Conchocele townsendi (White, 1890 from Maastrichtian strata of the James Ross Basin, Antarctica, and Maorithyas folgeri (Wagner and Schilling, 1923 from Oligocene rocks from California, USA. Three species are left in open nomenclature. We show that thyasirids have Mesozoic origins and appear at seeps before appearing in “normal” marine environments. These data are interpreted as a record of seep origination of thyasirids, and their subsequent dispersal to non-seep environments. We discuss the age of origination of thyasirids in the context of the origin of the modern deep sea fauna and conclude that thyasirids could have deep sea origins. This hypothesis is supported by the observed lack of influence of the Cretaceous and Paleogene Oceanic Anoxic Events on the main evolutionary lineages of the thyasirids, as seen in several other members of the deep sea fauna.

  9. Debris-carrying camouflage among diverse lineages of Cretaceous insects. (United States)

    Wang, Bo; Xia, Fangyuan; Engel, Michael S; Perrichot, Vincent; Shi, Gongle; Zhang, Haichun; Chen, Jun; Jarzembowski, Edmund A; Wappler, Torsten; Rust, Jes


    Insects have evolved diverse methods of camouflage that have played an important role in their evolutionary success. Debris-carrying, a behavior of actively harvesting and carrying exogenous materials, is among the most fascinating and complex behaviors because it requires not only an ability to recognize, collect, and carry materials but also evolutionary adaptations in related morphological characteristics. However, the fossil record of such behavior is extremely scarce, and only a single Mesozoic example from Spanish amber has been recorded; therefore, little is known about the early evolution of this complicated behavior and its underlying anatomy. We report a diverse insect assemblage of exceptionally preserved debris carriers from Cretaceous Burmese, French, and Lebanese ambers, including the earliest known chrysopoid larvae (green lacewings), myrmeleontoid larvae (split-footed lacewings and owlflies), and reduviids (assassin bugs). These ancient insects used a variety of debris material, including insect exoskeletons, sand grains, soil dust, leaf trichomes of gleicheniacean ferns, wood fibers, and other vegetal debris. They convergently evolved their debris-carrying behavior through multiple pathways, which expressed a high degree of evolutionary plasticity. We demonstrate that the behavioral repertoire, which is associated with considerable morphological adaptations, was already widespread among insects by at least the Mid-Cretaceous. Together with the previously known Spanish specimen, these fossils are the oldest direct evidence of camouflaging behavior in the fossil record. Our findings provide a novel insight into early evolution of camouflage in insects and ancient ecological associations among plants and insects.

  10. Evidence for global cooling in the Late Cretaceous (United States)

    Linnert, Christian; Robinson, Stuart A.; Lees, Jackie A.; Bown, Paul R.; Pérez-Rodríguez, Irene; Petrizzo, Maria Rose; Falzoni, Francesca; Littler, Kate; Arz, José Antonio; Russell, Ernest E.


    The Late Cretaceous ‘greenhouse’ world witnessed a transition from one of the warmest climates of the past 140 million years to cooler conditions, yet still without significant continental ice. Low-latitude sea surface temperature (SST) records are a vital piece of evidence required to unravel the cause of Late Cretaceous cooling, but high-quality data remain illusive. Here, using an organic geochemical palaeothermometer (TEX86), we present a record of SSTs for the Campanian–Maastrichtian interval (~83–66 Ma) from hemipelagic sediments deposited on the western North Atlantic shelf. Our record reveals that the North Atlantic at 35 °N was relatively warm in the earliest Campanian, with maximum SSTs of ~35 °C, but experienced significant cooling (~7 °C) after this to <~28 °C during the Maastrichtian. The overall stratigraphic trend is remarkably similar to records of high-latitude SSTs and bottom-water temperatures, suggesting that the cooling pattern was global rather than regional and, therefore, driven predominantly by declining atmospheric pCO2 levels. PMID:24937202

  11. New fossil ants in French Cretaceous amber (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) (United States)

    Perrichot, Vincent; Nel, André; Néraudeau, Didier; Lacau, Sébastien; Guyot, Thierry


    Recent studies on the ant phylogeny are mainly based on the molecular analyses of extant subfamilies and do not include the extinct, only Cretaceous subfamily Sphecomyrminae. However, the latter is of major importance for ant relationships, as it is considered the most basal subfamily. Therefore, each new discovery of a Mesozoic ant is of high interest for improving our understanding of their early history and basal relationships. In this paper, a new sphecomyrmine ant, allied to the Burmese amber genus Haidomyrmex, is described from mid-Cretaceous amber of France as Haidomyrmodes mammuthus gen. and sp. n. The diagnosis of the tribe Haidomyrmecini is emended based on the new type material, which includes a gyne (alate female) and two incomplete workers. The genus Sphecomyrmodes, hitherto known by a single species from Burmese amber, is also reported and a new species described as S. occidentalis sp. n. after two workers remarkably preserved in a single piece of Early Cenomanian French amber. The new fossils provide additional information on early ant diversity and relationships and demonstrate that the monophyly of the Sphecomyrminae, as currently defined, is still weakly supported.

  12. Middle Jurassic - Early Cretaceous rifting of the Danish Central Graben

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moeller, J.J.; Rasmussen, E.S.


    During the Jurassic-early Cretaceous, the Danish Central Graben developed as a N-S to NNW-SSE trending Graben bounded by the Ringkoebing-Fyn High towards the east and the Mid North Sea High towards the west. The Graben consists of a system of half-Grabens and evolved by fault-controlled subsidence; three main rift pulses have been recognized. The first pulse ranged from the Callovian to the early Oxfordian, the second pulse was initiated in the latest Late Kimmeridgian and Early Volgian, and the third and final pulse occurred within the Valanginian in the Early Cretaceous. The first pulse was characterized by subsidence along N-S trending faults. During the second pulse, in early Volgian times, subsidence was concentrated along new NNW-SSE trending faults and the main depocentre shifted westward, being most marked within the Tail End Graben, the Arne-Elin Graben, and the Feda Graben. This tectonic event was accompanied by the accumulation of a relatively thick sediment load resulting in the development of salt diapers, especially within the Salt Dome Province. The third tectonic pulse was essentially a reactivation of the NNW-SSE trending structures. This tectonic pulse also shows clear evidence of combined fault-controlled subsidence and salt movements. (EG) 12 figs.; 45 refs.

  13. Late Cretaceous Aquatic Plant World in Patagonia, Argentina (United States)

    Cúneo, N. Rubén; Gandolfo, María A.; Zamaloa, María C.; Hermsen, Elizabeth


    In this contribution, we describe latest Cretaceous aquatic plant communities from the La Colonia Formation, Patagonia, Argentina, based on their taxonomic components and paleoecological attributes. The La Colonia Formation is a geological unit deposited during a Maastrichtian-Danian transgressive episode of the South Atlantic Ocean. This event resulted in the deposition of a series of fine-grained sediments associated with lagoon systems occurring along irregular coastal plains in northern Patagonia. These deposits preserved a diverse biota, including aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals. The aquatic macrophytes can be broadly divided into two groups: free-floating and rooted, the latter with emergent or floating leaves. Free-floating macrophytes include ferns in Salviniaceae (Azolla and Paleoazolla) and a monocot (Araceae). Floating microphytes include green algae (Botryoccocus, Pediastrum and Zygnemataceae). Among the rooted components, marsileaceous water ferns (including Regnellidium and an extinct form) and the eudicot angiosperm Nelumbo (Nelumbonaceae) are the dominant groups. Terrestrial plants occurring in the vegetation surrounding the lagoons include monocots (palms and Typhaceae), ferns with affinities to Dicksoniaceae, conifers, and dicots. A reconstruction of the aquatic plant paleocommuniy is provided based on the distribution of the fossils along a freshwater horizon within the La Colonia Formation. This contribution constitutes the first reconstruction of a Cretaceous aquatic habitat for southern South America. PMID:25148081

  14. New and revised maimetshid wasps from Cretaceous ambers (Hymenoptera, Maimetshidae

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    Vincent Perrichot


    Full Text Available New material of the wasp family Maimetshidae (Apocrita is presented from four Cretaceous amber deposits – the Neocomian of Lebanon, the Early Albian of Spain, the latest Albian/earliest Cenomanian of France, and the Campanian of Canada. The new record from Canadian Cretaceous amber extends the temporal and paleogeographical range of the family. New material from France is assignable to Guyotemaimetsha enigmatica Perrichot et al. including the first females for the species, while a series of males and females from Spain are described and figured as Iberomaimetsha Ortega-Blanco, Perrichot, and Engel gen. n., with the two new species Iberomaimetsha rasnitsyni Ortega-Blanco, Perrichot, and Engel sp. n. and I. nihtmara Ortega-Blanco, Delclòs, and Engel sp. n.; a single female from Lebanon is described and figured as Ahiromaimetsha najlae Perrichot, Azar, Nel, and Engel gen. et sp. n., and a single male from Canada is described and figured as Ahstemiam cellula McKellar and Engel gen. et sp. n. The taxa are compared with other maimetshids, a key to genera and species is given, and brief comments made on the family.

  15. Late cretaceous aquatic plant world in Patagonia, Argentina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N Rubén Cúneo

    Full Text Available In this contribution, we describe latest Cretaceous aquatic plant communities from the La Colonia Formation, Patagonia, Argentina, based on their taxonomic components and paleoecological attributes. The La Colonia Formation is a geological unit deposited during a Maastrichtian-Danian transgressive episode of the South Atlantic Ocean. This event resulted in the deposition of a series of fine-grained sediments associated with lagoon systems occurring along irregular coastal plains in northern Patagonia. These deposits preserved a diverse biota, including aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals. The aquatic macrophytes can be broadly divided into two groups: free-floating and rooted, the latter with emergent or floating leaves. Free-floating macrophytes include ferns in Salviniaceae (Azolla and Paleoazolla and a monocot (Araceae. Floating microphytes include green algae (Botryoccocus, Pediastrum and Zygnemataceae. Among the rooted components, marsileaceous water ferns (including Regnellidium and an extinct form and the eudicot angiosperm Nelumbo (Nelumbonaceae are the dominant groups. Terrestrial plants occurring in the vegetation surrounding the lagoons include monocots (palms and Typhaceae, ferns with affinities to Dicksoniaceae, conifers, and dicots. A reconstruction of the aquatic plant paleocommuniy is provided based on the distribution of the fossils along a freshwater horizon within the La Colonia Formation. This contribution constitutes the first reconstruction of a Cretaceous aquatic habitat for southern South America.

  16. A Cretaceous origin for fire adaptations in the Cape flora. (United States)

    He, Tianhua; Lamont, Byron B; Manning, John


    Fire has had a profound effect on the evolution of worldwide biotas. The Cape Floristic Region is one of the world's most species-rich regions, yet it is highly prone to recurrent fires and fire-adapted species contribute strongly to the overall flora. It is hypothesized that the current fire regimes in the Cape could be as old as 6-8 million years (My), while indirect evidence indicates that the onset of fire could have reached 18 million years ago (Ma). Here, we trace the origin of fire-dependent traits in two monocot families that are significant elements in the fire-prone Cape flora. Our analysis shows that fire-stimulated flowering originated in the Cape Haemodoraceae 81 Ma, while fire-stimulated germination arose in the African Restionaceae at least 70 Ma, implying that wildfires have been a significant force in the evolution of the Cape flora at least 60 My earlier than previous estimates. Our results provide strong evidence for the presence of fire adaptations in the Cape from the Cretaceous, leading to the extraordinary persistence of a fire-adapted flora in this biodiversity hotspot, and giving support to the hypothesis that Cretaceous fire was a global phenomenon that shaped the evolution of terrestrial floras.

  17. Extraterrestrial cause for the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alvarez, L.W.; Alvarez, W.; Asaro, F.; Michel, H.V.


    Platinum metals are depleted in the earth's crust relative to their cosmic abundance; concentrations of these elements in deep-sea sediments may thus indicate influxes of extraterrestrial material. Deep-sea limestones exposed in Italy, Denmark, and New Zealand show iridium increases of about 30, 160, and 20 times, respectively, above the background level at precisely the time of the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinctions, 65 million years ago. Reasons are given to indicate that this iridium is of extraterrestrial origin, but did not come from a nearby supernova. A hypothesis is suggested which accounts for the extinctions and the iridium observations. Impact of a large earth-crossing asteroid would inject about 60 times the object's mass into the atmosphere as pulverized rock; a fraction of this dust would stay in the stratosphere for several years and be distributed worldwide. The resulting darkness would suppress photosynthesis, and the expected biological consequences match quite closely the extinctions observed in the paleontological record. One prediction of this hypothesis has been verified: the chemical composition of the boundary clay, which is thought to come from the stratospheric dust, is markedly different from that of clay mixed with the Cretaceous and Tertiary limestones, which are chemically similar to each other. Four different independent estimates of the diameter of the asteroid give values that lie in the range 10 +- 4 kilometers

  18. Cretaceous origin and repeated tertiary diversification of the redefined butterflies. (United States)

    Heikkilä, Maria; Kaila, Lauri; Mutanen, Marko; Peña, Carlos; Wahlberg, Niklas


    Although the taxonomy of the ca 18 000 species of butterflies and skippers is well known, the family-level relationships are still debated. Here, we present, to our knowledge, the most comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the superfamilies Papilionoidea, Hesperioidea and Hedyloidea to date based on morphological and molecular data. We reconstructed their phylogenetic relationships using parsimony and Bayesian approaches. We estimated times and rates of diversification along lineages in order to reconstruct their evolutionary history. Our results suggest that the butterflies, as traditionally understood, are paraphyletic, with Papilionidae being the sister-group to Hesperioidea, Hedyloidea and all other butterflies. Hence, the families in the current three superfamilies should be placed in a single superfamily Papilionoidea. In addition, we find that Hedylidae is sister to Hesperiidae, and this novel relationship is supported by two morphological characters. The families diverged in the Early Cretaceous but diversified after the Cretaceous-Palaeogene event. The diversification of butterflies is characterized by a slow speciation rate in the lineage leading to Baronia brevicornis, a period of stasis by the skippers after divergence and a burst of diversification in the lineages leading to Nymphalidae, Riodinidae and Lycaenidae.

  19. Mountain building triggered late cretaceous North American megaherbivore dinosaur radiation.

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    Terry A Gates

    Full Text Available Prior studies of Mesozoic biodiversity document a diversity peak for dinosaur species in the Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous, yet have failed to provide explicit causal mechanisms. We provide evidence that a marked increase in North American dinosaur biodiversity can be attributed to dynamic orogenic episodes within the Western Interior Basin (WIB. Detailed fossil occurrences document an association between the shift from Sevier-style, latitudinally arrayed basins to smaller Laramide-style, longitudinally arrayed basins and a well substantiated decreased geographic range/increased taxonomic diversity of megaherbivorous dinosaur species. Dispersal-vicariance analysis demonstrates that the nearly identical biogeographic histories of the megaherbivorous dinosaur clades Ceratopsidae and Hadrosauridae are attributable to rapid diversification events within restricted basins and that isolation events are contemporaneous with known tectonic activity in the region. SymmeTREE analysis indicates that megaherbivorous dinosaur clades exhibited significant variation in diversification rates throughout the Late Cretaceous. Phylogenetic divergence estimates of fossil clades offer a new lower boundary on Laramide surficial deformation that precedes estimates based on sedimentological data alone.

  20. Mountain building triggered late cretaceous North American megaherbivore dinosaur radiation. (United States)

    Gates, Terry A; Prieto-Márquez, Albert; Zanno, Lindsay E


    Prior studies of Mesozoic biodiversity document a diversity peak for dinosaur species in the Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous, yet have failed to provide explicit causal mechanisms. We provide evidence that a marked increase in North American dinosaur biodiversity can be attributed to dynamic orogenic episodes within the Western Interior Basin (WIB). Detailed fossil occurrences document an association between the shift from Sevier-style, latitudinally arrayed basins to smaller Laramide-style, longitudinally arrayed basins and a well substantiated decreased geographic range/increased taxonomic diversity of megaherbivorous dinosaur species. Dispersal-vicariance analysis demonstrates that the nearly identical biogeographic histories of the megaherbivorous dinosaur clades Ceratopsidae and Hadrosauridae are attributable to rapid diversification events within restricted basins and that isolation events are contemporaneous with known tectonic activity in the region. SymmeTREE analysis indicates that megaherbivorous dinosaur clades exhibited significant variation in diversification rates throughout the Late Cretaceous. Phylogenetic divergence estimates of fossil clades offer a new lower boundary on Laramide surficial deformation that precedes estimates based on sedimentological data alone.

  1. Palynology of the middle jurassic lower graben sand formation of the U-1 well, Danish Central Trough

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoelstad, T.


    Twenty-one sidewall core samples from the lower 56 metres of the Lower Graben Sand Formation in the U-1 well are described with respect to their kerogen content and microflora in order to gain a better understanding of the depositional environment and the age relations. Based on e.g. the inconsistent dinoflagellate cyst occurrences, marginal marine conditions are concluded. The dinoglagellate cyst Pareodinia prolongata, Acanthaulax senta, Scriniodinium crystallinum, Energlynia acollaris, Wanaea thysanota and Hystrichogonyaulax cladophora and the recovered playnomorph assemblage in general permit an age determination as follows: 21 m Collovian undifferentiated, 7.9 latest Middle Callovian - earliest Late Callovian, 6.1 m latest Late Callovian and 21 m latest Late Callovian. - earliest Early Oxfordian.

  2. Shallow magnetic inclinations in the Cretaceous Valle Group, Baja California: remagnetization, compaction, or terrane translation? (United States)

    Smith, Douglas P.; Busby, Cathy J.


    Paleomagnetic data from Albian to Turonian sedimentary rocks on Cedros Island, Mexico (28.2° N, 115.2° W) support the interpretation that Cretaceous rocks of western Baja California have moved farther northward than the 3° of latitude assignable to Neogene oblique rifting in the Gulf of California. Averaged Cretaceous paleomagnetic results from Cedros Island support 20 ± 10° of northward displacement and 14 ± 7° of clockwise rotation with respect to cratonic North America. Positive field stability tests from the Vizcaino terrane substantiate a mid-Cretaceous age for the high-temperature characteristic remanent magnetization in mid-Cretaceous strata. Therefore coincidence of characteristic magnetization directions and the expected Quaternary axial dipole direction is not due to post mid-Cretaceous remagnetization. A slump test performed on internally coherent, intrabasinal slump blocks within a paleontologically dated olistostrome demonstrates a mid-Cretaceous age of magnetization in the Valle Group. The in situ high-temperature natural remanent magnetization directions markedly diverge from the expected Quaternary axial dipole, indicating that the characteristic, high-temperature magnetization was acquired prior to intrabasinal slumping. Early acquisition of the characteristic magnetization is also supported by a regional attitude test involving three localities in coherent mid-Cretaceous Valle Group strata. Paleomagnetic inclinations in mudstone are not different from those in sandstone, indicating that burial compaction did not bias the results toward shallow inclinations in the Vizcaino terrane.

  3. parasitised feathered dinosaurs as revealed by Cretaceous amber assemblages. (United States)

    Peñalver, Enrique; Arillo, Antonio; Delclòs, Xavier; Peris, David; Grimaldi, David A; Anderson, Scott R; Nascimbene, Paul C; Pérez-de la Fuente, Ricardo


    Ticks are currently among the most prevalent blood-feeding ectoparasites, but their feeding habits and hosts in deep time have long remained speculative. Here, we report direct and indirect evidence in 99 million-year-old Cretaceous amber showing that hard ticks and ticks of the extinct new family Deinocrotonidae fed on blood from feathered dinosaurs, non-avialan or avialan excluding crown-group birds. A †Cornupalpatum burmanicum hard tick is entangled in a pennaceous feather. Two deinocrotonids described as †Deinocroton draculi gen. et sp. nov. have specialised setae from dermestid beetle larvae (hastisetae) attached to their bodies, likely indicating cohabitation in a feathered dinosaur nest. A third conspecific specimen is blood-engorged, its anatomical features suggesting that deinocrotonids fed rapidly to engorgement and had multiple gonotrophic cycles. These findings provide insight into early tick evolution and ecology, and shed light on poorly known arthropod-vertebrate interactions and potential disease transmission during the Mesozoic.

  4. Early Cretaceous Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous angiosperm

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    William Oki Wong


    Full Text Available Archaeamphora longicervia H.Q.Li was described as an herbaceous, Sarraceniaceae-like pitcher plant from the mid Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, northeastern China. Here, a re-investigation of A. longicervia specimens from the Yixian Formation provides new insights into its identity and the morphology of pitcher plants claimed by Li. We demonstrate that putative pitchers of Archaeamphora are insect-induced leaf galls that consist of three components: (1 an innermost larval chamber with a distinctive outer wall; (2 an intermediate zone of nutritive tissue; and (3 an outermost zone of sclerenchyma. Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous, Sarraceniaceae-like angiosperm, but represents insect-galled leaves of the formerly reported gymnosperm Liaoningocladus boii G.Sun et al. from the Yixian Formation.

  5. Cretaceous extinctions - Evidence for wildfires and search for meteoritic material (United States)

    Wolbach, W. S.; Lewis, R. S.; Anders, E.


    The results of analyses of the contents of deposits in the Cretaceous-Ternary (K-T) transition at three sites worldwide are discussed. The study was undertaken to examine the composition of the object which may have struck the earth, causing widespread biotic extinction. The data indicate that most of the parent body was destroyed on impact, a condition which would also hold true for comets, suggesting that comets were not a source of prebiotic life. A four-orders-of-magnitude excess of carbon in the K-T layer is considered in terms of its source, which is suspected to be deposits from wildfires. The consequent extinctions of species are regarded as possibly making the current nuclear winter scenarios too optimistic.

  6. The Cretaceous superchron geodynamo: Observations near the tangent cylinder (United States)

    Tarduno, John A.; Cottrell, Rory D.; Smirnov, Alexei V.


    If relationships exist between the frequency of geomagnetic reversals and the morphology, secular variation, and intensity of Earth's magnetic field, they should be best expressed during superchrons, intervals tens of millions of years long lacking reversals. Here we report paleomagnetic and paleointensity data from lavas of the Cretaceous Normal Polarity Superchron that formed at high latitudes near the tangent cylinder that surrounds the solid inner core. The time-averaged field recorded by these lavas is remarkably strong and stable. When combined with global results available from lower latitudes, these data define a time-averaged field that is overwhelmingly dominated by the axial dipole (octupole components are insignificant). These observations suggest that the basic features of the geomagnetic field are intrinsically related. Superchrons may reflect times when the nature of core–mantle boundary heat flux allows the geodynamo to operate at peak efficiency. PMID:12388778

  7. Palynological and iridium anomalies at Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, south-central Saskatchewan (United States)

    Nichols, D.J.; Jarzen, D.M.; Orth, C.J.; Oliver, P.Q.


    The Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in south-central Saskatchewan is marked by coincident anomalies in abundance of iridium and fern spores at the extinction level of a suite of Cretaceous pollen taxa. Evidence of disruption of the terrestrial flora includes the fern-spore abundance anomaly and local extinction of as much as 30 percent of angiosperm species. The reorganized earliest Tertiary flora is made up largely of surviving species that assumed new roles of dominance. Persistence of climatically sensitive taxa across the boundary indicates that if paleoclimate was altered by the terminal Cretaceous event, it returned quickly to the pre-event condition.

  8. A new genus and species of enantiornithine bird from the Early Cretaceous of Brazil

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    Ismar de Souza Carvalho

    Full Text Available The fossil record of birds in Gondwana is almost restricted to the Late Cretaceous. Herein we describe a new fossil from the Araripe Basin, Cratoavis cearensis nov. gen et sp., composed of an articulated skeleton with feathers attached to the wings and surrounding the body. The present discovery considerably extends the temporal record of the Enantiornithes birds at South America to the Early Cretaceous. For the first time, an almost complete and articulated skeleton of an Early Cretaceous bird from South America is documented.

  9. Fire-adapted Gondwanan Angiosperm floras evolved in the Cretaceous

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    Lamont Byron B


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Fires have been widespread over the last 250 million years, peaking 60−125 million years ago (Ma, and might therefore have played a key role in the evolution of Angiosperms. Yet it is commonly believed that fireprone communities existed only after the global climate became more arid and seasonal 15 Ma. Recent molecular-based studies point to much earlier origins of fireprone Angiosperm floras in Australia and South Africa (to 60 Ma, Paleocene but even these were constrained by the ages of the clades examined. Results Using a molecular-dated phylogeny for the great Gondwanan family Proteaceae, with a 113-million-year evolutionary history, we show that the ancestors of many of its characteristic sclerophyll genera, such as Protea, Conospermum, Leucadendron, Petrophile, Adenanthos and Leucospermum (all subfamily Proteoideae, occurred in fireprone habitats from 88 Ma (83−94, 95% HPD, Mid-Upper Cretaceous. This coincided with the highest atmospheric oxygen (combustibility levels experienced over the past 150 million years. Migration from non-fireprone (essentially rainforest-climate-type environments was accompanied by the evolution of highly speciose clades with a range of seed storage traits and fire-cued seed release or germination mechanisms that was diagnostic for each clade by 71 Ma, though the ant-dispersed lineage (as a soil seed-storage subclade was delayed until 45 Ma. Conclusions Focusing on the widespread 113-million-year-old family Proteaceae, fireproneness among Gondwanan Angiosperm floras can now be traced back almost 90 million years into the fiery Cretaceous. The associated evolution of on-plant (serotiny and soil seed storage, and later ant dispersal, affirms them as ancient adaptations to fire among flowering plants.

  10. A complete skull of an early cretaceous sauropod and the evolution of advanced titanosaurians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hussam Zaher

    Full Text Available Advanced titanosaurian sauropods, such as nemegtosaurids and saltasaurids, were diverse and one of the most important groups of herbivores in the terrestrial biotas of the Late Cretaceous. However, little is known about their rise and diversification prior to the Late Cretaceous. Furthermore, the evolution of their highly-modified skull anatomy has been largely hindered by the scarcity of well-preserved cranial remains. A new sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Brazil represents the earliest advanced titanosaurian known to date, demonstrating that the initial diversification of advanced titanosaurians was well under way at least 30 million years before their known radiation in the latest Cretaceous. The new taxon also preserves the most complete skull among titanosaurians, further revealing that their low and elongated diplodocid-like skull morphology appeared much earlier than previously thought.

  11. Tyrant dinosaur evolution tracks the rise and fall of Late Cretaceous oceans. (United States)

    Loewen, Mark A; Irmis, Randall B; Sertich, Joseph J W; Currie, Philip J; Sampson, Scott D


    The Late Cretaceous (∼95-66 million years ago) western North American landmass of Laramidia displayed heightened non-marine vertebrate diversity and intracontinental regionalism relative to other latest Cretaceous Laurasian ecosystems. Processes generating these patterns during this interval remain poorly understood despite their presumed role in the diversification of many clades. Tyrannosauridae, a clade of large-bodied theropod dinosaurs restricted to the Late Cretaceous of Laramidia and Asia, represents an ideal group for investigating Laramidian patterns of evolution. We use new tyrannosaurid discoveries from Utah--including a new taxon which represents the geologically oldest member of the clade--to investigate the evolution and biogeography of Tyrannosauridae. These data suggest a Laramidian origin for Tyrannosauridae, and implicate sea-level related controls in the isolation, diversification, and dispersal of this and many other Late Cretaceous vertebrate clades.

  12. Genetic stratigraphy of Coniacian deltaic deposits of the northwestern part of the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nádaskay, R.; Uličný, David


    Roč. 165, č. 4 (2014), s. 547-575 ISSN 1860-1804 Institutional support: RVO:67985530 Keywords : genetic stratigraphy * well log * Bohemian Cretaceous Basin Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 0.569, year: 2014

  13. A critical transition in leaf evolution facilitated the Cretaceous angiosperm revolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, H.J. de; Eppinga, M.B.; Wassen, M.J.; Dekker, S.C.


    The revolutionary rise of broad-leaved (flowering) angiosperm plant species during the Cretaceous initiated a global ecological transformation towards modern biodiversity. Still, the mechanisms involved in this angiosperm radiation remain enigmatic. Here we show that the period of rapid

  14. Carbonate deposition and salt diapirism during the Cretaceous in the Persian Gulf, offshore Iran


    U. P. Baaske; M. Mutti; F. Baioni; R. Buonaguro; G. Bertozzi; M. A. Naini; C. M. Krawczyk; P. Kukla; R. Littke; H. Stollhofen; D. Schwarzer;  


    The Cretaceous deposits in the Persian Gulf area are part of one of the largest hydrocarbon systems in the world. The stratigraphic evolution of the northern part of the Gulf is, however, poorly constrained. Seismic data from offshore Iran reveal that the shallow water deposition is marked by topographic features like the NNE-SSW trending Qatar-Fars-Arch and salt-related structures (diapirs and salt walls) of smaller scale. These structures were active during the Cretaceous. To examine the ef...

  15. Highly specialized mammalian skulls from the Late Cretaceous of South America. (United States)

    Rougier, Guillermo W; Apesteguía, Sebastián; Gaetano, Leandro C


    Dryolestoids are an extinct mammalian group belonging to the lineage leading to modern marsupials and placentals. Dryolestoids are known by teeth and jaws from the Jurassic period of North America and Europe, but they thrived in South America up to the end of the Mesozoic era and survived to the beginnings of the Cenozoic. Isolated teeth and jaws from the latest Cretaceous of South America provide mounting evidence that, at least in western Gondwana, dryolestoids developed into strongly endemic groups by the Late Cretaceous. However, the lack of pre-Late Cretaceous dryolestoid remains made study of their origin and early diversification intractable. Here we describe the first mammalian remains from the early Late Cretaceous of South America, including two partial skulls and jaws of a derived dryolestoid showing dental and cranial features unknown among any other group of Mesozoic mammals, such as single-rooted molars preceded by double-rooted premolars, combined with a very long muzzle, exceedingly long canines and evidence of highly specialized masticatory musculature. On one hand, the new mammal shares derived features of dryolestoids with forms from the Jurassic of Laurasia, whereas on the other hand, it is very specialized and highlights the endemic, diverse dryolestoid fauna from the Cretaceous of South America. Our specimens include only the second mammalian skull known for the Cretaceous of Gondwana, bridging a previous 60-million-year gap in the fossil record, and document the whole cranial morphology of a dryolestoid, revealing an unsuspected morphological and ecological diversity for non-tribosphenic mammals.

  16. 40Ar/39Ar dating of the Late Cretaceous

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaylor, Jonathan


    As part of the wider European GTS Next project, I propose new constraints on the ages of the Late Cretaceous, derived from a multitude of geochronological techniques, and successful stratigraphic interpretations from Canada and Japan. In the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, we propose a new constraint on the age of the K/Pg boundary in the Red Deer River section (Alberta, Canada). We were able to cyclo-stratigraphically tune sediments in a non-marine, fluvial environment utilising high-resolution proxy records suggesting a 11-12 precession related cyclicity. Assuming the 40 Ar/ 39 Ar method is inter-calibrated with the cyclo-stratigraphy, the apparent age for C29r suggests that the K/Pg boundary falls between eccentricity maxima and minima, yielding an age of the C29r between 65.89 ± 0.08 and 66.30 ± 0.08 Ma. Assuming that the bundle containing the coal horizon represents a precession cycle, the K/Pg boundary is within the analytical uncertainty of the youngest zircon population achieving a revised age for the K/Pg boundary as 65.75 ± 0.06 Ma. The Campanian - Maastrichtian boundary is preserved in the sedimentary succession of the Horseshoe Canyon Formation and has been placed 8 m below Coal nr. 10. Cyclo-stratigraphic studies show that the formation of these depositional sequences (alternations) of all scales are influenced directly by sea-level changes due to precession but more dominated by eccentricity cycles proved in the cyclo-stratigraphic framework and is mainly controlled by sand horizons, which have been related by auto-cyclicity in a dynamic sedimentary setting. Our work shows that the Campanian - Maastrichtian boundary in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin coincides with 2.5 eccentricity cycles above the youngest zircon age population at the bottom of the section and 4.9 Myr before the Cretaceous - Palaeogene boundary (K/Pg), and thus corresponds to an absolute age of 70.65 ± 0.09 Ma producing an 1.4 Myr younger age than recent published ages

  17. Cretaceous choristoderan reptiles gave birth to live young (United States)

    Ji, Qiang; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Cheng, Yen-Nien


    Viviparity (giving birth to live young) in fossil reptiles has been known only in a few marine groups: ichthyosaurs, pachypleurosaurs, and mosasaurs. Here, we report a pregnant specimen of the Early Cretaceous Hyphalosaurus baitaigouensis, a species of Choristodera, a diapsid group known from unequivocal fossil remains from the Middle Jurassic to the early Miocene (about 165 to 20 million years ago). This specimen provides the first evidence of viviparity in choristoderan reptiles and is also the sole record of viviparity in fossil reptiles which lived in freshwater ecosystems. This exquisitely preserved specimen contains up to 18 embryos arranged in pairs. Size comparison with small free-living individuals and the straight posture of the posterior-most pair suggest that those embryos were at term and had probably reached parturition. The posterior-most embryo on the left side has the head positioned toward the rear, contrary to normal position, suggesting a complication that may have contributed to the mother’s death. Viviparity would certainly have freed species of Hyphalosaurus from the need to return to land to deposit eggs; taking this advantage, they would have avoided intense competition with contemporaneous terrestrial carnivores such as dinosaurs.

  18. Fossilized melanosomes and the colour of Cretaceous dinosaurs and birds. (United States)

    Zhang, Fucheng; Kearns, Stuart L; Orr, Patrick J; Benton, Michael J; Zhou, Zhonghe; Johnson, Diane; Xu, Xing; Wang, Xiaolin


    Spectacular fossils from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Group of northeastern China have greatly expanded our knowledge of the diversity and palaeobiology of dinosaurs and early birds, and contributed to our understanding of the origin of birds, of flight, and of feathers. Pennaceous (vaned) feathers and integumentary filaments are preserved in birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs, but little is known of their microstructure. Here we report that melanosomes (colour-bearing organelles) are not only preserved in the pennaceous feathers of early birds, but also in an identical manner in integumentary filaments of non-avian dinosaurs, thus refuting recent claims that the filaments are partially decayed dermal collagen fibres. Examples of both eumelanosomes and phaeomelanosomes have been identified, and they are often preserved in life position within the structure of partially degraded feathers and filaments. Furthermore, the data here provide empirical evidence for reconstructing the colours and colour patterning of these extinct birds and theropod dinosaurs: for example, the dark-coloured stripes on the tail of the theropod dinosaur Sinosauropteryx can reasonably be inferred to have exhibited chestnut to reddish-brown tones.

  19. Wildfires and animal extinctions at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary (United States)

    Adair, Robert K.


    Persuasive models of the ejection of material at high velocities from the Chicxulub asteroid impact marking the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary have led to the conclusion that upon return, that material, heated in passage through the upper atmosphere, generated a high level of infrared energy density over the Earth's surface. That radiant energy has been considered to be a direct source of universal wildfires, which were presumed to be a major cause of plant and animal species extinctions. The extinction of many animal species, especially the dinosaurs, has also been attributed to the immediate lethal effects of the radiation. I find that the absorption of the radiation by the atmosphere, by cloud formations, and by ejecta drifting in the lower atmosphere reduced the radiation at the surface to a level that cannot be expected to have generated universal fires. Although the reduced radiation will have likely caused severe injuries to many animals, such insults alone seem unlikely to have generated the overall species extinctions that have been deduced.

  20. Turkana Grits - a Cretaceous braided alluvial system in northern Kenya

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    Handford, C.R.


    Rather spotty but excellent exposures of the Cretaceous-age Turkana Grits occur near the western shore of Lake Turkana, northern Kenya. These very coarse to pebbly arkosic sandstones and sandy conglomerates were derived from and rest unconformably upon Precambrian metamorphic basement; they are overlain by late Tertiary basaltic flows that comprise much of the volcanics in the East African Rift Zone. The formation ranges up to 2000 ft thick in the Laburr Range. Several outcrops contain sauropod, crocodile, and tortoise remains as well as abundant trunks of petrified wood (Dryoxylon). Five major facies make up the Turkana Grits and record a major episode of continental fluvial deposition in basins flanked by Precambrian basement. Facies 1 is crudely stratified, cobble and boulder conglomerate (clast-supported); Facies 2 is crudely stratified pebble-cobble conglomerate and pebbly sandstone; Facies 3 is trough cross-bedded, very coarse sandstones containing fossils wood and vertebrate remains; Facies 4 is crudely stratified to massive sandstones with ironstone nodules; and Facies 5 is red, purple, and gray mudstone and mud shale with carbonate nodules. Facies 1 through 3 record deposition in proximal to medial braided-stream channel, longitudinal bar and dune complexes. Facies 4 is a lowland, hydromorphic paleosol, and Facies 5 represents overbank and abandoned channel-fill sedimentation in an alluvial plain.

  1. The debate over the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (United States)

    Alvarez, W.; Asaro, F.; Alvarez, L. W.; Michel, H. V.


    Large-body impact on the Earth is a rare but indisputable geologic process. The impact rate is approximately known from objects discovered in Earth-crossing orbits and from the statistics of craters on the Earth's surface. Tektite and microtektite strewn fields constitute unmistakable ejecta deposits that can be due only to large-body impacts. The Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary coincides with an unusually severe biological trauma, and this stratigraphic horizon is marked on a worldwide basis by anomalous concentrations of noble metals in chondritic proportions, mineral spherules with relict quench-crystallization textures, and mineral and rock grains showing shock deformation. These features are precisely compatible with an impact origin. Although only impact explains all the types of K-T boundary evidence, the story may not be as simple as once thought. The original hypothesis envisioned one large impact, triggering one great extinction. Newer evidence hints at various complications. Different challenges are faced by the occupants of each apex of a three-cornered argument over the K-T event. Proponents of a non-impact explanation must show that the evidence fits their preferred model better than it fits the impact scenario. Proponents of the single impact-single extinction view must explain away the complications. Proponents of a more complex impact crisis must develop a reasonable scenario which honors the new evidence.

  2. Seawater strontium isotopes at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (United States)

    Macdougall, J. D.; Martin, E.


    Anomalously high values of Seawater Sr-87/Sr-86 near the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary have been reported. However, few of the data from the literature are from a single continuous section, and perhaps the most complete study of the boundary region, from a shallow marine limestone sequence in Alabama, showed elevated Sr-87/Sr-86 but no pronounced spike. Thus, in order to investigate the cause of the change in strontium isotopic composition, it is important to determine the exact nature and magnitude of the increase by studying in detail continuous sections through the boundary. If there is indeed a Sr isotope spike at the K-T boundary, it requires the addition of a large amount of radiogenic Sr to the oceans over a short time period, a phenomenon that may be linked to other large-scale environmental disturbances which occurred at that time. In order to address this question, a high-resolution strontium isotope study of foraminifera from three Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) cores which recovered the K-T boundary section: Site 356 in the South Atlantic, Site 384 in the North Atlantic and Site 577 from the Shatsky Rise in the Pacific was initiated. The isotope measurements are being made on either single or small numbers of forams carefully picked and identified and in most cases examined by SEM before analysis. Because this work is not yet complete, conclusions drawn here must be viewed as tentative. They are briefly discussed.

  3. The reservoir properties of the upper Cretaceous productive deposits at the Pravoberezhnoe field. Kollektornyye svoystva verkhnemelovykh produktivnykh otlozheniy mestorozhdeniya Pravobeiezhnoye

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Merkulov, A.V.; Yengibarov, V.N.


    Based on a set of various studies, an evaluation of the type of upper Cretaceous reservoir in the Pravoberezhnoe field is given. Compared to other fields in the Chechen Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, the upper Cretaceous productive deposits at this field are characterized by poorer reservoir properties. The set of all data indicates that the upper Cretaceous reservoir is analogous to reservoirs of equal age in existing fields in this republic and are cavernous fissured type.

  4. Faunal turnover of marine tetrapods during the Jurassic-Cretaceous transition. (United States)

    Benson, Roger B J; Druckenmiller, Patrick S


    Marine and terrestrial animals show a mosaic of lineage extinctions and diversifications during the Jurassic-Cretaceous transition. However, despite its potential importance in shaping animal evolution, few palaeontological studies have focussed on this interval and the possible climate and biotic drivers of its faunal turnover. In consequence evolutionary patterns in most groups are poorly understood. We use a new, large morphological dataset to examine patterns of lineage diversity and disparity (variety of form) in the marine tetrapod clade Plesiosauria, and compare these patterns with those of other organisms. Although seven plesiosaurian lineages have been hypothesised as crossing the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary, our most parsimonious topology suggests the number was only three. The robust recovery of a novel group including most Cretaceous plesiosauroids (Xenopsaria, new clade) is instrumental in this result. Substantial plesiosaurian turnover occurred during the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary interval, including the loss of substantial pliosaurid, and cryptoclidid diversity and disparity, followed by the radiation of Xenopsaria during the Early Cretaceous. Possible physical drivers of this turnover include climatic fluctuations that influenced oceanic productivity and diversity: Late Jurassic climates were characterised by widespread global monsoonal conditions and increased nutrient flux into the opening Atlantic-Tethys, resulting in eutrophication and a highly productive, but taxonomically depauperate, plankton. Latest Jurassic and Early Cretaceous climates were more arid, resulting in oligotrophic ocean conditions and high taxonomic diversity of radiolarians, calcareous nannoplankton and possibly ammonoids. However, the observation of discordant extinction patterns in other marine tetrapod groups such as ichthyosaurs and marine crocodylomorphs suggests that clade-specific factors may have been more important than overarching extrinsic drivers of faunal

  5. Novel insect leaf-mining after the end-Cretaceous extinction and the demise of cretaceous leaf miners, Great Plains, USA.

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    Michael P Donovan

    Full Text Available Plant and associated insect-damage diversity in the western U.S.A. decreased significantly at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg boundary and remained low until the late Paleocene. However, the Mexican Hat locality (ca. 65 Ma in southeastern Montana, with a typical, low-diversity flora, uniquely exhibits high damage diversity on nearly all its host plants, when compared to all known local and regional early Paleocene sites. The same plant species show minimal damage elsewhere during the early Paleocene. We asked whether the high insect damage diversity at Mexican Hat was more likely related to the survival of Cretaceous insects from refugia or to an influx of novel Paleocene taxa. We compared damage on 1073 leaf fossils from Mexican Hat to over 9000 terminal Cretaceous leaf fossils from the Hell Creek Formation of nearby southwestern North Dakota and to over 9000 Paleocene leaf fossils from the Fort Union Formation in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. We described the entire insect-feeding ichnofauna at Mexican Hat and focused our analysis on leaf mines because they are typically host-specialized and preserve a number of diagnostic morphological characters. Nine mine damage types attributable to three of the four orders of leaf-mining insects are found at Mexican Hat, six of them so far unique to the site. We found no evidence linking any of the diverse Hell Creek mines with those found at Mexican Hat, nor for the survival of any Cretaceous leaf miners over the K-Pg boundary regionally, even on well-sampled, surviving plant families. Overall, our results strongly relate the high damage diversity on the depauperate Mexican Hat flora to an influx of novel insect herbivores during the early Paleocene, possibly caused by a transient warming event and range expansion, and indicate drastic extinction rather than survivorship of Cretaceous insect taxa from refugia.

  6. Novel insect leaf-mining after the end-Cretaceous extinction and the demise of cretaceous leaf miners, Great Plains, USA. (United States)

    Donovan, Michael P; Wilf, Peter; Labandeira, Conrad C; Johnson, Kirk R; Peppe, Daniel J


    Plant and associated insect-damage diversity in the western U.S.A. decreased significantly at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary and remained low until the late Paleocene. However, the Mexican Hat locality (ca. 65 Ma) in southeastern Montana, with a typical, low-diversity flora, uniquely exhibits high damage diversity on nearly all its host plants, when compared to all known local and regional early Paleocene sites. The same plant species show minimal damage elsewhere during the early Paleocene. We asked whether the high insect damage diversity at Mexican Hat was more likely related to the survival of Cretaceous insects from refugia or to an influx of novel Paleocene taxa. We compared damage on 1073 leaf fossils from Mexican Hat to over 9000 terminal Cretaceous leaf fossils from the Hell Creek Formation of nearby southwestern North Dakota and to over 9000 Paleocene leaf fossils from the Fort Union Formation in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. We described the entire insect-feeding ichnofauna at Mexican Hat and focused our analysis on leaf mines because they are typically host-specialized and preserve a number of diagnostic morphological characters. Nine mine damage types attributable to three of the four orders of leaf-mining insects are found at Mexican Hat, six of them so far unique to the site. We found no evidence linking any of the diverse Hell Creek mines with those found at Mexican Hat, nor for the survival of any Cretaceous leaf miners over the K-Pg boundary regionally, even on well-sampled, surviving plant families. Overall, our results strongly relate the high damage diversity on the depauperate Mexican Hat flora to an influx of novel insect herbivores during the early Paleocene, possibly caused by a transient warming event and range expansion, and indicate drastic extinction rather than survivorship of Cretaceous insect taxa from refugia.

  7. Small theropod teeth from the Late Cretaceous of the San Juan Basin, northwestern New Mexico and their implications for understanding latest Cretaceous dinosaur evolution. (United States)

    Williamson, Thomas E; Brusatte, Stephen L


    Studying the evolution and biogeographic distribution of dinosaurs during the latest Cretaceous is critical for better understanding the end-Cretaceous extinction event that killed off all non-avian dinosaurs. Western North America contains among the best records of Late Cretaceous terrestrial vertebrates in the world, but is biased against small-bodied dinosaurs. Isolated teeth are the primary evidence for understanding the diversity and evolution of small-bodied theropod dinosaurs during the Late Cretaceous, but few such specimens have been well documented from outside of the northern Rockies, making it difficult to assess Late Cretaceous dinosaur diversity and biogeographic patterns. We describe small theropod teeth from the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico. These specimens were collected from strata spanning Santonian - Maastrichtian. We grouped isolated theropod teeth into several morphotypes, which we assigned to higher-level theropod clades based on possession of phylogenetic synapomorphies. We then used principal components analysis and discriminant function analyses to gauge whether the San Juan Basin teeth overlap with, or are quantitatively distinct from, similar tooth morphotypes from other geographic areas. The San Juan Basin contains a diverse record of small theropods. Late Campanian assemblages differ from approximately coeval assemblages of the northern Rockies in being less diverse with only rare representatives of troodontids and a Dromaeosaurus-like taxon. We also provide evidence that erect and recurved morphs of a Richardoestesia-like taxon represent a single heterodont species. A late Maastrichtian assemblage is dominated by a distinct troodontid. The differences between northern and southern faunas based on isolated theropod teeth provide evidence for provinciality in the late Campanian and the late Maastrichtian of North America. However, there is no indication that major components of small-bodied theropod diversity were lost

  8. Evidence of reworked Cretaceous fossils and their bearing on the existence of Tertiary dinosaurs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eaton, J.G. (Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff (USA)); Kirkland, J.I. (Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln (USA)); Doi, K. (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder (USA))


    The Paleocene Shotgun fauna of Wyoming includes marine sharks as well as mammals. It has been suggested that the sharks were introduced from the Cannonball Sea. It is more likely that these sharks were reworked from a Cretaceous rock sequence that included both marine and terrestrial deposits as there is a mixture of marine and freshwater taxa. These taxa have not been recorded elsewhere after the Cretaceous and are not known from the Cannonball Formation. Early Eocene localities at Raven Ridge, Utah, similarly contain teeth of Cretaceous marine and freshwater fish, dinosaurs, and Eocene mammals. The Cretaceous teeth are well preserved, variably abraded, and serve to cast doubts on criteria recently used to claim that dinosaur teeth recovered from the Paleocene of Montana are not reworked. Another Eocene locality in the San Juan Basin has produced an Eocene mammalian fauna with diverse Cretaceous marine sharks. Neither the nature of preservation nor the degree of abrasion could be used to distinguish reworked from contemporaneous material. The mixed environments represented by the fish taxa and recognition of the extensive pre-Tertiary extinction of both marine and freshwater fish were employed to recognize reworked specimens.

  9. A basal thunnosaurian from Iraq reveals disparate phylogenetic origins for Cretaceous ichthyosaurs (United States)

    Fischer, Valentin; Appleby, Robert M.; Naish, Darren; Liston, Jeff; Riding, James B.; Brindley, Stephen; Godefroit, Pascal


    Cretaceous ichthyosaurs have typically been considered a small, homogeneous assemblage sharing a common Late Jurassic ancestor. Their low diversity and disparity have been interpreted as indicative of a decline leading to their Cenomanian extinction. We describe the first post-Triassic ichthyosaur from the Middle East, Malawania anachronus gen. et sp. nov. from the Early Cretaceous of Iraq, and re-evaluate the evolutionary history of parvipelvian ichthyosaurs via phylogenetic and cladogenesis rate analyses. Malawania represents a basal grade in thunnosaurian evolution that arose during a major Late Triassic radiation event and was previously thought to have gone extinct during the Early Jurassic. Its pectoral morphology appears surprisingly archaic, retaining a forefin architecture similar to that of its Early Jurassic relatives. After the initial latest Triassic radiation of early thunnosaurians, two subsequent large radiations produced lineages with Cretaceous representatives, but the radiation events themselves are pre-Cretaceous. Cretaceous ichthyosaurs therefore include distantly related lineages, with contrasting evolutionary histories, and appear more diverse and disparate than previously supposed. PMID:23676653

  10. From nappe stacking to exhumation: Cretaceous tectonics in the Apuseni Mountains (Romania) (United States)

    Reiser, Martin Kaspar; Schuster, Ralf; Spikings, Richard; Tropper, Peter; Fügenschuh, Bernhard


    New Ar-Ar muscovite and Rb-Sr biotite age data in combination with structural analyses from the Apuseni Mountains provide new constraints on the timing and kinematics of deformation during the Cretaceous. Time-temperature paths from the structurally highest basement nappe of the Apuseni Mountains in combination with sedimentary data indicate exhumation and a position close to the surface after the Late Jurassic emplacement of the South Apuseni Ophiolites. Early Cretaceous Ar-Ar muscovite ages from structurally lower parts in the Biharia Nappe System (Dacia Mega-Unit) show cooling from medium-grade conditions. NE-SW-trending stretching lineation and associated kinematic indicators of this deformation phase (D1) are overprinted by top-NW-directed thrusting during D2. An Albian to Turonian age (110-90 Ma) is proposed for the main deformation (D2) that formed the present-day geometry of the nappe stack and led to a pervasive retrograde greenschist-facies overprint. Thermochronological and structural data from the Bihor Unit (Tisza Mega-Unit) allowed to establish E-directed differential exhumation during Early-Late Cretaceous times (D3.1). Brittle detachment faulting (D3.2) and the deposition of syn-extensional sediments indicate general uplift and partial surface exposure during the Late Cretaceous. Brittle conditions persist during the latest Cretaceous compressional overprint (D4).

  11. The mid-Cretaceous super plume, carbon dioxide, and global warming (United States)

    Caldeira, Ken; Rampino, Michael R.


    Carbon-dioxide releases associated with a mid-Cretaceous super plume and the emplacement of the Ontong-Java Plateau have been suggested as a principal cause of the mid-Cretaceous global warming. A carbonate-silicate cycle model is developed to quantify the possible climatic effects of these CO2 releases, utilizing four different formulations for the rate of silicate-rock weathering as a function of atmospheric CO2. CO2 emissions resulting from super-plume tectonics could have produced atmospheric CO2 levels from 3.7 to 14.7 times the modern preindustrial value of 285 ppm. Based on the temperature sensitivity to CO2 increases used in the weathering-rate formulations, this would cause a global warming of from 2.8 to 7.7 C over today's glogal mean temperature. Altered continental positions and higher sea level may have been contributed about 4.8 C to mid-Cretaceous warming. Thus, the combined effects of paleogeographic changes and super-plume related CO2 emissions could be in the range of 7.6 to 12.5 C, within the 6 to 14 C range previously estimated for mid-Cretaceous warming. CO2 releases from oceanic plateaus alone are unlikely to have been directly responsible for more than 20 percent of the mid-Cretaceous increase in atmospheric CO2.

  12. Secondarily flightless birds or Cretaceous non-avian theropods? (United States)

    Kavanau, J Lee


    Recent studies by Varricchio et al. reveal that males cared for the eggs of troodontids and oviraptorids, so-called "non-avian theropods" of the Cretaceous, just as do those of most Paleognathic birds (ratites and tinamous) today. Further, the clutches of both groups have large relative volumes, and consist of many eggs of relatively large size. By comparison, clutch care by most extant birds is biparental and the clutches are of small relative volume, and consist of but few small eggs. Varricchio et al. propose that troodontids and oviraptorids were pre-avian and that paternal egg care preceded the origin of birds. On the contrary, unmentioned by them is that abundant paleontological evidence has led several workers to conclude that troodontids and oviraptorids were secondary flightless birds. This evidence ranges from bird-like bodies and bone designs, adapted for climbing, perching, gliding, and ultimately flight, to relatively large, highly developed brains, poor sense of smell, and their feeding habits. Because ratites also are secondarily flightless and tinamous are reluctant, clumsy fliers, the new evidence strengthens the view that troodontids and oviraptorids were secondarily flightless. Although secondary flightlessness apparently favors paternal care of clutches of large, abundant eggs, such care is not likely to have been primitive. There are a suite of previously unknown independent findings that point to the evolution of, first, maternal, followed by biparental egg care in earliest ancestors of birds. This follows from the discovery of remarkable relict avian reproductive behaviors preserved by virtue of the highly conservative nature of vertebrate brain evolution. These behaviors can be elicited readily by exposing breeding birds to appropriate conditions, both environmental and with respect to their eggs and chicks. They give significant new clues for a coherent theory of avian origin and early evolution.

  13. Reidentification of avian embryonic remains from the cretaceous of mongolia. (United States)

    Varricchio, David J; Balanoff, Amy M; Norell, Mark A


    Embryonic remains within a small (4.75 by 2.23 cm) egg from the Late Cretaceous, Mongolia are here re-described. High-resolution X-ray computed tomography (HRCT) was used to digitally prepare and describe the enclosed embryonic bones. The egg, IGM (Mongolian Institute for Geology, Ulaanbaatar) 100/2010, with a three-part shell microstructure, was originally assigned to Neoceratopsia implying extensive homoplasy among eggshell characters across Dinosauria. Re-examination finds the forelimb significantly longer than the hindlimbs, proportions suggesting an avian identification. Additional, postcranial apomorphies (strut-like coracoid, cranially located humeral condyles, olecranon fossa, slender radius relative to the ulna, trochanteric crest on the femur, and ulna longer than the humerus) identify the embryo as avian. Presence of a dorsal coracoid fossa and a craniocaudally compressed distal humerus with a strongly angled distal margin support a diagnosis of IGM 100/2010 as an enantiornithine. Re-identification eliminates the implied homoplasy of this tri-laminate eggshell structure, and instead associates enantiornithine birds with eggshell microstructure composed of a mammillary, squamatic, and external zones. Posture of the embryo follows that of other theropods with fore- and hindlimbs folded parallel to the vertebral column and the elbow pointing caudally just dorsal to the knees. The size of the egg and embryo of IGM 100/2010 is similar to the two other Mongolian enantiornithine eggs. Well-ossified skeletons, as in this specimen, characterize all known enantiornithine embryos suggesting precocial hatchlings, comparing closely to late stage embryos of modern precocial birds that are both flight- and run-capable upon hatching. Extensive ossification in enantiornithine embryos may contribute to their relatively abundant representation in the fossil record. Neoceratopsian eggs remain unrecognized in the fossil record.

  14. Reidentification of avian embryonic remains from the cretaceous of mongolia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Varricchio

    Full Text Available Embryonic remains within a small (4.75 by 2.23 cm egg from the Late Cretaceous, Mongolia are here re-described. High-resolution X-ray computed tomography (HRCT was used to digitally prepare and describe the enclosed embryonic bones. The egg, IGM (Mongolian Institute for Geology, Ulaanbaatar 100/2010, with a three-part shell microstructure, was originally assigned to Neoceratopsia implying extensive homoplasy among eggshell characters across Dinosauria. Re-examination finds the forelimb significantly longer than the hindlimbs, proportions suggesting an avian identification. Additional, postcranial apomorphies (strut-like coracoid, cranially located humeral condyles, olecranon fossa, slender radius relative to the ulna, trochanteric crest on the femur, and ulna longer than the humerus identify the embryo as avian. Presence of a dorsal coracoid fossa and a craniocaudally compressed distal humerus with a strongly angled distal margin support a diagnosis of IGM 100/2010 as an enantiornithine. Re-identification eliminates the implied homoplasy of this tri-laminate eggshell structure, and instead associates enantiornithine birds with eggshell microstructure composed of a mammillary, squamatic, and external zones. Posture of the embryo follows that of other theropods with fore- and hindlimbs folded parallel to the vertebral column and the elbow pointing caudally just dorsal to the knees. The size of the egg and embryo of IGM 100/2010 is similar to the two other Mongolian enantiornithine eggs. Well-ossified skeletons, as in this specimen, characterize all known enantiornithine embryos suggesting precocial hatchlings, comparing closely to late stage embryos of modern precocial birds that are both flight- and run-capable upon hatching. Extensive ossification in enantiornithine embryos may contribute to their relatively abundant representation in the fossil record. Neoceratopsian eggs remain unrecognized in the fossil record.

  15. Biostratigraphy of the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary in the Sirwan Valley (Sulaimani Region, Kurdistan, NE Iraq) (United States)

    Sharbazheri, Khalid Mahmood; Ghafor, Imad Mahmood; Muhammed, Qahtan Ahmad


    The Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary sequence, which crops out in the studied area is located within the High Folded Zone, in the Sirwan Valley, northeastern Iraq. These units mainly consist of flysch and flysch-type successions of thick clastic beds of Tanjero/Kolosh Formations. A detailed lithostratigraphic study is achieved on the outcropping uppermost part of the Upper Cretaceous successions (upper part of Tanjero Formation) and the lowermost part of the Kolosh Formation. On the basis of the identified planktonic foraminiferal assemblages, five biozones are recorded from the uppermost part of Tanjero Formation and four biozones from the lower part of the Kolosh Formation (Lower Paleocene) in the Sirwan section. The biostratigraphic correlations based on planktonic foraminiferal zonations showed a comparison between the biostratigraphic zones established in this study and other equivalents of the commonly used planktonic zonal scheme around the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary in and outside Iraq.

  16. The first reported ceratopsid dinosaur from eastern North America (Owl Creek Formation, Upper Cretaceous, Mississippi, USA). (United States)

    Farke, Andrew A; Phillips, George E


    Ceratopsids ("horned dinosaurs") are known from western North America and Asia, a distribution reflecting an inferred subaerial link between the two landmasses during the Late Cretaceous. However, this clade was previously unknown from eastern North America, presumably due to limited outcrop of the appropriate age and depositional environment as well as the separation of eastern and western North America by the Western Interior Seaway during much of the Late Cretaceous. A dentary tooth from the Owl Creek Formation (late Maastrichtian) of Union County, Mississippi, represents the first reported occurrence of Ceratopsidae from eastern North America. This tooth shows a combination of features typical of Ceratopsidae, including a double root and a prominent, blade-like carina. Based on the age of the fossil, we hypothesize that it is consistent with a dispersal of ceratopsids into eastern North America during the very latest Cretaceous, presumably after the two halves of North America were reunited following the retreat of the Western Interior Seaway.

  17. A diverse ant fauna from the mid-cretaceous of Myanmar (Hymenoptera: Formicidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillip Barden

    Full Text Available A new collection of 24 wingless ant specimens from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (Albian-Cenomanian, 99 Ma comprises nine new species belonging to the genus Sphecomyrmodes Engel and Grimaldi. Described taxa vary considerably with regard to total size, head and body proportion, cuticular sculpturing, and petiole structure while all species are unified by a distinct shared character. The assemblage represents the largest known diversification of closely related Cretaceous ants with respect to species number. These stem-group ants exhibit some characteristics previously known only from their extant counterparts along with presumed plesiomorphic morphology. Consequently, their morphology may inform hypotheses relating to basal relationships and general patterns of ant evolution. These and other uncovered Cretaceous species indicate that stem-group ants are not simply wasp-like, transitional formicids, but rather a group of considerable adaptive diversity, exhibiting innovations analogous to what crown-group ants would echo 100 million years later.

  18. Late Cretaceous origin of the rice tribe provides evidence for early diversification in Poaceae. (United States)

    Prasad, V; Strömberg, C A E; Leaché, A D; Samant, B; Patnaik, R; Tang, L; Mohabey, D M; Ge, S; Sahni, A


    Rice and its relatives are a focal point in agricultural and evolutionary science, but a paucity of fossils has obscured their deep-time history. Previously described cuticles with silica bodies (phytoliths) from the Late Cretaceous period (67-65 Ma) of India indicate that, by the latest Cretaceous, the grass family (Poaceae) consisted of members of the modern subclades PACMAD (Panicoideae-Aristidoideae-Chloridoideae-Micrairoideae-Arundinoideae-Danthonioideae) and BEP (Bambusoideae-Ehrhartoideae-Pooideae), including a taxon with proposed affinities to Ehrhartoideae. Here we describe additional fossils and show that, based on phylogenetic analyses that combine molecular genetic data and epidermal and phytolith features across Poaceae, these can be assigned to the rice tribe, Oryzeae, of grass subfamily Ehrhartoideae. The new Oryzeae fossils suggest substantial diversification within Ehrhartoideae by the Late Cretaceous, pushing back the time of origin of Poaceae as a whole. These results, therefore, necessitate a re-evaluation of current models for grass evolution and palaeobiogeography.

  19. A new Early Cretaceous eutherian mammal from the Sasayama Group, Hyogo, Japan. (United States)

    Kusuhashi, Nao; Tsutsumi, Yukiyasu; Saegusa, Haruo; Horie, Kenji; Ikeda, Tadahiro; Yokoyama, Kazumi; Shiraishi, Kazuyuki


    We here describe a new Early Cretaceous (early Albian) eutherian mammal, Sasayamamylos kawaii gen. et sp. nov., from the 'Lower Formation' of the Sasayama Group, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Sasayamamylos kawaii is characterized by a robust dentary, a distinct angle on the ventral margin of the dentary at the posterior end of the mandibular symphysis, a lower dental formula of 3-4 : 1 : 4 : 3, a robust lower canine, a non-molariform lower ultimate premolar, and a secondarily reduced entoconid on the molars. To date, S. kawaii is the earliest known eutherian mammal possessing only four premolars, which demonstrates that the reduction in the premolar count in eutherians started in the late Early Cretaceous. The occurrence of S. kawaii implies that the relatively rapid diversification of eutherians in the mid-Cretaceous had already started by the early Albian.

  20. A new dinosaur ichnotaxon from the Lower Cretaceous Patuxent Formation of Maryland and Virginia (United States)

    Stanford, Ray; Weems, Robert E.; Lockley, Martin G.


    In recent years, numerous dinosaur footprints have been discovered on bedding surfaces within the Lower Cretaceous Patuxent Formation of Maryland and Virginia. Among these, distinctive small tracks that display a combination of small manus with five digit impressions and a relatively much larger pes with four toe impressions evidently were made by animals belonging to the ornithischian family Hypsilophodontidae. These tracks differ from any ornithischian ichnotaxon previously described. We here name them Hypsiloichnus marylandicus and provide a description of their diagnostic characteristics. Although hypsilophodontid skeletal remains have not been found in the Patuxent, their skeletal remains are known from Lower Cretaceous strata of similar age in both western North America and Europe. Therefore, it is not surprising to find that an Early Cretaceous representative of this family also existed in eastern North America.

  1. Integrated geophysical and geological study and petroleum appraisal of Cretaceous plays in the Western Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia (United States)

    Dkhaili, Noomen; Bey, Saloua; El Abed, Mahmoud; Gasmi, Mohamed; Inoubli, Mohamed Hedi


    An integrated study of available seismic and calibrated wells has been conducted in order to ascertain the structural development and petroleum potential of the Cretaceous Formations of the Western Gulf of Gabes. This study has resulted in an understanding of the controls of deep seated Tethyan tectonic lineaments by analysis of the Cretaceous deposits distribution. Three main unconformities have been identified in this area, unconformity U1 between the Jurassic and Cretaceous series, unconformity U2 separating Early from Late Cretaceous and known as the Austrian unconformity and the major unconformity U3 separating Cretaceous from Tertiary series. The seismic analysis and interpretation have confirmed the existence of several features dominated by an NE-SW extensive tectonic regime evidenced by deep listric faults, asymmetric horst and graben and tilted blocks structures. Indeed, the structural mapping of these unconformities, displays the presence of dominant NW-SE fault system (N140 to N160) bounding a large number of moderate sized basins. A strong inversion event related to the unconformity U3 can be demonstrated by the mapping of the unconformities consequence of the succession of several tectonic manifestations during the Cretaceous and post-Cretaceous periods. These tectonic events have resulted in the development of structural and stratigraphic traps further to the porosity and permeability enhancement of Cretaceous reservoirs.

  2. Integrated stratigraphy of the Jurassic-Cretaceous sequences of the Kurovice Quarry, Outer Western Carpathians: correlations and tectonic implications

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pruner, Petr; Schnabl, Petr; Čížková, Kristýna; Elbra, Tiiu; Kdýr, Šimon; Svobodová, Andrea; Reháková, D.


    Roč. 120 (2017), s. 216-216 ISSN 1017-8880. [International Symposium on the Cretaceous /10./. 21.08.2017-26.08.2017, Vienna] R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA16-09979S Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : stratigraphy * Jurassic-Cretaceous sequences * Western Carpathians Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

  3. Palaeoenvironments and facies on a progressively flooded rocky island (Upper Cenomanian – Lower Turonian, Bohemian Cretaceous Basin)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žítt, Jiří; Vodrážka, R.; Hradecká, L.; Svobodová, Marcela


    Roč. 179, - (2010), s. 223-234 ISSN 1802-6842 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Cretaceous island * weathering * geomorphology * sedimentary environments * biostratigraphy * Upper Cenomanian-Lower Turonian * Bohemian Cretaceous Basin Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

  4. Sedimentary basin analysis and petroleum potential of the Cretaceous and Tertiary strata in Korea.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Son, Jin-Dam; Kwak, Young-Hoon; Bong, Pil-Yoon [Korea Institute of Geology Mining and Materials, Taejon (KR)] (and others)


    Since 1992 sedimentary basin analysis to assess petroleum potential of the Cretaceous and Tertiary strata in the Korean onshore and continental shelf have been carried out. The Cretaceous non-marine strata mainly occupy the Gyeongsang Basin in southeastern part of the Korean Peninsula and small basins such as Haenam and Gyeokpo depressions in western coastal areas. The Tertiary strata are mostly distributed in Domi, Cheju, Socotra subbasins, and Okinawa Trough in the South Continental Shelf, and Kunsan and Heuksan basins in the West. The basin evolution and petroleum potential for each basins are characterized as follow. The Cretaceous Gyeongsang sediments were deposited in three subbasins including Milyang, Euisung and Yongyang subbasins. The black shales in Nakdong and Jinju formations are interpreted to contain abundant organic matter during the deposition, thermal maturity reaching up to the zone of dry gas formation. Because porosity and permeability are too low, the sandstones can act as a tight gas reservoir rather than conventional oil and gas reservoir. The latest Cretaceous strata of Haenam and Kyeokpo depressions in western coastal area are correlated into the Yuchon Volcanic Group of the Gyeongsang Basin. Petroleum potential of the Early Cretaceous basin in the West Continental Shelf could be relatively high in terms of sedimentary basin filled with thick lacustrine sediments. The Kunsan basin in the West Continental Shelf originated in the Early Cretaceous time expanded during the Paleocene time followed by regional erosion at the end of Paleocene on which Neogene sediment have been accumulated. The Paleocene-Eocene sublacustrine shales may play an major role as a source and cap rocks. South Continental Shelf Basin is subdivided by Cheju subbasin in the center, Socotra Subbasin to the west, Domi Subbasin to the northeast and Okinawa Trough to the East. The potential hydrocarbon traps associated with anticline, titled fault blocks, fault, unconformity

  5. A nearly modern amphibious bird from the Early Cretaceous of northwestern China. (United States)

    You, Hai-Lu; Lamanna, Matthew C; Harris, Jerald D; Chiappe, Luis M; O'connor, Jingmai; Ji, Shu-An; Lü, Jun-Chang; Yuan, Chong-Xi; Li, Da-Qing; Zhang, Xing; Lacovara, Kenneth J; Dodson, Peter; Ji, Qiang


    Three-dimensional specimens of the volant fossil bird Gansus yumenensis from the Early Cretaceous Xiagou Formation of northwestern China demonstrate that this taxon possesses advanced anatomical features previously known only in Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic ornithuran birds. Phylogenetic analysis recovers Gansus within the Ornithurae, making it the oldest known member of the clade. The Xiagou Formation preserves the oldest known ornithuromorph-dominated avian assemblage. The anatomy of Gansus, like that of other non-neornithean (nonmodern) ornithuran birds, indicates specialization for an amphibious life-style, supporting the hypothesis that modern birds originated in aquatic or littoral niches.

  6. Sedimentary environments and hydrocarbon potential of cretaceous rocks of indus basin, Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sheikh, S.A.; Naseem, S.


    Cretaceous rocks of Indus Basin of Pakistan are dominated by clastics with subordinate limestone towards the top. These rocks represent shelf facies and were deposited in deltaic to reducing marine conditions at variable depths. Indications of a silled basin with restricted circulation are also present. Cretaceous fine clastics/carbonates have good source and reservoir qualities. Variable geothermal gradients in different parts of basin have placed these rocks at different maturity levels; i.e. from oil to condensate and to gas. The potential of these rocks has been proved by several oil and gas discoveries particularly in the Central and Southern provinces of Indus Basin. (author)

  7. Lower Cretaceous Source Rock and its Implication for the Gulf of Guinea Petroleum System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frost, B.R.; Griffith, R.C.


    Current petroleum system models for the Gulf of Guinea propose Tertiary-age deltaic organic material as the principal source for the hydrocarbons found there. Although previous workers recognized numerous difficulties and inconsistencies, no alternative model has been resented to adequately explain the complete petroleum system. We propose that the principal source rock for the Gulf of Guinea system occurs in upper lower Cretaceous-age shales at the rift-drift transition. Tertiary loading and the consequent maturation of this lower Cretaceous source rock can explain the controls on tap formation, reservoir distribution and hydrocarbon types found in the Gulf of Guinea

  8. Shock Deformation and Volcanism across the Cretaceous - Transition. (United States)

    Huffman, Alan Royce


    The cause of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) transition remains one of the most controversial scientific topics in the geosciences. Geological and geophysical evidence associated with the K/T boundary have been used to argue that the extinctions were caused by meteor impact or volcanism. The goal of this study was to assess the viability of a volcanic model for the K/T transition. Comparison of natural and experimentally-shocked quartz and feldspar using optical and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed that the optical and statistical character of shock-induced microstructures in volcanic rocks are different from both classic impact microstructures, and from the Raton K/T samples. A series of 31 high-explosive (HE) shock-recovery experiments at pressures to 25 GPa and temperatures to 750^circC were completed on samples of granite and quartzite. TEM and optical microscopy reveal that pre-shock temperature and pulse duration have a first-order effect on the development of shock-induced microstructures in quartz and feldspar. Application of the experimental results to natural shock-induced microstructures indicates that the volcanic microstructures are probably produced at elevated temperatures and shock pressures that do not exceed 15 GPa. The results also suggest that the Raton K/T deposits were produced at pressures below about 25 GPa. Analysis of samples from the K/T transition at DSDP Site 527 and correlations between biostratigraphy, isotopes, and the data from this study suggest that the decline in marine productivity over an extended period of time may be due to climate changes induced by basaltic volcanism. The eruption of the Deccan Traps is a viable mechanism for the K/T extinctions, and the correlation of flood basalts with every major biotic crisis in the last 250 Ma supports the link between these two phenomena. Eruption of flood basalts enriched in F, Cl, CO_2 , and SO_2, could disrupt the terrestrial ecosystem, and could produce effects

  9. Trace element characterisation of Cretaceous Orange Basin hydrocarbon source rocks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akinlua, A.; Adekola, S.A.; Swakamisa, O.; Fadipe, O.A.; Akinyemi, S.A.


    Research highlights: → Vanadium and nickel contents indicate that the rock samples from the Orange Basin have marine organic matter input. → The organic matter of the Orange Basin source rocks were deposited in reducing conditions. → Despite the similarities in the organic matter source input and depositional environment of the samples from the two well, cross plots of Co/Ni versus V/Ni and Mo/Ni versus Co/Ni were able to reveal their subtle differences. → Cluster analysis classified the samples into three groups based on subtle differences in their .thermal maturity. - Abstract: Trace elements in the kerogen fraction of hydrocarbon source rock samples from two wells obtained from the Cretaceous units of the Orange Basin, South Africa were determined using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, in order to determine their distribution and geochemical significances. The concentrations of the elements (As, Ce, Co, Cu, Fe, Mo, Ni, Pb and V) determined ranged from 0.64 to 47,300 ppm for the samples analysed. The total organic carbon (TOC) values indicate that the samples are organic rich but did not show any trend with the distribution of the trace metals except Ce, Mo and Pb. Dendrogram cluster analysis discriminated the samples into three groups on the basis of their level of thermal maturity. Thermal maturity has a significant effect on the distribution of the trace metals. Cobalt/Ni and V/Ni ratios and cross plots of the absolute values of V and Ni indicate that the samples had significant marine organic matter input. The V and Ni contents and V/(V + Ni) ratio indicate that the organic matter of the source rocks had been deposited in reducing conditions. Despite the similarities in the organic matter source input and depositional environment of the organic matter of the samples from the two well, cross plots of Co/Ni versus V/Ni and Mo/Ni versus Co/Ni were able to reveal subtle differences. Cluster analysis of the samples was also able to reveal the subtle

  10. High resolution stratigraphy of the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary interval in the Gresten Klippenbelt (Austria)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lukeneder, A.; Halásová, E.; Kroh, A.; Mayrhofer, S.; Pruner, Petr; Reháková, D.; Schnabl, Petr; Sprovieri, M.; Wagreich, M.


    Roč. 61, č. 5 (2010), s. 365-381 ISSN 1335-0552 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/07/1365 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary * Penninic Ocean, * paleoecology * paleogeography * environmental changes Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 0.909, year: 2010

  11. Evidence of cretaceous to recent West African intertropical vegetation from continental sediment spore-pollen analysis (United States)

    Salard-Cheboldaeff, M.; Dejax, J.

    The succession of spore-pollen assemblages during the Cretaceous and Tertiary, as defined in each of the basin from Senegal to Angola, gives the possibility to consider the intertropical African flora evolution for the past 120 M.a. During the Early Cretaceous, xeric-adapted gymnosperms and various ferns were predominant the flora which nevertheless comprises previously unknown early angiosperm pollen. During the Middle Cretaceous, gymnospers were gradually replaced by angiosperms; these became more and more abundant, along with the diversification of new genera and species. During the Paleocene, the radiation of the monocotyledons (mainly that of the palm-trees) as well as a greater diversification among the dicotyledons and ferms are noteworthy. Since gymnosperms had almost disappeared by the Eocene, the diversification of the dicotyledons went on until the neogene, when all extinct pollen types are already present. These important modifications of the vegetation reflect evolutionary trends as well as climatic changes during the Cretaceous: the climate, firstly hot, dry and perhaps arid, did probably induced salt deposition, and later became gradually more humid under oceanic influences which arose in connection with the Gondwana break-up.

  12. Geologic framework of nonmarine cretaceous-tertiary boundary sites, raton basin, new mexico and colorado (United States)

    Pillmore, C.L.; Tschudy, R.H.; Orth, C.J.; Gilmore, J.S.; Knight, J.D.


    Indium concentrations are anomalously high at the palynological Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in fluvial sedimentary rocks of the lower part of the Raton Formation at several localities in the Raton Basin of New Mexico and Colorado. The iridium anomaly is associated with a thin bed of kaolinitic claystone in a discontinuous carbonaceous shale and coal sequence.

  13. Trace element patterns at a non-marine cretaceous-tertiary boundary (United States)

    Gilmore, J.S.; Knight, J.D.; Orth, C.J.; Pillmore, C.L.; Tschudy, R.H.


    At the fossil-pollen-defined Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in the Raton Basin of New Mexico and Colorado, an iridium abundance anomaly and excess scandium, titanium, and chromium are associated with a thin ash or dust fallout bed (now kaolinitic clay) that was preserved in freshwater coal swamps. ?? 1984 Nature Publishing Group.

  14. Ichnofabric and substrate consistency in Upper Turonian carbonates of the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin (Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mikuláš, Radek


    Roč. 57, č. 2 (2006), s. 79-90 ISSN 1335-0552 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/04/0151 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Cretaceous * ichnofossils * firmground Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.364, year: 2006

  15. Lower Cretaceous Xigaze ophiolites formed in the Gangdese forearc : Evidence from paleomagnetism, sediment provenance, and stratigraphy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huang, Wentao; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J J; Maffione, Marco; Orme, Devon A.; Dupont-Nivet, Guillaume; Guilmette, Carl; Ding, Lin; Guo, Zhaojie; Kapp, Paul


    The India-Asia suture zone of southern Tibet exposes Lower Cretaceous Xigaze ophiolites and radiolarian cherts, and time-equivalent Asian-derived clastic forearc sedimentary rocks (Xigaze Group). These ophiolites have been interpreted to have formed in the forearc of the north-dipping subduction

  16. Explosive radiation of Malpighiales supports a mid-cretaceous origin of modern tropical rain forests. (United States)

    Davis, Charles C; Webb, Campbell O; Wurdack, Kenneth J; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Donoghue, Michael J


    Fossil data have been interpreted as indicating that Late Cretaceous tropical forests were open and dry adapted and that modern closed-canopy rain forest did not originate until after the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) boundary. However, some mid-Cretaceous leaf floras have been interpreted as rain forest. Molecular divergence-time estimates within the clade Malpighiales, which constitute a large percentage of species in the shaded, shrub, and small tree layer in tropical rain forests worldwide, provide new tests of these hypotheses. We estimate that all 28 major lineages (i.e., traditionally recognized families) within this clade originated in tropical rain forest well before the Tertiary, mostly during the Albian and Cenomanian (112-94 Ma). Their rapid rise in the mid-Cretaceous may have resulted from the origin of adaptations to survive and reproduce under a closed forest canopy. This pattern may also be paralleled by other similarly diverse lineages and supports fossil indications that closed-canopy tropical rain forests existed well before the K/T boundary. This case illustrates that dated phylogenies can provide an important new source of evidence bearing on the timing of major environmental changes, which may be especially useful when fossil evidence is limited or controversial.

  17. Phymosoma maastrichtensis spec. nov., a fossil echinoid from the Cretaceous of Maastricht (Echinacea, Phymosomatoida, Phymosomatidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engel, H.


    A beautifully preserved fragment of the test of a fossil Echinoid from the Maestrichtian Cretaceous, found at Belvédère, Caberg and kept in the Natuurhistorisch Museum, Maastricht under no. 1340, differs from the other species of the genus Phymosoma, hitherto described (cf. Fell & Pawson, 1966: U

  18. Evidence of Egg Diversity in Squamate Evolution from Cretaceous Anguimorph Embryos

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fernandez, V.; Buffetaut, E.; Suteethorn, V.; Rage, J. C.; Tafforeau, P.; Kundrát, Martin


    Roč. 10, č. 7 (2015), e0128610 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP302/12/1207 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : squamates * egg * fossils * cretaceous Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology Impact factor: 3.057, year: 2015

  19. Palynology of uppermost Jurassic and lowermost Cretaceous strata in the Eastern Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burger, D.


    The present investigation is a systematical treatment of the sporomorphs from strata at the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary in the eastern Netherlands Twente area, and an attempt to apply palynology to detailed stratigraphical study, by making use of quantitative pollen analyses. The rock samples used

  20. Rhinochelys amaberti Moret (1935, a protostegid turtle from the Early Cretaceous of France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaure Scavezzoni


    Full Text Available Modern marine turtles (chelonioids are the remnants of an ancient radiation that roots in the Cretaceous. The oldest members of that radiation are first recorded from the Early Cretaceous and a series of species are known from the Albian-Cenomanian interval, many of which have been allocated to the widespread but poorly defined genus Rhinochelys, possibly concealing the diversity and the evolution of early marine turtles. In order to better understand the radiation of chelonioids, we redescribe the holotype and assess the taxonomy of Rhinochelys amaberti Moret (1935 (UJF-ID.11167 from the Late Albian (Stoliczkaia dispar Zone of the Vallon de la Fauge (Isère, France. We also make preliminary assessments of the phylogenetic relationships of Chelonioidea using two updated datasets that widely sample Cretaceous taxa, especially Rhinochelys. Rhinochelys amaberti is a valid taxon that is supported by eight autapomorphies; an emended diagnosisis proposed. Our phylogenetic analyses suggest that Rhinochelys could be polyphyletic, but constraining it as a monophyletic entity does not produce trees that are significantly less parsimonious. Moreover, support values and stratigraphic congruence indexes are fairly low for the recovered typologies, suggesting that missing data still strongly affect our understanding of the Cretaceous diversification of sea turtles.

  1. Traces of a large crocodylian from the Lower Cretaceous Sousa Formation, Brazil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campos, Herbert B.N.; da Silva, Rafael C.; Milàn, Jesper


    Body imprints and tracks attributed to large crocodylians from the Lower Cretaceous Sousa Formation of Brazil are described and interpreted as having been produced in a subaqueous environment. In addition to the crocodylian tracks, the assemblage also comprises isolated tracks from medium-sized t...

  2. Latest Cretaceous climatic and environmental change in the South Atlantic region

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woelders, L.; Vellekoop, J.; Kroon, D.; Smit, J.; Casadío, S.; Prámparo, M. B.; Dinarès-Turell, J.; Peterse, F.; Sluijs, A.; Lenaerts, J.T.M.; Speijer, R. P.

    Latest Maastrichtian climate change caused by Deccan volcanism has been invoked as a cause of mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary (~66.0 Ma). Yet late Maastrichtian climate and ecological changes are poorly documented, in particular on the Southern Hemisphere. Here we present

  3. Latest Cretaceous climatic and environmental change in the South Atlantic region

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woelders, L.; Vellekoop, J.; Kroon, D.; Smit, J.; Casadío, S.; Prámparo, M. B.; Dinarès-Turell, J.; Peterse, F.; Sluijs, A.; Lenaerts, J. T.M.; Speijer, R. P.


    Latest Maastrichtian climate change caused by Deccan volcanism has been invoked as a cause of mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary (~66.0 Ma). Yet late Maastrichtian climate and ecological changes are poorly documented, in particular on the Southern Hemisphere. Here we present

  4. Larger miliolids of the Late Cretaceous and Paleogene seen through space and time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vlasta Ćosović


    Full Text Available Spatial and temporal occurrences of the larger (complex miliolids are discussed to give more light on biostratigraphy and paleobiogeographic provinces distribution. Seven generaand 47 species from the Late Cretaceous to Oligocene inhabited shallow marine settings in the Indo-Pacific, Tethyan and Caribbean regions. Of all genera only four (Idalina, Periloculina, Pseudolacazina, Lacazina widespread throughout Tethys in theLate Cretaceous and Paleogene. Single occurrence of Lacazina was recorded further to east (Moluccas. By now the Late Cretaceous genus Adrahentina is known only from the Spain. The newcomer’s Eocene genera were Fabularia and Lacazinella. Fabularia reachedhigh diversity in species term in the Central and Western Tethys and occured as unique genus in Caribbean realm, too. Conversely, during the same period, Lacazinella spread over the southern border of Neo-Tethys reaching New Guinea.On the Adriatic – Dinaric Carbonate Platform, larger miliolids occurred from the Late Cretaceous to Cuisian, having the same biostratigraphically trends and distribution as contemporaneous larger miliolids from the Tethys.

  5. The asteroid genus Haccourtaster (Echinodermata, Goniasteridae) in the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin, Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žítt, Jiří


    Roč. 26, č. 2 (2005), s. 225-237 ISSN 0195-6671 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA206/01/1580 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Cretaceous * Asteroidea * New species Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.981, year: 2005

  6. Maastrichtian or Maestrichtian? A proposal to the Subcommision on Cretaceous Stratigraphy (IUGS, International Commission on Stratigraphy)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Herngreen, G.F.W.


    This contribution deals with the dual spelling of the terminal Cretaceous Stage, the Maastrichtian or Maestrichtian. From a historical point of view and in agreement with the recommendations of the International Stratigraphic Guide (1st and 2nd editions) only Maestrichtian is justified.

  7. Construction of the seawater 87Sr/86Sr curve for the Cenozoic and Cretaceous: supporting data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koepnick, R.B.; Burke, W.H.; Denison, R.E.; Hetherington, E.A.; Nelson, H.F.; Otto, J.B.; Waite, L.E.


    We present the data used to construct the Cenozoic and Cretaceous portion of the Phanerozoic curve of seawater 87 Sr/ 86 Sr that had been given in summary form by W.H. Burke and coworkers. All Cenozoic samples (128) and 22 Cretaceous samples are foram-nannofossil oozes and limestones from DSDP cores distributed among 13 sites in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the Caribbean Sea. Non-DSDP Cretaceous samples (126) include limestone, anhydrite and phosphate samples from North America, Europe and Asia. Determination of the 87 Sr/ 86 Sr value of seawater at particular times in the past is based on comparison of ratios derived from coeval marine samples from widely separated geographic areas. The general configuration of the Cenozoic and Cretaceous curve appears to be strongly influenced by the history of plate interactions and sea-floor spreading. Specific rises and falls in the 87 Sr/ 86 Sr of seawater, however, may be caused by a variety of factors such as variation in lithologic composition of the crust exposed to weathering, configuration and topographic relief of continents, volcanic activity, rate of sea-floor spreading, extent of continental inundation by epeiric seas, and variations in both climate and paleo-oceanographic conditions. Many or all of these factors are probably related to global tectonic processes, yet their combined effect on the temporal variation of seawater 87 Sr/ 86 Sr can complicate a direct plate-tectonic interpretation for portions of the seawater curve. (Auth.)

  8. Bolide impact and long- and short term environmental change across the cretaceous-paleogene boundary

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vellekoop, J.


    The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary mass extinction, ~66 million years ago, was one of the most devastating events in the history of life, marking the end of the dinosaur era. This mass extinction event is now widely acknowledged to be related to the global environmental consequences of the

  9. Similarities and differences in the ilia of Late Cretaceous anurans and urodeles

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roček, Zbyněk; Gardner, J. D.; Eaton, J. G.; Přikryl, Tomáš


    Roč. 183, č. 6 (2012), s. 529-535 ISSN 0037-9409 R&D Projects: GA MŠk ME08066 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : Anura * Cretaceous * Ilium * North America * Postcranial skeleton * Urodela Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 1.182, year: 2012

  10. Time scales of critical events around the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Renne, P.R.; Deino, A.L.; Hilgen, F.J.; Kuiper, K.F.; Mark, D.F.; Mitchell III, W.S.; Morgan, L.; Mundil, R.; Smit, J.


    Mass extinctions manifest in Earth's geologic record were turning points in biotic evolution. We present 40Ar/39Ar data that establish synchrony between the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary and associated mass extinctions with the Chicxulub bolide impact to within 32,000 years. Perturbation of the

  11. Neutron activation analysis in geochemical characterization of Jurassic-Cretaceous sedimentary rocks from the Nordvik Peninsula

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mizera, Jiří; Řanda, Zdeněk; Košťák, M.


    Roč. 284, č. 1 (2010), s. 211-219 ISSN 0236-5731 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10480505 Keywords : Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary * Nordvik Peninsula * Iridium anomaly Subject RIV: BG - Nuclear, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Colliders Impact factor: 0.777, year: 2010

  12. Neutron activation analysis in geochemical characterization of Jurassic-Cretaceous sedimentary rocks from the Nordvik Peninsula

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mizera, Jiří; Řanda, Z.; Košťák, M.


    Roč. 284, č. 1 (2010), s. 211-219 ISSN 0236-5731 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30460519 Keywords : Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary * Nordvik Peninsula * Iridium anomaly Subject RIV: BG - Nuclear, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Colliders OBOR OECD: Geology Impact factor: 0.777, year: 2010

  13. Curstal evolution and sedimentation history of the Bay of Bengal since the cretaceous

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, D.G.; Krishna, K.S.; Sar, D.

    on three latitudinal profiles) in the Bay of Bengal. The trend of the fracture zones, the locations of the magnetic chron 34, and the Cretaceous Magnetic Quiet Zone suggest that Greater India separated from Antarctica after a period of transform motion...

  14. Evolution of anuran assemblages in the Late Cretaceous of Utah, USA

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roček, Zbyněk; Eaton, J. G.; Gardner, J.; Přikryl, Tomáš


    Roč. 90, č. 4 (2010), s. 341-393 ISSN 1867-1594 R&D Projects: GA MŠk ME08066 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Anura * evolution * Late Cretaceous * fossil frogs * stratigraphy * Utah Subject RIV: EG - Zoology

  15. Late Cretaceous extension and exhumation of the Stong Complex and Taku Schist, NE Peninsular Malaysia (United States)

    François, Thomas; Afiq Md, Muhammad; Matenco, Liviu; Willingshofer, Ernst; Fatt Ng, Tham; Iskandar Taib, N.; Kamal Shuib, Mustaffa


    Dismembering large continental areas by post-orogenic extension requires favourable geodynamic conditions and frequently occurs along pre-existing suture zones or nappe contacts as exemplified by the Stong Complex and Taku Schist of northern Peninsular Malaysia. For this particular case we have employed a field and microstructural kinematic study combined with low temperature thermo-chronology to analyse the tectonic and exhumation history. The results show that the late Palaeozoic - Triassic Indosinian orogeny created successive phases of burial related metamorphism, shearing and contractional deformation. This orogenic structure was then dismembered during a Cretaceous thermal event that culminated in the formation of a large scale late Santonian - early Maastrichtian extensional detachment, genetically associated with crustal melting, the emplacement of syn-kinematic plutons and widespread migmatisation. The emplacement of these magmatic rocks led to an array of simultaneously formed structures that document deformation conditions over a wide temperature range, represented by amphibolite-facies mylonites and more brittle structures, such as cataclastic zones and normal faults that formed during exhumation in the footwall of the detachment. The formation of this detachment and a first phase of Late Cretaceous cooling was followed by renewed Eocene - Oligocene exhumation evidenced from our apatite fission track ages. We infer that an initial Cretaceous thermal anomaly was responsible for the formation of an extensional gneiss dome associated with simple shear and normal fault rotation. These Cretaceous processes played a critical role in the establishment of the presently observed crustal structure of Peninsular Malaysia.

  16. Evidence for Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary bolide “impact winter” conditions from New Jersey, USA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vellekoop, J.; Esmeray-Senlet, S.; Miller, K.G.; Browning, J.V.; Sluijs, A.; van de Schootbrugge, B.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Brinkhuis, H.


    Abrupt and short-lived “impact winter” conditions have commonly been implicated as the main mechanism leading to the mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary (ca. 66 Ma), marking the end of the reign of the non-avian dinosaurs. However, so far only limited evidence has been

  17. Hadrosauroid dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buffetaut, Eric; Hartman, Axel Frans; Al-Kindi, Mohammed; Schulp, Anne S.


    Fragmentary post-cranial remains (femora, tibia, vertebrae) of ornithischian dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman are described and referred to hadrosauroids. The specimens come from the Al-Khod Conglomerate, of latest Campanian to Maastrichtian age, in the north-eastern part

  18. Evidence for Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary bolide "impact winter" conditions from New Jersey, USA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vellekoop, J.; Esmeray-Senlet, S.; Miller, K.G.; Browning, J.V.; Sluijs, A.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/311474748; van de Schootbrugge, B.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/376758562; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/07401370X; Brinkhuis, H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/095046097


    Abrupt and short-lived “impact winter” conditions have commonly been implicated as the main mechanism leading to the mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary (ca. 66 Ma), marking the end of the reign of the non-avian dinosaurs. However, so far only limited evidence has been

  19. Depositional and palaeoenvironmental variation of lower Turonian nearshore facies in the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin, Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žítt, Jiří; Vodrážka, R.; Hradecká, L.; Svobodová, Marcela; Šťastný, Martin; Švábenická, L.


    Roč. 56, September/December (2015), s. 293-315 ISSN 0195-6671 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : phosphatic particle accumulations * organic matter * micropalaeontology * biostratigraphy * condensed sedimentation * Upper Cretaceous Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 2.196, year: 2015

  20. A Late Cretaceous theropod caudal vertebra from the Sultanate of Oman

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulp, Anne S.; Hanna, Samir S.; Hartman, Axel Frans; Jagt, John W M


    A caudal vertebra collected from conglomerates of the Al-Khod Formation (Late Cretaceous) in the Al-Khod area, Sultanate of Oman, is assigned to a medium-sized theropod dinosaur. The Al-Khod discovery represents one of the very few dinosaur records from the Middle East.

  1. Diverse dinosaur-dominated ichnofaunas from the Potomac Group (Lower Cretaceous) Maryland (United States)

    Stanford, Ray; Lockley, Martin G.; Weems, Robert E.


    Until recently fossil footprints were virtually unknown from the Cretaceous of the eastern United States. The discovery of about 300 footprints in iron-rich siliciclastic facies of the Patuxent Formation (Potomac Group) of Aptian age is undoubtedly one of the most significant Early Cretaceous track discoveries since the Paluxy track discoveries in Texas in the 1930s. The Patuxent tracks include theropod, sauropod, ankylosaur and ornithopod dinosaur footprints, pterosaur tracks, and miscellaneous mammal and other vertebrate ichnites that collectively suggest a diversity of about 14 morphotypes. This is about twice the previous maximum estimate for any known Early Cretaceous vertebrate ichnofauna. Among the more distinctive forms are excellent examples of hypsilophodontid tracks and a surprisingly large mammal footprint. A remarkable feature of the Patuxent track assemblage is the high proportion of small tracks indicative of hatchlings, independently verified by the discovery of a hatchling-sized dinosaur. Such evidence suggests the proximity of nest sites. The preservation of such small tracks is very rare in the Cretaceous track record, and indeed throughout most of the Mesozoic.This unusual preservation not only provides us with a window into a diverse Early Cretaceous ecosystem, but it also suggests the potential of such facies to provide ichnological bonanzas. A remarkable feature of the assemblage is that it consists largely of reworked nodules and clasts that may have previously been reworked within the Patuxent Formation. Such unusual contexts of preservation should provide intriguing research opportunities for sedimentologists interested in the diagenesis and taphonomy of a unique track-bearing facies.

  2. Cretaceous tropical carbonate platform changes used as paleoclimatic and paleoceanic indicators: the three lower Cretaceous platform crises (United States)

    Arnaud-Vanneau, A.; Vrielynck, B.


    Carbonate platform sediments are of biogenic origin. More commonly the bioclasts are fragments of shells and skeletons. The bioclastic composition of a limestone may reflect the nature of biota inhabiting the area and a carbonate platform can be estimated as a living factory, which reflects the prevailing ecological factors. The rate of carbonate production is highest in the tropics, in oligotrophic environments, and in the photic zone. The rate of carbonate production varies greatly with temperature and nutrient input. Three types of biotic carbonate platform can be distinguished. The highest carbonate production is linked to oligotrophic carbonate platform characterized by the presence of assemblages with hermatypic corals. This type of platform is developed in shallow marine environment, nutrient poor water and warm tropical sea. A less efficient production of carbonate platform is related to mesotrophic environments in cooler and/or deeper water and associated to nutrient flux with, sometime, detrital input. The biota includes red algae, solitary coral and branching ahermatypic corals, common bryozoans, crinoids and echinoids. The less productive carbonate platform is the eutrophic muddy platform where the mud is due to the intense bacterial activity, probably related to strong nutrient flux. All changes of type of carbonate platform can be related to climatic and oceanic changes. Three platform crises occurred during lower Cretaceous time. They are followed by important turnover of microfauna (large benthic foraminifers) and microflora (marine algae). They start with the demise of the previous oligotrophic platform, they continue with oceanic perturbations, expression of which was the widespread deposition of organic-rich sediments, well expressed during Late Aptian/Albian and Cenomanian Turonian boundary and the replacement of previous oligotrophic platforms by mesotrophic to eutrophic platforms. The first crisis occurred during Valanginian and Hauterivian

  3. ENSO-Type Signals Recorded in the Late Cretaceous Laminated Sediments of Songliao Basin, Northeast China (United States)

    Yu, E.; Wang, C.; Hinnov, L. A.; Wu, H.


    The quasi-periodic, ca. 2-7 year El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon globally influences the inter-annual variability of temperature and precipitation. Global warming may increase the frequency of extreme ENSO events. Although the Cretaceous plate tectonic configuration was different from today, the sedimentary record suggests that ENSO-type oscillations had existed at the time of Cretaceous greenhouse conditions. Cored Cretaceous lacustrine sediments from the Songliao Basin in Northeast China (SK-1 cores from the International Continental Drilling Program) potentially offer a partially varved record of Cretaceous paleoclimate. Fourteen polished thin sections from the depth interval 1096.12-1096.53 m with an age of 84.4 Ma were analyzed by optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). ImageJ software was applied to extract gray scale curves from optical images at pixel resolution. We tracked minimum values of the gray scale curves to estimate the thickness of each lamina. Five sedimentary structures were recognized: flaser bedding, wavy bedding, lenticular bedding, horizontal bedding, and massive layers. The mean layer thicknesses with different sedimentary structures range from 116 to 162mm, very close to the mean sedimentation rate estimated for this sampled interval, 135mm/year, indicating that the layers bounded by pure clay lamina with the minimum gray values are varves. SEM images indicate that a varve is composed, in succession, of one lamina rich in coarse silt, one lamina rich in fine silt, one clay-rich lamina with some silt, and one clay-rich lamina. This suggests that a Cretaceous year featured four distinct depositional seasons, two of which were rainy and the others were lacking precipitation. Spectral analysis of extended intervals of the tuned gray scale curve indicates the presence of inter-annual periodicities of 2.2-2.7 yr, 3.5-6.1 year, and 10.1-14.5 year consistent with those of modern ENSO cycles and solar cycles, as well as

  4. Paleomagnetism of the Cretaceous Galula Formation and implications for vertebrate evolution (United States)

    Widlansky, Sarah J.; Clyde, William C.; O'Connor, Patrick M.; Roberts, Eric M.; Stevens, Nancy J.


    This study uses magnetostratigraphy to help constrain the age of the paleontologically important Galula Formation (Rukwa Rift Basin, southwestern Tanzania). The formation preserves a Cretaceous vertebrate fauna, including saurischian dinosaurs, a putative gondwanatherian mammal, and notosuchian crocodyliforms. With better dating, the Galula Formation and its fossils help fill a temporal gap in our understanding of vertebrate evolution in continental Africa, enabling better evaluation of competing paleobiogeographic hypotheses concerning faunal exchange throughout Gondwana during the Cretaceous. Paleomagnetic samples for this study were collected from the Namba (higher in section) and Mtuka (lower in section) members of the Galula Formation and underwent stepwise thermal demagnetization. All samples displayed a strong normal magnetic polarity overprint, and maximum unblocking temperatures at approximately 690 °C. Three short reversed intervals were identified in the Namba Member, whereas the Mtuka Member lacked any clear reversals. Given the relatively limited existing age constraints, one interpretation correlates the Namba Member to Chron C32. An alternative correlation assigns reversals in the Namba Member to recently proposed short reversals near the end of the Cretaceous Normal Superchron (Chron C34), a time that is traditionally interpreted as having stable normal polarity. The lack of reversals in the Mtuka Member supports deposition within Chron C34. These data suggest that the Namba Member is no older than Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian-Campanian), with the Mtuka Member less well constrained to the middle Cretaceous (Aptian-Cenomanian). The paleomagnetic results are supported by the application of fold and reversal tests for paleomagnetic stability, and paleomagnetic poles for the Namba (246.4°/77.9°, α95 5.9°) and Mtuka (217.1°/72.2°, α95 11.1°) members closely matching the apparent polar wander path for Africa during the Late Cretaceous. These

  5. The mid-cretaceous water bearer: Isotope mass balance quantification of the Albian hydrologic cycle (United States)

    Ufnar, David F.; Gonzalez, Luis A.; Ludvigson, Greg A.; Brenner, Richard L.; Witzke, B.J.


    A latitudinal gradient in meteoric ??18O compositions compiled from paleosol sphaerosiderites throughout the Cretaceous Western Interior Basin (KWIB) (34-75??N paleolatitude) exhibits a steeper, more depleted trend than modern (predicted) values (3.0??? [34??N latitude] to 9.7??? [75??N] lighter). Furthermore, the sphaerosiderite meteoric ??18O latitudinal gradient is significantly steeper and more depleted (5.8??? [34??N] to 13.8??? [75??N] lighter) than a predicted gradient for the warm mid-Cretaceous using modern empirical temperature-??18O precipitation relationships. We have suggested that the steeper and more depleted (relative to the modern theoretical gradient) meteoric sphaerosiderite ??18O latitudinal gradient resulted from increased air mass rainout effects in coastal areas of the KWIB during the mid-Cretaceous. The sphaerosiderite isotopic data have been used to constrain a mass balance model of the hydrologic cycle in the northern hemisphere and to quantify precipitation rates of the equable 'greenhouse' Albian Stage in the KWIB. The mass balance model tracks the evolving isotopic composition of an air mass and its precipitation, and is driven by latitudinal temperature gradients. Our simulations indicate that significant increases in Albian precipitation (34-52%) and evaporation fluxes (76-96%) are required to reproduce the difference between modern and Albian meteoric siderite ??18O latitudinal gradients. Calculations of precipitation rates from model outputs suggest mid-high latitude precipitation rates greatly exceeded modern rates (156-220% greater in mid latitudes [2600-3300 mm/yr], 99% greater at high latitudes [550 mm/yr]). The calculated precipitation rates are significantly different from the precipitation rates predicted by some recent general circulation models (GCMs) for the warm Cretaceous, particularly in the mid to high latitudes. Our mass balance model by no means replaces GCMs. However, it is a simple and effective means of obtaining

  6. Discovery of a new stonefly genus with three new species from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (Plecoptera: Perlidae). (United States)

    Chen, Zhi-Teng; Wang, Bo; Du, Yu-Zhou


    A new fossil stonefly genus of the subfamily Acroneuriinae Klapálek, 1914 (Plecoptera: Perlidae), Largusoperla gen. nov. is reported based on three well-preserved specimens in mid-Cretaceous amber from northern Myanmar. Three new species of this new genus, L. acus sp. nov, L. flata sp. nov and L. arcus sp. nov. are described and illustrated. This is the first report of stonefly specimens from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber. The taxonomic placement of the new genus is discussed.

  7. Early Cretaceous paleomagnetic results from Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica: Implications for the Weddellia collage of crustal blocks (United States)

    Divenere, Vic; Kent, Dennis V.; Dalziel, Ian W. D.


    A new approximately 117 Ma paleomagnetic pole has been defined from the study of volcanic and plutonic rocks from the eastern portion Marie Byrd Land (MBL). The new pole (185.6 deg E/56.8 deg S, A(sub 95) = 8.7 deg) implies that the eastern portion of MBL was an integral part of Weddellia, which included the ancestral Antarctic Peninsula, Thurston Island, and Ellsworth-Whitmore Mountains blocks of West Antarctica. This pole is generally similar to a approximately 125 Ma pole from Thurston Island. Both poles call for major clockwise rotation and poleward motion of eastern MBL and Thurston Island between the Early Cretaceous (125-117 Ma) and the mid-Cretaceous (110-100 Ma). We propose that in the Early Cretaceous, eastern MBL and the Eastern Province of New Zealand were part of a continuous active Pacific margin of Gondwana, connecting with the Antarctic Peninsula, and distinct from western MBL, the Western Province of New Zealand, and North Victoria Land. These western terranes are thought to have accreted to Gondwana in the Devonian. Eastern MBL and the Eastern Province of New Zealand amalgamated with western MBL and the Western Province of New Zealand by the mid-Cretaceous. Major Early Cretaceous motions of the Weddellia blocks postdate the estimated initiation of seafloor spreading in the Weddell Sea and therefore may be the result of plate reorganization during the Cretaceous Quiet Zone.

  8. Crocodilian Nest in a Late Cretaceous Sauropod Hatchery from the Type Lameta Ghat Locality, Jabalpur, India.

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    Rahul Srivastava

    Full Text Available The well-known Late Cretaceous Lameta Ghat locality (Jabalpur, India provides a window of opportunity to study a large stable, near shore sandy beach, which was widely used by sauropod dinosaurs as a hatchery. In this paper, we revisit the eggs and eggshell fragments previously assigned to lizards from this locality and reassign them to crocodylomorphs. Several features point to a crocodilian affinity, including a subspherical to ellipsoidal shape, smooth, uneven external surface, discrete trapezoid shaped shell units with wide top and narrow base, basal knobs and wedge shaped crystallites showing typical inverted triangular extinction under crossed nicols. The crocodylomorph eggshell material presented in this paper adds to the skeletal data of these most probably Cretaceous-Eocene dryosaurid crocodiles.

  9. Calcium isotopes offer clues on resource partitioning among Cretaceous predatory dinosaurs. (United States)

    Hassler, A; Martin, J E; Amiot, R; Tacail, T; Godet, F Arnaud; Allain, R; Balter, V


    Large predators are overabundant in mid-Cretaceous continental dinosaur assemblages of North Africa. Such unbalanced ecosystem structure involves, among predatory dinosaurs, typical abelisaurid or carcharodontosaurid theropods co-occurring with long-snouted spinosaurids of debated ecology. Here, we report calcium (Ca) isotope values from tooth enamel (expressed as δ 44/42 Ca) to investigate resource partitioning in mid-Cretaceous assemblages from Niger (Gadoufaoua) and Morocco (Kem Kem Beds). In both assemblages, spinosaurids display a distinct isotopic signature, the most negative in our dataset. This distinct taxonomic clustering in Ca isotope values observed between spinosaurids and other predators provides unambiguous evidence for niche partitioning at the top of the trophic chains: spinosaurids foraged on aquatic environments while abelisaurid and carcharodontosaurid theropods relied almost exclusively on terrestrial resources. © 2018 The Author(s).

  10. Terpenoid composition and botanical affinity of Cretaceous resins from India and Myanmar

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dutta, Suryendu; Mallick, Monalisa [Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (India); Kumar, Kishor [Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Uttarakhand (India); Mann, Ulrich [Forschungzentrum Juelich (Germany). Institut fuer Chemie und Dynamik der Geosphaere; Greenwood, Paul F. [John De Laeter Mass Spectrometry and WA Biogeochemistry Centres (M090), University of Western Australia, Crawley (Australia)


    Fossil resins from the Cretaceous sediments of Meghalaya, India and Kachin, Myanmar (Burma) were analysed using Curie point pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and thermochemolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to help elucidate their botanical source. The major pyrolysis products and methyl-esterified thermochemolysis products of both the resins were abietane and labdane type diterpenoids with minor amount of sesquiterpenoids. The thermochemolysis products also included methyl-16,17-dinor callitrisate, methyl-16,17-dinor dehydroabietate and methyl-8-pimaren-18-oate - the latter two from just the Myanmarese resin. The exclusive presence of both labdane and abietane diterpenoids and the lack of phenolic terpenoids may suggest that the studied Cretaceous resins were derived from Pinaceae (pine family) conifers. (author)

  11. High geomagnetic intensity during the mid-Cretaceous from Thellier analyses of single plagioclase crystals. (United States)

    Tarduno, J A; Cottrell, R D; Smirnov, A V


    Recent numerical simulations have yielded the most efficient geodynamo, having the largest dipole intensity when reversal frequency is low. Reliable paleointensity data are limited but heretofore have suggested that reversal frequency and paleointensity are decoupled. We report data from 56 Thellier-Thellier experiments on plagioclase crystals separated from basalts of the Rajmahal Traps (113 to 116 million years old) of India that formed during the Cretaceous Normal Polarity Superchron. These data suggest a time-averaged paleomagnetic dipole moment of 12.5 +/- 1.4 x 10(22) amperes per square meter, three times greater than mean Cenozoic and Early Cretaceous-Late Jurassic dipole moments when geomagnetic reversals were frequent. This result supports a correlation between intervals of low reversal frequency and high geomagnetic field strength.

  12. Lower Cretaceous Luscar group (revised) of the northern and north-central foothills of Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Langenberg, C W; McMechan, M E


    Lower Cretaceous coal-bearing strata exposed in the northern and north-central foothills of Alberta form part of a predominantly nonmarine succession that extends from Montana to northeastern British Columbia. The Luscar Group (revised) forms the sequence of coal bearing Lower Cretaceous strata that disconformably overlies marine and nonmarine strata of the Nikanassin Formation or Minnes Group and disconformably underlies marine shales of the Blackstone or Shaftesbury formations. It includes a thin, basal conglomerate, a predominantly nonmarine sandstone and shale unit that locally contains coal; a marine shale and sandstone unit, and an upper nonmarine sandstone and shale unit that contains thick commercial coal seams. These units form the Cadomin, Gladstone, Moosebar and Gates formations, respectively. The Luscar Group is exposed from Kakwa River to Clearwater River in the Foothills of Alberta. It represents a slight modification, by the inclusion of the thin basal conglomerate, from the previous usage of the term Luscar in the northern Foothills of Alberta. 25 references.

  13. The trace fossil Lepidenteron lewesiensis (Mantell, 1822) from the Upper Cretaceous of southern Poland (United States)

    Jurkowska, Agata; Uchman, Alfred


    Jurkowska, A. and Uchman, A. 2013. The trace fossil Lepidenteron lewesiensis (Mantell, 1822) from the Upper Cretaceous of southern Poland. Acta Geologica Polonica, 63(4), 611-623. Warszawa. Lepidenteron lewesiensis (Mantell, 1822) is an unbranched trace fossil lined with small fish scales and bones, without a constructed wall. It is characteristic of the Upper Cretaceous epicontinental, mostly marly sediments in Europe. In the Miechow Segment of the Szczecin-Miechow Synclinorium in southern Poland, it occurs in the Upper Campanian-Lower Maastrichtian deeper shelf sediments, which were deposited below wave base and are characterized by total bioturbation and a trace fossil assemblage comprising Planolites, Palaeophycus, Thalassinoides , Trichichnus, Phycosiphon, Zoophycos and Helicodromites that is typical of the transition from the distal Cruziana to the Zoophycos ichnofacies. L. lewesiensis was produced by a burrowing predator or scavenger of fishes. The tracemaker candidates could be eunicid polychaetes or anguillid fishes.

  14. An iridium abundance anomaly at the palynological Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in northern New Mexico (United States)

    Orth, C.J.; Gilmore, J.S.; Knight, J.D.; Pillmore, C.L.; Tschudy, R.H.; Fassett, J.E.


    An iridium abundance anomaly, with concentrations up to 5000 parts per trillion over a background level of 4 to 20 parts per trillion, has been located in sedimentary rocks laid down under freshwater swamp conditions in the Raton Basin of northeastern New Mexico. The anomaly occurs at the base of a coal bed, at the same stratigraphic position at which several well-known species of Cretaceous-age pollen became extinct. Copyright ?? 1981 AAAS.

  15. Cretaceous origin of dogwoods: an anatomically preserved Cornus (Cornaceae fruit from the Campanian of Vancouver Island

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    Brian A. Atkinson


    Full Text Available Background Cornaceae consists of 58 species, all within the genus Cornus. The Cenozoic record of Cornus is extensive and well documented. Molecular divergence-time studies suggest that crown-group Cornus may have originated by the Late Cretaceous. However, there has been no formal report of Cornus from Cretaceous deposits. Here, we characterize a permineralized fossil fruit assignable to Cornus subg. Cornus from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian Shelter Point locality of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Methods Serial sections of the specimen were made using the cellulose acetate peel technique. Peels were mounted onto microscope slides and studied by light microscopy. Results The fossil fruit consists of a tri-locular woody endocarp with dorsal germination valves. The locules are sub-triangular to ellipsoidal in transverse section and are separated by thin septa. Endocarp tissue consists of elongated and isodiametric sclereids and secretory cavities. Internal vascular tissue was not observed, but is interpreted to have been located along the outer periphery of the septa for some length, common in many cornalean taxa. There is one seed in each locule, one of which was found to have endosperm and a dicotyledonous embryo. Discussion Woody endocarps with germination valves, without central vascular bundles, and with one seed per locule are characteristic of several families within the order Cornales. The interpreted vascular pattern and presence of secretory cavities indicates that the fossil fruit is assignable to Cornus subg. Cornus. Comparative analysis suggests that the fossil is most similar to Cornus piggae, a species described from the Paleocene of North Dakota. This fossil is the first evidence of crown-group Cornaceae from the Cretaceous and sheds light on both the plesiomorphic fruit characters and the timing of the initial diversification of the family and basal asterid lineage, Cornales.

  16. A new family of aphids (Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha from the Lower Cretaceous of Baissa, Transbaikalia

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    Agnieszka Homan


    Full Text Available The family Rasnitsynaphididae fam. n. has a unique combination of characters: 9-segmented antennae; rhinaria arranged in many transverse rows, surrounding the antennal segments; segment IX narrower than other segments of flagellum, always without rhinaria; cubitus branches separated; ovipositor present; siphuncular pores absent. The new family comprises the genus Rasnitsynaphis gen. n. with three species, R. ennearticulata sp. n., R. coniuncta sp. n., and R. quadrata sp. n., all from the Lower Cretaceous of Transbaikalia.

  17. Early Cretaceous trypanosomatids associated with fossil sand fly larvae in Burmese amber

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    George Poinar Jr


    Full Text Available Early Cretaceous flagellates with characters typical of trypanosomatids were found in the gut of sand fly larvae, as well as in surrounding debris, in Burmese amber. This discovery supports a hypothesis in which free-living trypanosomatids could have been acquired by sand fly larvae in their feeding environment and then carried transtadially into the adult stage. At some point in time, specific genera were introduced into vertebrates, thus establishing a dixenous life cycle.

  18. Late Cenomanian - Early Turonian Hardgrounds and nearshore Depositional Environments (Bohemian Cretaceous Basin)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žítt, Jiří; Bosák, Pavel; Hradecká, L.; Svobodová, Marcela

    Colloque sur le Cénomanien/Colloquium on the Cenomanian Stage, - (2001), s. 105-107 ISSN 0766-5946. [Colloque sur le Cénomanien/Colloquium on the Cenomanian Stage. Rouen, 20.10.2001-21.10.2001] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/1315 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z3013912 Keywords : Upper Cretaceous * Hardgrounds Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

  19. Terrestrial catastrophe caused by cometary impact at the end of Cretaceous (United States)

    Hsü, Kenneth J.


    Evidence is presented indicating that the extinction, at the end of the Cretaceous, of large terrestrial animals was caused by atmospheric heating during a cometary impact and that the extinction of calcareous marine plankton was a consequence of poisoning by cyanide released by the fallen comet and of a catastrophic rise in calcite-compensation depth in the oceans after the detoxification of the cyanide.

  20. The Ichnogenus Gastrochaenolites and its Tracemakers from Firmgrounds of the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin (Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mikuláš, Radek; Žítt, Jiří; Nekovařík, Č.


    Roč. 10, - (2003), s. 13-21 ISSN 1042-0940 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/1315 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z3013912 Keywords : Mollusc traces * Gastrochaenolites * Cretaceous Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy colors =7&lang=en&jour_id=41560

  1. Palaeomagnetism of lower cretaceous tuffs from Yukon-Kuskokwim delta region, western Alaska (United States)

    Globerman, B.R.; Coe, R.S.; Hoare, J.M.; Decker, J.


    During the past decade, the prescient arguments1-3 for the allochthoneity of large portions of southern Alaska have been corroborated by detailed geological and palaeomagnetic studies in south-central Alaska 4-9 the Alaska Peninsula10, Kodiak Island11,12 and the Prince William Sound area13 (Fig. 1). These investigations have demonstrated sizeable northward displacements for rocks of late Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and early Tertiary age in those regions, with northward motion at times culminating in collision of the allochthonous terranes against the backstop of 'nuclear' Alaska14,15. A fundamental question is which parts of Alaska underwent significantly less latitudinal translation relative to the 'stable' North American continent, thereby serving as the 'accretionary nucleus' into which the displaced 'microplates'16 were eventually incorporated17,18? Here we present new palaeomagnetic results from tuffs and associated volcaniclastic rocks of early Cretaceous age from the Yukon-Kuskokwin delta region in western Alaska. These rocks were probably overprinted during the Cretaceous long normal polarity interval, although a remagnetization event as recent as Palaeocene cannot be ruled out. This overprint direction is not appreciably discordant from the expected late Cretaceous direction for cratonal North America. The implied absence of appreciable northward displacement for this region is consistent with the general late Mesozoic-early Tertiary tectonic pattern for Alaska, based on more definitive studies: little to no poleward displacement for central Alaska, though substantially more northward drift for the 'southern Alaska terranes' (comprising Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Island, Prince William Sound area, and Matunuska Valley) since late Cretaceous to Palaeocene time. ?? 1983 Nature Publishing Group.

  2. Extended Late-Cretaceous Magnetostratigraphy of the James Ross Basin Island, Antarctica (United States)

    Chaffee, T. M.; Mitchell, R.; Slotznick, S. P.; Buz, J.; Biasi, J.; O'Rourke, J.; Sousa, F.; Flannery, D.; Fu, R. R.; Kirschvink, J. L.


    Sediments in the James Ross Island Basin (JRB) in the West Antarctic Peninsula contain one of the world's highest-resolution records of the late Cretaceous period, including the end-Cretaceous (K-Pg) mass extinction event. However, the geological record of this region has been poorly studied, limited in the past only to the relative dating of local fossils. Recent studies of this region have provided only low-resolution data, with gaps of greater than 0.5 million years between samples where no data was collected. A high-resolution magnetostratigraphic sampling and analysis is necessary in order to accurately determine the age of the JRB sediments and connect them to the global time record. During the 2016 field season in Antarctica, our team collected nearly 1,300 sample cores from JRB sediments using a diamond-tipped, gasoline powered coring drill. Drill sites were densely clustered across bedding in order to obtain a high-resolution record of magnetostratigraphy, permitting the recognition of distinct, high-resolution units of time (group of over 300 of these samples from the Brandy Bay area which constrain the end of the Cretaceous Superchron (C34N) and the C34N/C34R reversal and allow us to investigate the presence of geomagnetic excursions before the end of superchron. These samples span in age from the top of C34N to the mid-Maastrichtian. We also test the Late Cretaceous True Polar Wander (TPW) hypothesis. Current theories on the global extent of TPW are not substantiated by any data sets that confirm the presence and similarity of the effect across multiple continents. Evidence of a rapid TPW oscillation in Antarctica can be correlated with other samples from the North American continent currently under study to provide evidence for the theory of global, short-timescale TPW.

  3. Late cretaceous to early eocene foraminiferal biostratigraphy of the Rakhi Nala area, Sulaiman Range, Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Afzal, J.


    Shaly intervals from late cretaceous to early eocene sediments of the Rakhi Nala Section (Sulaiman Range) were analysed for the foraminiferal micro fauna (Planktons, smaller and larger benthics). The faunal record is interpreted for the precise age and paleo environments. These fresh results, in the light of modern bio stratigraphic knowledge, are compared with the previous bio stratigraphic information available about this area. Several discrepancies regarding the litho and biostratigraphy from the previous literature were addressed and tried to remove. (author)

  4. Modern mammal origins: evolutionary grades in the Early Cretaceous of North America.


    Jacobs, L L; Winkler, D A; Murry, P A


    Major groups of modern mammals have their origins in the Mesozoic Era, yet the mammalian fossil record is generally poor for that time interval. Fundamental morphological changes that led to modern mammals are often represented by small samples of isolated teeth. Fortunately, functional wear facets on teeth allow prediction of the morphology of occluding teeth that may be unrepresented by fossils. A major step in mammalian evolution occurred in the Early Cretaceous with the evolution of tribo...

  5. A dinosaur community composition dataset for the Late Cretaceous Nemegt Basin of Mongolia

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    G.F. Funston


    Full Text Available Dinosaur community composition data for eleven fossil localities in the Late Cretaceous Nemegt Basin of Mongolia are compiled from field observations and records in the literature. Counts were generated from skeletons and represent numbers of individuals preserved in each locality. These data were used in the analyses of Funston et al. [1] “Oviraptorosaur anatomy, diversity, and ecology in the Nemegt Basin” in the Nemegt Ecosystems Special Issue of Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, where the results are discussed.

  6. The Hunt for Pristine Cretaceous Astronomical Rhythms at Demerara Rise (Cenomanian-Coniacian) (United States)

    Ma, C.; Meyers, S. R.


    Rhythmic Upper Cretaceous strata from Demerara Rise (ODP leg 207) preserve a strong astronomical signature, and this attribute has facilitated the development of continuous astrochronologies to refine the geologic time scale and calibrate Late Cretaceous biogeochemical events. While the mere identification of astronomical rhythms is a crucial first step in many deep-time paleoceanographic investigations, accurate evaluation of often subtle amplitude and frequency modulations are required to: (1) robustly constrain the linkage between climate and sedimentation, and (2) evaluate the plausibility of different theoretical astrodynamical models. The availability of a wide range of geophysical, lithologic and geochemical data from multiple sites drilled at Demerara Rise - when coupled with recent innovations in the statistical analysis of cyclostratigraphic data - provides an opportunity to hunt for the most pristine record of Cretaceous astronomical rhythms at a tropical Atlantic location. To do so, a statistical metric is developed to evaluate the "internal" consistency of hypothesized astronomical rhythms observed in each data set, particularly with regard to the expected astronomical amplitude modulations. In this presentation, we focus on how the new analysis yields refinements to the existing astrochronologies, provides constraints on the linkages between climate and sedimentation (including the deposition of organic carbon-rich sediments at Demerara Rise), and allows a quantitative evaluation of the continuity of deposition across sites at multiple temporal scales.

  7. High-resolution leaf-fossil record spanning the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary (United States)

    Johnson, K.R.; Nichols, D.J.; Attrep, M.; Orth, C.J.


    THEORIES that explain the extinctions characterizing the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary1-3 need to be tested by analyses of thoroughly sampled biotas. Palynological studies are the primary means for stratigraphic placement of the terrestrial boundary and for estimates of plant extinction4-12, but have not been combined with quantitative analyses of fossil leaves (megaflora). Megafloral studies complement palynology by representing local floras with assemblages capable of high taxonomic resolution13, but have previously lacked the sample size and stratigraphic spacing needed to resolve latest Cretaceous floral history5,14-18. We have now combined megafloral data from a 100-m-thick composite K/T boundary section in North Dakota with detailed palynological analysis. Here the boundary is marked by a 30% palynofloral extinction coincident with iridium and shocked-mineral anomalies and lies ???2 m above the highest dinosaur remains. The megaflora undergoes a 79% turnover across the boundary, and smaller changes 17- and 25-m below it. This pattern is consistent with latest Cretaceous climatic warming preceding a bolide impact. ?? 1989 Nature Publishing Group.

  8. Micropaleontology and palaeoclimate during the early Cretaceous in the Lishu depression, Songliao basin, Northeast China

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    Wei Yan


    Full Text Available Diverse and abundant microfossils, such as palynomorphs, algae and Ostracoda, were collected from lower Cretaceous strata of Lishu depression, located in southeastern Songliao basin, and were identified and classified in order to provide relevant, detailed records for paleoclimate research. The early Cretaceous vegetation and climate of southeastern Songliao basin have been inferred from the analysis of palynomorph genera, algae and Ostracoda of the LS1 and SW110 wells. The lower Cretaceous strata include, in ascending stratigraphic order, the Shahezi, Yingcheng and Denglouku formations. Palynological assemblages for each formation, based on biostratigraphic and statistical analyses, provide an assessment of their longitudinal variations. During deposition of the Shahezi Formation, the climate was mid-subtropical. Vegetation consisted of coniferous forest and herbage. During deposition of the Yingcheng Formation, the climate was south Asian tropical. Vegetation consisted mainly of coniferous forest and herbal shrub. In addition, fresh and saline non-marine water dominated the lacustrine setting during deposition of these formations. Deposition of the Denglouku Formation, however, occurred under a hot and dry tropical climate. The vegetation was mostly coniferous forest and lake waters became saline. Palaeoclimate variation is correlated by the lake level change and the development of sedimentary facies. Palaeoclimate contribute to the formation of hydrocarbon source rocks and reservoir.

  9. Stratigraphy, provenance, and diagenesis of the Cretaceous Horse Range Formation, east Otago, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitchell, M.; Craw, D.; Landis, C.A.; Frew, R.


    The Horse Range Formation is a structurally controlled late Early Cretaceous to early Late Cretaceous nonmarine unit in east Otago, South Island, New Zealand, containing immature lithic debris. Clasts are generally rounded, with only minor subangular material. The formation contains clasts derived from two principal basement sources: schist and greywacke. Schist debris is most abundant at the base of the described section, and this material is dominated (>60%) by quartz from the greenschist facies core of the Otago Schist belt. Conglomerates with >70% greywacke clasts constitute most of the upper part of the Horse Range Formation. These greywacke conglomerates have a matrix of sand derived mainly from schist. A 60 m thick wedge of quartz-rich, locally carbonaceous sand occurs interlayered with greywacke conglomerates. The Horse Range Formation rests on sub-greenschist facies semischist, which forms only a small proportion ( 18 O SMOW near +24 permil and δ 13 C PDB near -2 permil, and was partly dissolved and redeposited from the immature basement debris (metamorphic calcite) and partly introduced from overlying Late Cretaceous and Teriary marine sediments by groundwater. (author). 43 refs., 11 figs., 1 tab.

  10. New Mid-Cretaceous (Latest Albian) Dinosaurs from Winton, Queensland, Australia (United States)

    Hocknull, Scott A.; White, Matt A.; Tischler, Travis R.; Cook, Alex G.; Calleja, Naomi D.; Sloan, Trish; Elliott, David A.


    Background Australia's dinosaurian fossil record is exceptionally poor compared to that of other similar-sized continents. Most taxa are known from fragmentary isolated remains with uncertain taxonomic and phylogenetic placement. A better understanding of the Australian dinosaurian record is crucial to understanding the global palaeobiogeography of dinosaurian groups, including groups previously considered to have had Gondwanan origins, such as the titanosaurs and carcharodontosaurids. Methodology/Principal Findings We describe three new dinosaurs from the late Early Cretaceous (latest Albian) Winton Formation of eastern Australia, including; Wintonotitan wattsi gen. et sp. nov., a basal titanosauriform; Diamantinasaurus matildae gen. et sp. nov., a derived lithostrotian titanosaur; and Australovenator wintonensis gen. et sp. nov., an allosauroid. We compare an isolated astragalus from the Early Cretaceous of southern Australia; formerly identified as Allosaurus sp., and conclude that it most-likely represents Australovenator sp. Conclusion/Significance The occurrence of Australovenator from the Aptian to latest Albian confirms the presence in Australia of allosauroids basal to the Carcharodontosauridae. These new taxa, along with the fragmentary remains of other taxa, indicate a diverse Early Cretaceous sauropod and theropod fauna in Australia, including plesiomorphic forms (e.g. Wintonotitan and Australovenator) and more derived forms (e.g. Diamantinasaurus). PMID:19584929

  11. A New Sail-Backed Styracosternan (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) from the Early Cretaceous of Morella, Spain. (United States)

    Gasulla, José Miguel; Escaso, Fernando; Narváez, Iván; Ortega, Francisco; Sanz, José Luis


    A new styracosternan ornithopod genus and species is here described based on a partial postcranial skeleton and an associated dentary tooth of a single specimen from the Arcillas de Morella Formation (Early Cretaceous, late Barremian) at the Morella locality, (Castellón, Spain). Morelladon beltrani gen. et sp. nov. is diagnosed by eight autapomorphic features. The set of autapomorphies includes: very elongated and vertical neural spines of the dorsal vertebrae, midline keel on ventral surface of the second to fourth sacral vertebrae restricted to the anterior half of the centrum, a posterodorsally inclined medial ridge on the postacetabular process of the ilium that meets its dorsal margin and distal end of the straight ischial shaft laterally expanded, among others. Phylogenetic analyses reveal that the new Iberian form is more closely related to its synchronic and sympatric contemporary European taxa Iguanodon bernissartensis and Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis, known from Western Europe, than to other Early Cretaceous Iberian styracosternans (Delapparentia turolensis and Proa valdearinnoensis). The recognition of Morelladon beltrani gen. et sp. nov. indicates that the Iberian Peninsula was home to a highly diverse medium to large bodied styracosternan assemblage during the Early Cretaceous.

  12. Depositional environments and oil potential of Jurassic/Cretaceous source rocks within the Seychelles microcontinent

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plummer, P.S.; Joseph, P.R.; Samson, P.J. [Seychelles National Oil Co., Mahe (Seychelles)


    The Seychelles microcontinent became isolated between the Somali, Mascarene and Arabian basins of the Indian Ocean as a result of the Mesozoic fragmentation of Gondwana. Major rifting events occurred during the Triassic-Middle Jurassic and Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian-Santonian and Maastrichtian) during which shaly source rock facies accumulated in principally marginal marine/deltaic environments. Between these times, post-rift passive margin deposition within restricted to open marine environments produced shaly source rocks during late Middle Jurasic-Early Cretaceous, Campanian-Maastrichtian and Paleocene times. Recent geochemical analysis of cuttings from the Seagull Shoals-1 well has identified an oil-prone liptinitic (Type II) coaly shale within early Middle Jurassic abandoned deltaic deposits. This coaly source rock is regionally developed, having also been identified in the Majunja and Morondava basins of Madagascar. Oil-prone Type II organic matter has also been identified in the Owen Bank A-1 well within restricted marine shales of late Middle Jurassic age. These shales are part of a thick post-rift source rock sequence that extends into the Early Cretaceous and is in part correlative with the proven Late Jurassic Uarandab Shale of Somalia. Analysis of Campanian marine shales from Reith Bank-1 well identified significant dilution of total organic carbon content in composite, compared to picked, well cuttings samples. This finding supports a published inference that these post-rift shales have source rock potential. (author)

  13. Cretaceous plutonic rocks in the Donner Lake-Cisco Grove area, northern Sierra Nevada, California (United States)

    Kulow, Matthew J.; Hanson, Richard E.; Girty, Gary H.; Girty, Melissa S.; Harwood, David S.


    The northernmost occurrences of extensive, glaciated exposures of the Sierra Nevada batholith occur in the Donner Lake-Cisco Grove area of the northern Sierra Nevada. The plutonic rocks in this area, which are termed here the Castle Valley plutonic assemblage, crop out over an area of 225 km2 and for the most part are shown as a single undifferentiated mass on previously published geological maps. In the present work, the plutonic assemblage is divided into eight separate intrusive units or lithodemes, two of which each consist of two separate plutons. Compositions are dominantly granodiorite and tonalite, but diorite and granite form small plutons in places. Spectacular examples of comb layering and orbicular texture occur in the diorites. U-Pb zircon ages have been obtained for all but one of the main units and range from ~120 to 114 Ma, indicating that the entire assemblage was emplaced in a narrow time frame in the Early Cretaceous. This is consistent with abundant field evidence that many of the individual phases were intruded penecontemporaneously. The timing of emplacement correlates with onset of major Cretaceous plutonism in the main part of the Sierra Nevada batholith farther south. The emplacement ages also are similar to isotopic ages for gold-quartz mineralization in the Sierran foothills west of the study area, suggesting a direct genetic relationship between the voluminous Early Cretaceous plutonism and hydrothermal gold mineralization.

  14. Highly derived eutherian mammals from the earliest Cretaceous of southern Britain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven C. Sweetman


    Full Text Available Eutherian mammals (Placentalia and all mammals phylogenetically closer to placentals than to marsupials comprise the vast majority of extant Mammalia. Among these there is a phenomenal range of forms and sizes, but the origins of crown group placentals are obscure. They lie within the generally tiny mammals of the Mesozoic, represented for the most part by isolated teeth and jaws, and there is strongly conflicting evidence from phenomic and molecular data as to the date of origin of both Eutheria and Placentalia. The oldest purported eutherians are Juramaia from the Upper Jurassic of China, and Eomaia and Acristatherium from the Lower Cretaceous, also of China. Based on dental characters and analyses of other morphological and molecular data, doubt has recently been cast on the eutherian affinities of the Chinese taxa and consequently on the date of emergence of Eutheria. Until now, the only tribosphenic mammal recorded from the earliest Cretaceous (Berriasian Purbeck Group of Britain was the stem tribosphenidan Tribactonodon. Here we document two new tribosphenic mammals from the Purbeck Group, Durlstotherium gen. nov. and Durlstodon gen. nov., showing highly derived eutherian molar characters that support the early emergence of this clade, prior to the Cretaceous.

  15. New Mid-Cretaceous (latest Albian dinosaurs fromWinton, Queensland, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott A Hocknull

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Australia's dinosaurian fossil record is exceptionally poor compared to that of other similar-sized continents. Most taxa are known from fragmentary isolated remains with uncertain taxonomic and phylogenetic placement. A better understanding of the Australian dinosaurian record is crucial to understanding the global palaeobiogeography of dinosaurian groups, including groups previously considered to have had Gondwanan origins, such as the titanosaurs and carcharodontosaurids. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We describe three new dinosaurs from the late Early Cretaceous (latest Albian Winton Formation of eastern Australia, including; Wintonotitan wattsi gen. et sp. nov., a basal titanosauriform; Diamantinasaurus matildae gen. et sp. nov., a derived lithostrotian titanosaur; and Australovenator wintonensis gen. et sp. nov., an allosauroid. We compare an isolated astragalus from the Early Cretaceous of southern Australia; formerly identified as Allosaurus sp., and conclude that it most-likely represents Australovenator sp. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The occurrence of Australovenator from the Aptian to latest Albian confirms the presence in Australia of allosauroids basal to the Carcharodontosauridae. These new taxa, along with the fragmentary remains of other taxa, indicate a diverse Early Cretaceous sauropod and theropod fauna in Australia, including plesiomorphic forms (e.g. Wintonotitan and Australovenator and more derived forms (e.g. Diamantinasaurus.

  16. A diplodocid sauropod survivor from the early cretaceous of South America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo A Gallina

    Full Text Available Diplodocids are by far the most emblematic sauropod dinosaurs. They are part of Diplodocoidea, a vast clade whose other members are well-known from Jurassic and Cretaceous strata in Africa, Europe, North and South America. However, Diplodocids were never certainly recognized from the Cretaceous or in any other southern land mass besides Africa. Here we report a new sauropod, Leikupal laticauda gen. et sp. nov., from the early Lower Cretaceous (Bajada Colorada Formation of Neuquén Province, Patagonia, Argentina. This taxon differs from any other sauropod by the presence of anterior caudal transverse process extremely developed with lateroventral expansions reinforced by robust dorsal and ventral bars, very robust centroprezygapophyseal lamina in anterior caudal vertebra and paired pneumatic fossae on the postzygapophyses in anterior-most caudal vertebra. The phylogenetic analyses support its position not only within Diplodocidae but also as a member of Diplodocinae, clustering together with the African form Tornieria, pushing the origin of Diplodocoidea to the Middle Jurassic or even earlier. The new discovery represents the first record of a diplodocid for South America and the stratigraphically youngest record of this clade anywhere.

  17. The first reported ceratopsid dinosaur from eastern North America (Owl Creek Formation, Upper Cretaceous, Mississippi, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew A. Farke


    Full Text Available Ceratopsids (“horned dinosaurs” are known from western North America and Asia, a distribution reflecting an inferred subaerial link between the two landmasses during the Late Cretaceous. However, this clade was previously unknown from eastern North America, presumably due to limited outcrop of the appropriate age and depositional environment as well as the separation of eastern and western North America by the Western Interior Seaway during much of the Late Cretaceous. A dentary tooth from the Owl Creek Formation (late Maastrichtian of Union County, Mississippi, represents the first reported occurrence of Ceratopsidae from eastern North America. This tooth shows a combination of features typical of Ceratopsidae, including a double root and a prominent, blade-like carina. Based on the age of the fossil, we hypothesize that it is consistent with a dispersal of ceratopsids into eastern North America during the very latest Cretaceous, presumably after the two halves of North America were reunited following the retreat of the Western Interior Seaway.

  18. Gateways and Water Mass Mixing in the Late Cretaceous North Atlantic (United States)

    Asgharian Rostami, M.; Martin, E. E.; MacLeod, K. G.; Poulsen, C. J.; Vande Guchte, A.; Haynes, S.


    Regions of intermediate/deep water formation and water-mass mixing in the North Atlantic are poorly defined for the Late Cretaceous, a time of gateway evolution and cooler conditions following the Mid Cretaceous greenhouse. Improved proxy data combined with modeling efforts are required to effectively evaluate the relationship between CO2, paleogeography, and circulation during this cooler interval. We analyzed and compiled latest Cretaceous (79 - 66 Ma) ɛNd and δ13C records from seven bathyal (paleodepths 0.2 - 2 km) and eight abyssal (paleodepths > 2 km) sites in the North Atlantic. Data suggest local downwelling of Northern Component Water (NCW; ɛNd -9.5 and δ13C 1.7 ‰) is the primary source of intermediate/deep water masses in the basin. As this water flows southward and ages, δ13C values decrease and ɛNd values increase; however, additional chemical changes at several sites require mixing with contributions from several additional water masses. Lower ɛNd ( -10) and higher δ13C ( 1.9 ‰) values in the deep NW part of the basin indicate proximal contributions from a region draining old continental crust, potentially representing deep convection following opening of the Labrador Sea. In the deep NE Iberian Basin, higher ɛNd ( -7) and lower δ13C ( 0.8 ‰) during the Campanian suggest mixing with a Tethyan source (ɛNd -7 and δ13C 0.1 ‰) whose importance decreased with restriction of that gateway in the Maastrichtian. Data from bathyal sites suggest additional mixing. In the SE Cape Verde region, observed ɛNd variations from -10 in the Campanian to -13 and -12 in the early and late Maastrichtian, respectively, may record variations in output rates of Tethyan and/or NCW sources and Demerara Bottom Water (ɛNd -16), a proposed warm saline intermediate water mass formed in shallow, equatorial seas. Pacific inflow through the Caribbean gateway impacts intermediate sites at Blake Nose (ɛNd values -8), particularly the shallowest site during the late

  19. Preliminary magnetostratigraphy and environmental magnetism of the Lower Cretaceous from the Italian Dolomites (United States)

    Savian, J. F.; Jovane, L.; Florindo, F.; Lukeneder, A.


    The Lower Cretaceous (~146 to 100 Ma) represents an enigmatic time interval for paleoclimatic, paleogeography and paleomagnetic evolution of the Earth's history. The climatic changes include global oceanic anoxic events (OAEs), biotic changes, global excursions of carbon and strontium isotopes, rises in eustatic sea level and paleotemperature. Paleoceanography was marked by a rapid rate of ocean spreading in the Atlantic. The opening of the Atlantic Ocean was wide enough to allow significant circulation of masses of waters across the equator. This period is furthermore important for the oceanographic events occurring at the base of the Aptian (Selli Level). This period also present one of the most intriguing geomagnetic events: the long normal Cretaceous superchron, lasted for almost 40 million years. We study here the lower Cretaceous deposits of the Puez section in the Dolomites (northern Italy) which represents a continuous section during this period. The samples collected represent marine sedimentary materials of the Biancone and Puez formations. The Puez section consists essentially of green-grey to red limestones and calcareous marls. We present preliminary results of integrated magnetostratigraphic analysis, including a detailed lithostratigraphy and environmental magnetism. We recognize magnetic behavior that are relative to normal polarity (the normal Cretaceous superchron), with a short reverse interval that might represent the M-1r event. We also recognize a series of normal and reverse polarities (below the normal Cretaceous superchron) which can be referred to the magnetozones M1/M5. The environmental magnetic data consists of magnetic susceptibility (χ), natural remanent magnetization (NRM), anhysteretic remanent magnetization (ARM), isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM) at 900 mT and backfield isothermal remanent magnetization (BIRM) at 100 mT and 300 mT. Derived parameters, such as S-ratio (S300=BIRM300/IRM900) and hard isothermal remanent

  20. Press/Pulse: Explaining selective terrestrial extinctions at the Cretaceous/Palaeogene boundary (United States)

    Arens, Nan Crystal


    Single-cause mass extinction scenarios require extreme conditions to generate sufficiently strong kill mechanisms. Such dire effects are commonly at odds with the taxonomic selectivity that characterizes most extinction events. In response, some researchers have proposed that the interaction of a variety of factors typify episodes of elevated extinction. Previous work (Arens & West 2008 Paleobiology 34:456-471) has shown that a combination of press and pulse disturbances increases the probability of elevated extinction. The press/pulse contrast is borrowed from community ecology, where researchers have long recognized that the ecological response to long-term stress differs from that of an instantaneous catastrophe. Scaled to the macroevolutionary level, press disturbances alter community composition by placing multigenerational stress on populations. Press disturbances do not necessarily cause mortality, but reduce population size by a variety of mechanisms such as curtailed reproduction. Pulse disturbances are sudden catastrophic events that cause extensive mortality. Either press or pulse disturbances of sufficient magnitude can cause extinction, however elevated extinction occurs more commonly during the coincidence of lower-magnitude press and pulse events. The Cretaceous/Palaeogene (K/P) extinction is one of the best examples of a press/pulse extinction. Deccan Trap volcanism, which straddled the K/P boundary, altered atmospheric composition and climate. This episodic volcanism likely contributed to the climate instability observed in terrestrial ecosystems and exerted press stress. Pulse disturbance was produced by bolide impact, which punctuated the end of the Cretaceous. The press/pulse mechanism also more effectively explains selectivity in terrestrial vertebrate and plant extinctions at the K/P boundary than do single-mechanisms scenarios. For example, why do environmentally sensitive vertebrates such as amphibians experience no extinction? And why do

  1. The contribution of the young Cretaceous Caribbean Oceanic Plateau to the genesis of late Cretaceous arc magmatism in the Cordillera Occidental of Ecuador (United States)

    Allibon, J.; Monjoie, P.; Lapierre, H.; Jaillard, E.; Bussy, F.; Bosch, D.; Senebier, F.


    The eastern part of the Cordillera Occidental of Ecuador comprises thick buoyant oceanic plateaus associated with island-arc tholeiites and subduction-related calc-alkaline series, accreted to the Ecuadorian Continental Margin from Late Cretaceous to Eocene times. One of these plateau sequences, the Guaranda Oceanic Plateau is considered as remnant of the Caribbean-Colombian Oceanic Province (CCOP) accreted to the Ecuadorian Margin in the Maastrichtien. Samples studied in this paper were taken from four cross-sections through two arc-sequences in the northern part of the Cordillera Occidental of Ecuador, dated as (Río Cala) or ascribed to (Macuchi) the Late Cretaceous and one arc-like sequence in the Chogòn-Colonche Cordillera (Las Orquídeas). These three island-arcs can clearly be identified and rest conformably on the CCOP. In all four localities, basalts with abundant large clinopyroxene phenocrysts can be found, mimicking a picritic or ankaramitic facies. This mineralogical particularity, although not uncommon in island arc lavas, hints at a contribution of the CCOP in the genesis of these island arc rocks. The complete petrological and geochemical study of these rocks reveals that some have a primitive island-arc nature (MgO values range from 6 to 11 wt.%). Studied samples display marked Nb, Ta and Ti negative anomalies relative to the adjacent elements in the spidergrams characteristic of subduction-related magmatism. These rocks are LREE-enriched and their clinopyroxenes show a tholeiitic affinity (FeO T-TiO 2 enrichment and CaO depletion from core to rim within a single crystal). The four sampled cross-sections through the island-arc sequences display homogeneous initial Nd, and Pb isotope ratios that suggest a unique mantellic source for these rocks resulting from the mixing of three components: an East-Pacific MORB end-member, an enriched pelagic sediment component, and a HIMU component carried by the CCOP. Indeed, the ankaramite and Mg

  2. Early cretaceous zircon SHRIMP U-Pb age of the trachyte and its significances of the Gan-Hang belt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Feiyu; Wu Jianhua; Liu Shuai


    The Shixi basin was located at Gan-Hang tectonic volcanic uranium deposit of rock-magma belt which belong to a part of the Mesozoic volcanic rocks in the northeastern of China. The appearance of the trachyte in Shixi basin have the majoy elements characteristic of the shoshonite series volcanic rocks. To determine the geological age of trachyte have very important significance on the geodynamics research and the study on the cause of uranium mineralization. The zircons of the trachyte have clear ring and high Th/U ratio which belong to the typical magmatic zircons. The zircon SHRIMP U-Pb dating resules show that 14points' age range is very smaller is 132-144 Ma and the weighted average age is (137.00±0.94)Ma which represents the diagenetic age of volcanic rocks. Accronding to the latest International Stratigraphic Chart the boundary of Jurassic and Cretaceous is (145.4±4.0)Ma. So the trachyte of Shixi Group belong to early Cretaceous. The large-scale acidic volcanic activity occurred in the Early Cretaceous in Southeastern China, and the Volcanic uranium deposit of Gan-Hang tectonic belt relate to Alkali metasomatism Uranium mineralization also occurred in the Early Cretaceous (120-130 Ma). The determined of trachyte in Shixi Group in the Early Cretaceous show that the acidic volcanic activity have connection with magma activity and the early Uranium mineralization consistent with the Alkali magma activity. (authors)

  3. Progress in Late Cretaceous planktonic foraminiferal stable isotope paleoecology and implications for paleoceanographic reconstructions (United States)

    Petrizzo, Maria Rose; Falzoni, Francesca; Huber, Brian T.; MacLeod, Kenneth G.


    Paleoecological preferences proposed for Cretaceous planktonic foraminiferal taxa have traditionally been based on morphological analogies with depth-stratified modern species, on biofacies comparison in continental margin and deepwater settings, and limited oxygen and carbon stable isotope data. These studies concluded that large-sized, keeled and heavily calcified planktonic foraminifera generally lived at deeper levels in the surface waters than small-sized, thinner-walled non-keeled species. Stable isotope data have been used to infer information on paleotemperature, paleoceanography and paleoproductivity of ancient oceans and constrain biological paleo-activities (i.e. photosymbiosis and respiration) of fossil species. These studies have suggested that the depth-distribution model based on analogy with modern taxa might not be fully applicable for Cretaceous species, and found particularly 13C-enriched values in some Maastrichtian multiserial taxa that have been related to the activity of photosymbionts. We have collected about 1500 δ18O and δ13C species-specific analyses on glassy preserved planktonic foraminifera from Tanzania (Tanzania Drilling Project TDP sites 23, 28 and 32) and well-preserved planktonic foraminifera from other mid-low latitude localities (Shatsky Rise, northwestern Pacific Ocean, ODP Leg 198 Hole 1210B; Exmouth Plateau, eastern Indian Ocean, ODP Leg 122, Hole 762C; Eratosthenes Seamount, eastern Mediterranean, ODP Leg 160, Hole 967E; Blake Nose, central Atlantic Ocean, ODP Leg 171B, holes 1050C and 1052E) to investigate Late Cretaceous species paleoecological preferences, life strategies and depth distribution in the surface water column. Our results indicates that several large-sized (> 500 μm) double-keeled species belonging to the genera Dicarinella, Marginotruncana and Contusotruncana, generally interpreted as deep to thermocline dwellers, instead occupied shallow/warm layers of the water column, whilst not all biserial species

  4. Cenozoic to Cretaceous paleomagnetic dataset from Egypt: New data, review and global analysis (United States)

    Perrin, Mireille; Saleh, Ahmed


    Different phases of igneous activity took place in Egypt during the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic and oriented samples were collected from three Cenozoic localities (Baharya oasis in the Western Desert, Abu Had in the Eastern Desert and Quseir along the Red Sea coast), and four Cretaceous localities (Toshki & Abu Simbel south of Aswan, and Shalaten & Abu Shihat along the Red Sea coast). Rock magnetic properties of the samples indicate magnetite and titanomagnetite as the main carrier of the remanent magnetization. Following stepwise demagnetization, characteristic remanent directions were identified only for 62% of the samples, a fairly low rate for that type of samples, and 8 new paleomagnetic poles were calculated. All our Cenozoic poles fall clearly off Master Polar Wander Paths proposed for South Africa. Therefore, all paleomagnetic results, previously published for Egypt, were compiled from Cretaceous to Quaternary. The published poles largely overlap, blurring the Egyptian Apparent Polar Wander Path. A new analysis at the site level was then carried out. Only poles having a kappa larger than 50 were selected, and new pole positions were calculated by area and by epoch, when at least 3 sites were available. Even though the selection drastically reduced the number of considered poles, it allows definition of a reliable Cenozoic apparent polar wander trend for Egypt that differs from the South African Master Polar Wander Path by about 10-15 °. If the Cretaceous igneous poles are in good agreement with the rest of the African data, the sedimentary poles plot close to the Cenozoic portion of the South African Master Polar Wander Path, a discrepancy that could be related either to inclination flattening and/or error on age and/or remagnetization in the Cenozoic.

  5. Constraints on deformation of the Southern Andes since the Cretaceous from anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (United States)

    Maffione, Marco; Hernandez-Moreno, Catalina; Ghiglione, Matias C.; Speranza, Fabio; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; Lodolo, Emanuele


    The southernmost segment of the Andean Cordillera underwent a complex deformation history characterized by alternation of contractional, extensional, and strike-slip tectonics. Key elements of southern Andean deformation that remain poorly constrained, include the origin of the orogenic bend known as the Patagonian Orocline (here renamed as Patagonian Arc), and the exhumation mechanism of an upper amphibolite facies metamorphic complex currently exposed in Cordillera Darwin. Here, we present results of anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) from 22 sites in Upper Cretaceous to upper Eocene sedimentary rocks within the internal structural domain of the Magallanes fold-and-thrust belt in Tierra del Fuego (Argentina). AMS parameters from most sites reveal a weak tectonic overprint of the original magnetic fabric, which was likely acquired upon layer-parallel shortening soon after sedimentation. Magnetic lineation from 17 sites is interpreted to have formed during compressive tectonic phases associated to a continuous N-S contraction. Our data, combined with the existing AMS database from adjacent areas, show that the Early Cretaceous-late Oligocene tectonic phases in the Southern Andes yielded continuous contraction, variable from E-W in the Patagonian Andes to N-S in the Fuegian Andes, which defined a radial strain field. A direct implication is that the exhumation of the Cordillera Darwin metamorphic complex occurred under compressive, rather than extensional or strike-slip tectonics, as alternatively proposed. If we agree with recent works considering the curved Magallanes fold-and-thrust belt as a primary arc (i.e., no relative vertical-axis rotation of the limbs occurs during its formation), then other mechanisms different from oroclinal bending should be invoked to explain the documented radial strain field. We tentatively propose a kinematic model in which reactivation of variably oriented Jurassic faults at the South American continental margin controlled

  6. The evolution of Early Cretaceous shallow-water carbonate platforms in times of frequent oceanic anoxia (United States)

    Föllmi, Karl; Morales, Chloé; Stein, Melody; Bonvallet, Lucie; Antoine, Pictet


    The Early Cretaceous greenhouse world witnessed different episodes of pronounced paleoenvironmental change, which were associated with substantial shifts in the global carbon and phosphorus cycles. They impacted the growth of carbonate platforms on the shelf, lead to the development of widespread anoxic zones in deeper water, and influenced evolutionary pattern in general. A first phase (the Weissert episode) occurred during the Valanginian, which is indicated by a positive shift in the carbon-isotope record, widespread platform drowning, and evolutionary change. The spreading of anoxic conditions was limited to marginal basins and the positive change in carbon isotopes is linked to the storage of vegetal carbon in coal deposits rather than to organic matter in marine sediments. A second phase (the Faraoni episode) of important environmental change is observed near the end of the Hauterivian, where short and repetitive episodes of anoxia occurred in the Tethyan realm. This phase goes along with a decline in platform growth, but is barely documented in the carbon-isotope record. A third and most important episode (the Selli episode) took place in the early Aptian, and resulted in the widespread deposition of organic-rich sediments, a positive carbon-isotope excursion and the disappearance of Urgonian-type carbonate platforms. Often considered to represent short and singular events, these Early Cretaceous phases are in fact preceded by periods of warming, increased continental weathering, and increased nutrient throughput. These preludes in environmental change are important in that they put these three Early Cretaceous episodes into a longer-term, historic perspective, which allow us to better understand the mechanisms leading to these periods of pronounced global change.

  7. Astronomically Forced Hydrology of the Late Cretaceous Sub-tropical Potosí Basin, Bolivia (United States)

    Tasistro-Hart, A.; Maloof, A. C.; Schoene, B.; Eddy, M. P.


    Orbital forcings paced the ice ages of the Pleistocene, demonstrating that periodic variations in the latitudinal distribution of insolation amplified by ice-albedo feedbacks can guide global climate. How these forcings operate in the hot-houses that span most of the planet's history, however, is unknown. The lacustrine El Molino formation of the late Cretaceous-early Paleogene Potosí Basin in present-day Bolivia contains carbonate-mud parasequences that record fluctuating hydrological conditions from 73 to 63 Ma. This study presents the first cyclostratigraphic analysis using high-resolution drone-derived imagery and 3D elevation models, combined with conventional stratigraphic measurements and magnetic susceptibility data. The drone-derived data are integrated over the entire outcrop at two field areas using a novel application of stratigraphic potential field modeling that increases signal-to-noise ratios prior to spectral analysis. We demonstrate that these parasequences exhibit significant periodicities consistent with eccentricity (400 and 100 kyr), obliquity (50 kyr, 40 kyr, and 29 kyr), precession (17-23 kyr), and semi-precession (9-11 kyr). New U-Pb ID-TIMS zircon ages from intercalacted ash beds corroborate the interpreted sedimentation rates at two sites, indicating that the Potosí Basin contains evidence for hot-house astronomical forcing of sub-tropical lacustrine hydrology. Global climate simulations of late Cretaceous orbital end-member configurations demonstrate precessional-eccentricity and obliquity driven modulation of basin hydrology. In model simulations, the forcings drive long-term shifts in the location of the intertropical convergence zone, changing precipitation along the northern extent of the Potosí Basin's catchment area. This study is the first to demonstrate orbital forcing of a lacustrine system during the Maastrichtian and could ultimately contribute to a precise age for the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary.

  8. A Triassic to Cretaceous Sundaland-Pacific subduction margin in West Sarawak, Borneo (United States)

    Breitfeld, H. Tim; Hall, Robert; Galin, Thomson; Forster, Margaret A.; BouDagher-Fadel, Marcelle K.


    Metamorphic rocks in West Sarawak are poorly exposed and studied. They were previously assumed to be pre-Carboniferous basement but had never been dated. New 40Ar/39Ar ages from white mica in quartz-mica schists reveal metamorphism between c. 216 to 220 Ma. The metamorphic rocks are associated with Triassic acid and basic igneous rocks, which indicate widespread magmatism. New U-Pb dating of zircons from the Jagoi Granodiorite indicates Triassic magmatism at c. 208 Ma and c. 240 Ma. U-Pb dating of zircons from volcaniclastic sediments of the Sadong and Kuching Formations confirms contemporaneous volcanism. The magmatic activity is interpreted to represent a Triassic subduction margin in westernmost West Sarawak with sediments deposited in a forearc basin derived from the magmatic arc at the Sundaland-Pacific margin. West Sarawak and NW Kalimantan are underlain by continental crust that was already part of Sundaland or accreted to Sundaland in the Triassic. One metabasite sample, also previously assumed to be pre-Carboniferous basement, yielded Early Cretaceous 40Ar/39Ar ages. They are interpreted to indicate resumption of subduction which led to deposition of volcaniclastic sediments and widespread magmatism. U-Pb ages from detrital zircons in the Cretaceous Pedawan Formation are similar to those from the Schwaner granites of NW Kalimantan, and the Pedawan Formation is interpreted as part of a Cretaceous forearc basin containing material eroded from a magmatic arc that extended from Vietnam to west Borneo. The youngest U-Pb ages from zircons in a tuff layer from the uppermost part of the Pedawan Formation indicate that volcanic activity continued until c. 86 to 88 Ma when subduction terminated.

  9. Tectonics and Volcanism During the Cretaceous Normal Superchron Seafloor in the Western Pacific Ocean (United States)

    O'Brien, E.


    We have conducted an integration study on the origin and evolution of the tectonics and volcanism of seafloor in the Western Pacific Ocean that took place during the Cretaceous Normal Superchron (CNS) where sparse data has so far precluded detailed investigation. We have compiled the latest satellite-based gravity, gravity gradient, and magnetic grids (EMAG2 v.3) for this region. These crustal-scale high-resolution grids suggest that the CNS seafloor contains fossilized lithospheric morphology possibly attributed to the interaction between Cretaceous supervolcanism activity and Mid-Cretaceous Pacific mid ocean ridge systems that have continuously expanded the Pacific Plate. We recognize previously identified fossilized microplates west of the Magellan Rise, short-lived abandoned propagating rifts and fracture zones, all of which show significant rotation of seafloor fabric. In addition to these large scale observations, we have also compiled marine geological information from previously drilled cores and new data from a Kongsberg Topas PS18 Parametric Sub-Bottom Profiler collected on a transect from Honolulu, Hawaii to Apra, Guam acquired during research cruise SKQ2014S2. In particular, the narrow beam and high bandwidth signal of the Topas PS18 sub-bottom profiler provides sonar data of the seabed with a resolution and depth penetration that is unprecedented compared with previously available surveys in the region. A preliminary assessment of this high resolution Topas data allows us to better characterize sub-seafloor sediment properties and identify features, including the Upper Transparent Layer with identifiable pelagic clay and porcelanite-chert reflectors as well as tectonic features such as the westernmost tip of the Waghenaer Fracture Zone.

  10. Are glendonites reliable indicators of cold conditions? Evidence from the Lower Cretaceous of Spitsbergen (United States)

    Vickers, Madeleine; Price, Gregory; Watkinson, Matthew; Jerrett, Rhodri


    Glendonites are pseudomorphs after the mineral ikaite, and have been found in marine sediments throughout geological time. Ikaite is a metastable, hydrated form of calcium carbonate, which is only stable under specific conditions: between -2 and +5 °C, and with high alkalinity and phosphate concentrations. Glendonites are often associated with cold climates due to the strong temperature control on ikaite growth, and the coincidence in the geological record with episodes of global cooling. Glendonites are found in the Lower Cretaceous succession in Spitsbergen. During the Early Cretaceous, Spitsbergen was at a palaeolatitude of 60°N, and was part of a shallow epicontinental sea that formed during the Mesozoic as Atlantic rifting propagated northwards. Though the Early Cretaceous was generally characterised by greenhouse climate conditions, episodic cold snaps occurred during the Valanginian (the "Weissert Event") and during Aptian-Albian. Using high resolution carbon-isotope stratigraphy, we show that the first occurrences of glendonites are in the upper Lower Hauterivian and in the very upper Upper Hauterivian, stratigraphically higher than the Valanginian cooling event. Glendonites are also found in horizons in the Upper Aptian, coincident with the Aptian-Albian cold snap. Petrological analysis of the glendonite structure reveals differences between the Hauterivian and Aptian glendonites, with evidence for multiple diagenetic phases of growth in the Hauterivian glendonites, suggesting oscillating chemical conditions. This evidence suggests that local environmental conditions may have a stronger control on glendonite formation and preservation than global climate. We present a new model for ikaite growth and slow transformation to glendonite in marine sediments, which points to a more complex suite of diagenetic transformations than previously modelled. Furthermore, we critically assess whether such pseudomorphs after marine sedimentary ikaite may be indicators

  11. Mantle dynamics and Cretaceous magmatism in east-central China: Insight from teleseismic tomograms (United States)

    Jiang, Guoming; Zhang, Guibin; Zhao, Dapeng; Lü, Qingtian; Li, Hongyi; Li, Xinfu


    Both the rich mineralization in the Lower Yangtze Block (LYB) and the post-collisional mafic rocks in the Dabie Orogen (DBO) are closely related to the Cretaceous magmatism in east-central China. Various geodynamic models have been proposed for explaining the mechanism of the Cretaceous magmatism, but these models are controversial and even contradictory with each other, especially on the mechanism of adakites. A unified geodynamic model is required for explaining the magmatism in east-central China, in particular, the spatial and temporal correlations of magmatic activity in the DBO and that in the LYB. For this purpose, we apply teleseismic tomography to study P-wave velocity structure down to 800 km depth beneath east-central China. A modified multiple-channel cross-correlation method is used to collect 28,805 high-quality P-wave arrival-time data from seismograms of distant earthquakes recorded by permanent seismic stations and our temporary stations in the study region. To remove the influence of crustal heterogeneity on the mantle tomography, we used the CRUST1.0 model to correct the teleseismic relative residuals. Our tomography revealed distinct high-velocity (high-V) anomalies beneath the DBO and two flanks of the LYB, and low-velocity (low-V) anomalies above the high-V zones. Combining our tomographic images with previous geological, geochemical and geophysical results, we infer that these high-V and low-V anomalies reflect the detached lithosphere and upwelling asthenospheric materials, respectively, which are associated with the Late Mesozoic dynamic process and the Cretaceous magmatism. We propose a double-slab subduction model that a ridge subduction yielded the adakitic rocks in the LYB during 150-135 Ma and the subsequent Pacific Plate subduction played a crucial role in not only the formation of igneous rocks in the LYB but also remelting of the subducted South China Block beneath the DBO during 135-101 Ma.

  12. The Rise of Flowering Plants and Land Surface Physics: The Cretaceous and Eocene Were Different (United States)

    Upchurch, G. R.; Feild, T.


    The Cretaceous and Eocene have served as the poster children of past greenhouse climates. One difference between the two time periods is that angiosperms (flowering plants) underwent a major diversification and rise to dominance during the mid-Cretaceous to Paleocene. Flowering plants differ from all other living and fossil plants in having significantly higher rates of transpiration and photosynthesis, which in modern leaves correlate with the density of venation (Dv), a feature that can be measured directly from fossils. This increase in Dv, coupled with an increase in the abundance of angiosperms, is thought to have had major impact on the climate system. This is, in part, because transpiration plays an important role in determining the ratio of sensible to latent heat flux from the land surface and in determining precipitation rate in regions such as the equatorial rainforest. Analysis of Dv in fossil leaves indicates two phases of increase in transpiration rate for angiosperms during the Cretaceous-Paleocene. The oldest known angiosperms (Aptian-early Albian) have a low Dv characteristic of extant and fossil ferns and gymnosperms. At this time angiosperms are low-stature plants of minor importance in terms of relative abundance and diversity (ferns, and maximum Dv reaches levels characteristic of many trees from the temperate zone. This first phase coincides with the first local dominance of angiosperms, the first occurrence of moderate to large angiosperm trees (up to 1 m in diameter) , and the first common occurrence of angiosperms in the Arctic. The second phase of Dv increase occurs during the Maastrichtian to Paleocene, where average Dv reaches levels characteristic of modern tropical forests and maximum Dv reaches the level found in highly productive modern vegetation. This second phase coincides with the rise to dominance of angiosperms in regional vegetation, a corresponding decline of conifers and ferns, and the modernization of hydraulic architecture

  13. Exploring Early Angiosperm Fire Feedbacks using Coupled Experiments and Modelling Approaches to Estimate Cretaceous Palaeofire Behaviour (United States)

    Belcher, Claire; Hudpsith, Victoria


    Using the fossil record we are typically limited to exploring linkages between palaeoecological changes and palaeofire activity by assessing the abundance of charcoals preserved in sediments. However, it is the behaviour of fires that primarily governs their ecological effects. Therefore, the ability to estimate variations in aspects of palaeofire behaviour such as palaeofire intensity and rate of spread would be of key benefit toward understanding the coupled evolutionary history of ecosystems and fire. The Cretaceous Period saw major diversification in land plants. Previously, conifers (gymnosperms) and ferns (pteridophytes) dominated Earth's ecosystems until flowering plants (angiosperms) appear in the fossil record of the Early Cretaceous (~135Ma). We have created surface fire behaviour estimates for a variety of angiosperm invasion scenarios and explored the influence of Cretaceous superambient atmospheric oxygen levels on the fire behaviour occurring in these new Cretaceous ecosystems. These estimates are then used to explore the hypothesis that the early spread of the angiosperms was promoted by the novel fire regimes that they created. In order to achieve this we tested the flammability of Mesozoic analogue fuel types in controlled laboratory experiments using an iCone calorimeter, which measured the ignitability as well as the effective heat of combustion of the fuels. We then used the BehavePlus fire behaviour modelling system to scale up our laboratory results to the ecosystem scale. Our results suggest that fire-angiosperm feedbacks may have occurred in two phases: The first phase being a result of weedy angiosperms providing an additional easily ignitable fuel that enhanced both the seasonality and frequency of surface fires. In the second phase, the addition of shrubby understory fuels likely expanded the number of ecosystems experiencing more intense surface fires, resulting in enhanced mortality and suppressed post-fire recruitment of gymnosperms

  14. Disruption of the terrestrial plant ecosystem at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, western interior (United States)

    Tschudy, R.H.; Pillmore, C.L.; Orth, C.J.; Gilmore, J.S.; Knight, J.D.


    The palynologically defined Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in the western interior of North America occurs at the top of an iridium-rich clay layer. The boundary is characterized by the abrupt disappearance of certain pollen species, immediately followed by a pronounced, geologically brief change in the ratio of fern spores to angiosperm pollen. The occurrence of these changes at two widely separated sites implies continentwide disruption of the terrestrial ecosystem, probably caused by a major catastrophic event at the end of the period.

  15. Sea water strontium isotopes, acid rain, and the cretaceous-tertiary boundary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    MacDougall, J.D.


    A large bolide impact at the end of the Cretaceous would have produced significant amounts of nitrogen oxides by shock heating of the atmosphere. The resulting acid precipitation would have increased continental weathering greatly and could be an explanation for the observed high ratio of strontium-87 to strontium-86 in sea water at about this time, due to the dissolution of large amounts of strontium from the continental crust. Spikes to high values in the sea water strontium isotope record at other times may reflect similar episodes. 17 references, 1 figure, 1 table

  16. Mineralogical, geochemical and hydrocarbon potential of subsurface Cretaceous shales, Northern Western Desert, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.A. Mousa


    Full Text Available Twenty four Cretaceous shale core samples of Gibb Afia-1, Betty-1, Salam-1X and Mersa Matruh-1 wells were mineralogically and geochemically studied using XRD, XRF and Rock Eval Pyrolysis. Kaolinite, smectite and illite are the main clay minerals in addition to rare chlorite, while the non-clay minerals include quartz, calcite, dolomite and rare siderite. The shales were derived through intensive chemical weathering of mafic basement and older sedimentary rocks. These sediments were deposited in a near-shore shallow marine environment with some terrestrial material input. The shales have poor to fair organic content. It is marginally to rarely mature.

  17. Tectonostratigraphic reconstruction Cretaceous volcano-sedimentary in the northwestern Andes: from extensional tectonics to arc accretion. (United States)

    Zapata, S.; Patino, A. M.; Cardona, A.; Mejia, D.; Leon, S.; Jaramillo, J. S.; Valencia, V.; Parra, M.; Hincapie, S.


    Active continental margins characterized by continuous convergence experienced overimposed tectonic configurations that allowed the formation of volcanic arcs, back arc basins, transtensional divergent tectonics or the accretion of exotic volcanic terranes. Such record, particularly the extensional phases, can be partially destroyed and obscure by multiple deformational events, the accretion of exotic terranes and strike slip fragmentation along the margin. The tectonic evolution of the northern Andes during the Mesozoic is the result of post Pangea extension followed by the installation of a long-lived Jurassic volcanic arc (209 - 136 ma) that apparently stops between 136 Ma and 110 Ma. The Quebradagrande Complex has been define as a single Lower Cretaceous volcano-sedimentary unit exposed in the western flank of the Central Cordillera of the Colombian Andes that growth after the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous magmatic hiatus. The origin of this unit have been related either to an oceanic volcanic arc or a marginal basin environment. The existence of such contrasting models reflect the regional perspective followed in published studies and the paucity of detail analysis of the volcano-sedimentary sequences.We integrate multiple approaches including structural mapping, stratigraphy, geochemistry, U-Pb provenance and geochronology to improve the understanding of this unit and track the earlier phases of accumulation that are mask on the overimposed tectonic history. Our preliminary results suggest the existence of different volcano-sedimentary units that accumulated between 100 Ma and 82 Ma.The older Lower Cretaceous sequences was deposited over Triassic metamorphic continental crust and include a upward basin deepening record characterized by thick fan delta conglomerates, followed by distal turbidites and a syn-sedimentary volcanic record at 100 ma. The other sequence include a 85 - 82 Ma fringing arc that was also formed close to the continental margin or

  18. Chemical of shales belonging to Castellanos and Migues formations (Cretaceous), Santa Lucia basin - Uruguay: Paleoenvironment considerations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peel, E.; Veloslavsky, G.; Fulfaro, J.


    In the present work there are analyzed 16 samples of shales belonging to Castellanos and Migues formations (Cretaceous), taken from cores of various boreholes of the Santa Lucia Basin (Uruguay). Chemical analysis of major elements, trace elements (B,V, Sr, Rb, Cr y Ga) and X- ray diffractometry were done to them in order to obtain a geochemical characterization. The characterization shows that their chemical composition is comparable to the world average composition of shales. Besides, the X-ray diffractometry. Based on that, it is clear to deduce that it existed a change in the environment conditions having a shift from a redactor environment which agrees with former micropaleontologic studies. (author)


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available A Jurassic- Cretaceous carbonate succession crops out along the Zyghosti Rema, Kozani (Northern Greece. The substratum consists of the ophiolitic succession of the Vourinos Massif (Pelagonian Domain: serpentinites tectonically overlain by basalts, with thin lenses of radiolarian cherts of middle Bathonian age. The contact with the overlying Jurassic limestones is tectonic. Eight informal units have been distinguished within the Mesozoic limestones, from the base upwards. (A bioclastic, intraclastic and oolitic packstone (Callovian- Oxfordian. (B bioclastic packstone and coral boundstone (Oxfordian . (C bioclastic and oncoidal wackestone with Clypeina jurassica (Oxfordian- Upper Kimmeridgian. (D (Upper Kimmeridgian- Portlandian: oncoidal packstone and rudstone (facies D1; intraclastic and bioclastic grainstone and packstone (facies D2; neptunian dykes with intraclastic and bioclastic wackestone and packstone filling (facies D3; neptunian dykes with Fe-Mn rich laterite filling and with pink silty filling of early Late Cretaceous age. An unconformity surface, due to emersion and erosion of the platform during the latest Jurassic- Early Cretaceous, is overlain by (E intraclastic, bioclastic packstone and grainstone (Cenomanian. (F massive body of debrites with coral, echinoderm, algae and rudist large clasts (facies F1 (Cenomanian; turbiditic beds of bioclastic, intraclastic and lithoclastic rudstone and grainstone (facies F2. (G thin bedded bioclastic mudstone and wackestone with planktonic foraminifers and radiolarians, alternating with turbiditic beds of bioclastic, intraclastic packstone and rudstone and with conglomeratic levels and slumped beds of the previous turbidites (upper Santonian- lower Campanian. (H: bioclastic packstone with planktonic foraminifers (facies H1 (lower Campanian - ?Maastrichtian; amalgamated turbiditic beds of bioclastic wackestone and packstone with planktonic foraminifers (facies H2; turbiditic beds of bioclastic

  20. Early Cretaceous ribbed aptychi - a proposal for a new systematic classification

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Měchová, L.; Vašíček, Zdeněk; Houša, Václav


    Roč. 85, č. 2 (2010), s. 219-274 ISSN 1214-1119 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30860518; CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Late Jurassic * J/K boundary * Early Cretaceous * aptychi Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 1.202, year: 2010

  1. Seawater strontium isotopes, acid rain, and the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (United States)

    Macdougall, J. D.


    A large bolide impact at the end of the Cretaceous would have produced significant amounts of nitrogen oxides by shock heating of the atmosphere. The resulting acid precipitation would have increased continental weathering greatly and could be an explanation for the observed high ratio of strontium-87 to strontium-86 in seawater at about this time, due to the dissolution of large amounts of strontium from the continental crust. Spikes to high values in the seawater strontium isotope record at other times may reflect similar episodes.

  2. Tithonian-early Berriasian perisphinctoid ammonites from the Stramberk Limestone at Kotouc Quarry near Stramberk, Outer Western Carpathians (Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vašíček, Zdeněk; Skupien, P.


    Roč. 64, č. 64 (2016), s. 12-29 ISSN 0195-6671 Institutional support: RVO:68145535 Keywords : Upper Jurassic * Lower Cretaceous * Perisphinctoidea * biostratigraphy * Central Europe Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 2.015, year: 2016

  3. Possible markers of the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary in the Mediterranean Tethys: A review and state of art

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    Jozef Michalík


    Full Text Available During the last decades, several integrated studies of Tethyan Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary sections from different countries were published with the objective to indicate problems for the selection of biological, chemical or physical markers suitable for identification of the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary – the only system boundary within the Phanerozoic still not fixed by GSSP. Drawing the boundary between the Jurassic and Cretaceous systems is a matter of global scale discussions. The problem of proposing possible J/K boundary stratotypes results from lack of a global index fossils, global sea level drop, paleogeographic changes causing development of isolated facies areas, as well as from the effect of Late Cimmerian Orogeny. This contribution summarizes and comments data on J/K boundary interval obtained from several important Tethyan sections and shows still existing problems and discrepancies in its determination.

  4. Earth history. U-Pb geochronology of the Deccan Traps and relation to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. (United States)

    Schoene, Blair; Samperton, Kyle M; Eddy, Michael P; Keller, Gerta; Adatte, Thierry; Bowring, Samuel A; Khadri, Syed F R; Gertsch, Brian


    The Chicxulub asteroid impact (Mexico) and the eruption of the massive Deccan volcanic province (India) are two proposed causes of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, which includes the demise of nonavian dinosaurs. Despite widespread acceptance of the impact hypothesis, the lack of a high-resolution eruption timeline for the Deccan basalts has prevented full assessment of their relationship to the mass extinction. Here we apply uranium-lead (U-Pb) zircon geochronology to Deccan rocks and show that the main phase of eruptions initiated ~250,000 years before the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary and that >1.1 million cubic kilometers of basalt erupted in ~750,000 years. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that the Deccan Traps contributed to the latest Cretaceous environmental change and biologic turnover that culminated in the marine and terrestrial mass extinctions. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  5. Chemical Remagnetization of Jurassic Carbonates and a Primary Paleolatitude of Lower Cretaceous Volcaniclastic Rocks of the Tibetan Himalaya (United States)

    Huang, W.; Van Hinsbergen, D. J. J.; Dekkers, M. J.; Garzanti, E.; Dupont Nivet, G.; Lippert, P. C.; Li, X.; Maffione, M.; Langereis, C. G.; Hu, X.; Guo, Z.; Kapp, P. A.


    Paleolatitudes for the Tibetan Himalaya Zone based on paleomagnetic inclinations provide kinematic constraints of the passive northern Indian margin and the extent of 'Greater India' before the India-Asia collision. Here, we present a paleomagnetic investigation of the Jurassic (carbonates) to Lower Cretaceous (volcaniclastic rocks) Wölong section of the Tibetan Himalaya in the Everest region. The carbonates yield positive fold tests, suggesting that the remanent magnetizations have a pre-folding origin. However, detailed paleomagnetic analyses, rock magnetic tests, end-member modeling of acquisition curves of isothermal remanent magnetization, and petrographic studies reveal that the magnetic carrier of the Jurassic carbonates is authigenic magnetite, whereas the dominant magnetic carrier of the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastic rocks is detrital magnetite. We conclude that the Jurassic carbonates were remagnetized, whereas the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastics retain a primary remanence. We hypothesize that remagnetization of the Jurassic carbonates was probably caused by the oxidation of early diagenetic pyrite to magnetite within the time interval at ~86-84 Ma during the latest Cretaceous Normal Superchron and earliest deposition of Cretaceous oceanic red beds in the Tibetan Himalaya. The remagnetization of the limestones prevents determining the size of 'Greater India' during Jurassic time. Instead, a paleolatitude of the Tibetan Himalaya of 23.8±2.1° S at ~86-84 Ma is suggested. This value is lower than the expected paleolatitude of India from apparent polar wander path (APWP). The volcaniclastic rocks with the primary remanence, however, yielded a Lower Cretaceous paleolatitude of Tibetan Himalaya of 55.5±3° S, fitting well with the APWP of India.

  6. Dinosaur Footprints and Other Ichnofauna from the Cretaceous Kem Kem Beds of Morocco (United States)

    Ibrahim, Nizar; Varricchio, David J.; Sereno, Paul C.; Wilson, Jeff A.; Dutheil, Didier B.; Martill, David M.; Baidder, Lahssen; Zouhri, Samir


    We describe an extensive ichnofossil assemblage from the likely Cenomanian-age ‘lower’ and ‘upper’ units of the ‘Kem Kem beds’ in southeastern Morocco. In the lower unit, trace fossils include narrow vertical burrows in cross-bedded sandstones and borings in dinosaur bone, with the latter identified as the insect ichnotaxon Cubiculum ornatus. In the upper unit, several horizons preserve abundant footprints from theropod dinosaurs. Sauropod and ornithischian footprints are much rarer, similar to the record for fossil bone and teeth in the Kem Kem assemblage. The upper unit also preserves a variety of invertebrate traces including Conichnus (the resting trace of a sea-anemone), Scolicia (a gastropod trace), Beaconites (a probable annelid burrow), and subvertical burrows likely created by crabs for residence and detrital feeding on a tidal flat. The ichnofossil assemblage from the Upper Cretaceous Kem Kem beds contributes evidence for a transition from predominantly terrestrial to marine deposition. Body fossil and ichnofossil records together provide a detailed view of faunal diversity and local conditions within a fluvial and deltaic depositional setting on the northwestern coast of Africa toward the end of the Cretaceous. PMID:24603467

  7. Hadrosauroid Dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Buffetaut

    Full Text Available Fragmentary post-cranial remains (femora, tibia, vertebrae of ornithischian dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman are described and referred to hadrosauroids. The specimens come from the Al-Khod Conglomerate, of latest Campanian to Maastrichtian age, in the north-eastern part of the country. Although the fragmentary condition of the fossils precludes a precise identification, various characters, including the shape of the fourth trochanter of the femur and the morphology of its distal end, support an attribution to hadrosauroids. With the possible exception of a possible phalanx from Angola, this group of ornithopod dinosaurs, which apparently originated in Laurasia, was hitherto unreported from the Afro-Arabian plate. From a paleobiogeographical point of view, the presence of hadrosauroids in Oman in all likelihood is a result of trans-Tethys dispersal from Asia or Europe, probably by way of islands in the Tethys shown on all recent paleogeographical maps of that area. Whether hadrosauroids were widespread on the Afro-Arabian landmass in the latest Cretaceous, or where restricted to the « Oman island » shown on some paleogeographical maps, remains to be determined.

  8. The earliest evidence for a supraorbital salt gland in dinosaurs in new Early Cretaceous ornithurines. (United States)

    Wang, Xia; Huang, Jiandong; Hu, Yuanchao; Liu, Xiaoyu; Peteya, Jennifer; Clarke, Julia A


    Supraorbital fossae occur when salt glands are well developed, a condition most pronounced in marine and desert-dwelling taxa in which salt regulation is key. Here, we report the first specimens from lacustrine environments of the Jehol Biota that preserve a distinct fossa above the orbit, where the salt gland fossa is positioned in living birds. The Early Cretaceous ornithurine bird specimens reported here are about 40 million years older than previously reported Late Cretaceous marine birds and represent the earliest described occurrence of the fossa. We find no evidence of avian salt gland fossae in phylogenetically earlier stem birds or non-avialan dinosaurs, even in those argued to be predominantly marine or desert dwelling. The apparent absence of this feature in more basal dinosaurs may indicate that it is only after miniaturization close to the origin of flight that excretory mechanisms were favored over exclusively renal mechanisms of salt regulation resulting in an increase in gland size leaving a bony trace. The ecology of ornithurine birds is more diverse than in other stem birds and may have included seasonal shifts in foraging range, or, the environments of some of the Jehol lakes may have included more pronounced periods of high salinity.

  9. Isotopic evaluation of ocean circulation in the Late Cretaceous North American seaway (United States)

    Coulson, Alan B.; Kohn, Matthew J.; Barrick, Reese E.


    During the mid- and Late Cretaceous period, North America was split by the north-south oriented Western Interior Seaway. Its role in creating and maintaining Late Cretaceous global greenhouse conditions remains unclear. Different palaeoceanographic reconstructions portray diverse circulation patterns. The southward extent of relatively cool, low-salinity, low-δ18O surface waters critically distinguishes among these models, but past studies of invertebrates could not independently assess water temperature and isotopic compositions. Here we present oxygen isotopes in biophosphate from coeval marine turtle and fish fossils from western Kansas, representing the east central seaway, and from the Mississippi embayment, representing the marginal Tethys Ocean. Our analyses yield precise seawater isotopic values and geographic temperature differences during the main transition from the Coniacian to the early Campanian age (87-82 Myr), and indicate that the seaway oxygen isotope value and salinity were 2‰ and 3‰ lower, respectively, than in the marginal Tethys Ocean. We infer that the influence of northern freshwater probably reached as far south as Kansas. Our revised values imply relatively large temperature differences between the Mississippi embayment and central seaway, explain the documented regional latitudinal palaeobiogeographic zonation and support models with relatively little inflow of surface waters from the Tethys Ocean to the Western Interior Seaway.

  10. Cretaceous to present paleothermal gradients, central Negev, Israel: constraints from fission track dating

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kohn, B.P.; Feinstein, S.; Eyal, M.


    Apatite and zircon fission track ages (FTA), vitrinite reflectance (VR) data and burial history curves were integrated for reconstruction of Early Cretaceous to present maximum thermal gradients in four deep boreholes in the central Negev, Isreal. The most complete data set is available from the Ramon 1 borehole. Supplementary data were obtained from Hameishar 1, Makhtesh Qatan 2, and Kurnub 1 boreholes. Between ca. 122-90 Ma the constraints on thermal gradient obtained from apatite FTA overlap with those derived from zircon FT and VR data, restricting them to 0 C km -l . Apatite FTA between 90 and 80 Ma in Ramon 1 and Hameishar 1 suggest rapid cooling at the time recorded or earlier. Constraints on thermal gradient history derived from these ages are considerably strengthened over a short time span. From 80 Ma to the present, FTA data indicate that gradients had probably decayed to present-day regional levels (ca. 20 0 C km -1 ) by Early Tertiary time. Thermal constraints derived from apatite FTA and VR data in Makhtesh Qatan 2 and Kurnub 1 boreholes are consistent with those obtained post-56 Ma for Ramon 1. For pre-56 Ma, only VR data are available and these indicate considerably lower maximum gradients than those obtained for the same time period from Ramon 1. This dichotomy reflects different Early Cretaceous-Early Tertiary thermal regimes between the northern and southern parts of the study area. (author)

  11. The Lower Cretaceous Way Group of northern Chile: An alluvial fan-fan delta complex (United States)

    Flint, S.; Clemmey, H.; Turner, P.


    Alluvial fan sediments of the Lower Cretaceous Coloso Basin in northern Chile were deposited in a half-graben and derived from andesitic volcanics of a former island arc. Transport directions were towards the east, away from the present-day Peru-Chile trench. Grain flow, density modified grain flow and sheetflow processes were responsible for most of the sediment deposition with cohesive debris flows playing only a minor part. An early phase of conglomerate deposition (Coloso Formation) into a restricted basin records the transition from proximal fan facies with abundant grain flows and remobilized screes to mid-fan facies dominated by sheetflows. Stratiform copper mineralization near the top of the lower conglomerates is related to the unroofing of the Jurassic island arc. This mineralization comprises copper sulphide-cemented sands and gravels and formed by the reaction of mineralized detritus with diagenetic and hydrothermal solutions. A later phase of deposition (Lombriz Formation) includes sandstones, siltstones and conglomerates with a source area different from the Coloso Formation. This change in source may be related to strike-slip tectonics as the basin extended. The Lombriz conglomerates pass distally (eastwards) into red sandstones and purple siltstones with thin limestones deposited under marine conditions. This sequence is interpreted as a major fan delta complex. It passes conformably into marine carbonates of the Tableado Formation signifying the complete drowning of the basin in lower Cretaceous times.

  12. Uranium distribution and sandstone depositional environments: oligocene and upper Cretaceous sediments, Cheyenne basin, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nibbelink, K.A.; Ethridge, F.G.


    Wyoming-type roll-front uranium deposits occur in the Upper Cretaceous Laramie and Fox Hills sandstones in the Cheyenne basin of northeastern Colorado. The location, geometry, and trend of specific depositional environments of the Oligocene White River and the Upper Cretaceous Laramie and Fox Hills formations are important factors that control the distribution of uranium in these sandstones. The Fox Hills Sandstone consists of up to 450 ft (140 m) of nearshore marine wave-dominated delta and barrier island-tidal channel sandstones which overlie offshore deposits of the Pierre Shale and which are overlain by delta-plain and fluvial deposits of the Laramie Formation. Uranium, which probably originated from volcanic ash in the White River Formation, was transported by groundwater through the fluvial-channel deposits of the White River into the sandstones of the Laramie and Fox Hills formations where it was precipitated. Two favorable depositional settings for uranium mineralization in the Fox Hills Sandstone are: (1) the landward side of barrier-island deposits where barrier sandstones thin and interfinger with back-barrier organic mudstones, and (2) the intersection of barrier-island and tidal channel sandstones. In both settings, sandstones were probably reduced during early burial by diagenesis of contained and adjacent organic matter. The change in permeability trends between the depositional strike-oriented barrier sandstones and the dip-oriented tidal-channel sandstones provided sites for dispersed groundwater flow and, as demonstrated in similar settings in other depositional systems, sites for uranium mineralization

  13. Geochemistry and environmental isotope of groundwater from the upper Cretaceous aquifer of Orontes basin (Syria)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Charideh, A.


    Chemical and environmental isotopes have been used for studying the Upper Cretaceous aquifer systems in the Middle Orontes basin. The results indicate that the salinity of groundwater (0.2 to 2 g/l) reveals the dissolution of evaporate rocks is the main factor of high salinity especially in the Homes depression. The degree of salinity and its spaces distribution are basically related to the pattern of groundwater movement in the Upper cretaceous aquifer. The stable isotopes composition of groundwater in the Homes depression are more depleted by -2.5% and -17.0% for δ 18 O and δ 2 H respectively, than the groundwater from Hama elevation, suggested different origin and recharge time between this two groundwater groups. Estimates of their mean subsurface residence times have been constrained on the basis of 14 C D IC. The corrected ages of groundwater are recent and less to 10 thousand years in Hama uplift. However, the corrected age of groundwater in the Homs depression range between 10 to 25 thousand years indicate late Pleistocene recharge period. (author)

  14. Specialized proteinine rove beetles shed light on insect-fungal associations in the Cretaceous. (United States)

    Cai, Chenyang; Newton, Alfred F; Thayer, Margaret K; Leschen, Richard A B; Huang, Diying


    Insects and fungi have a long history of association in shared habitats. Fungus-feeding, or mycophagy, is remarkably widespread in beetles (Coleoptera) and appears to be a primitive feeding habit that preceded feeding on plant tissues. Numerous Mesozoic beetles belonging to extant fungus-associated families are known, but direct fossil evidence elucidating mycophagy in insects has remained elusive. Here, we report a remarkable genus and species, Vetuproteinus cretaceus gen. et sp. nov., belonging to a new tribe (Vetuproteinini trib. nov.) of the extant rove beetle subfamily Proteininae (Staphylinidae) in Mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber. The mouthparts of this beetle have a markedly enlarged protruding galea bearing an apparent spore brush, a specialized structure we infer was used to scrape spores off surfaces and direct them into the mouth, as in multiple modern spore-feeding beetles. Considering the long evolutionary history of Fungi, the Mid-Cretaceous beetles likely fed on ancient Basidiomycota and/or Ascomycota fungi or spore-producing organisms such as slime moulds (Myxomycetes). The discovery of the first Mesozoic proteinine illustrates the antiquity of the subfamily, and suggests that ancestral Proteininae were already diverse and widespread in Pangaea before the supercontinent broke up. © 2016 The Author(s).

  15. The bivalve Anopaea (Inoceramidae) from the Upper Jurassic-lowermost Cretaceous of Mexico (United States)

    Zell, Patrick; Crame, J. Alistair; Stinnesbeck, Wolfgang; Beckmann, Seija


    In Mexico, the Upper Jurassic to lowermost Cretaceous La Casita and coeval La Caja and La Pimienta formations are well-known for their abundant and well-preserved marine vertebrates and invertebrates. The latter include conspicuous inoceramid bivalves of the genus Anopaea not formally described previously from Mexico. Anopaea bassei (Lecolle de Cantú, 1967), Anopaea cf. stoliczkai (Holdhaus, 1913), Anopaea cf. callistoensis Crame and Kelly, 1995 and Anopaea sp. are rare constituents in distinctive Tithonian-lower Berriasian levels of the La Caja Formation and one Tithonian horizon of the La Pimienta Formation. Anopaea bassei was previously documented from the Tithonian of central Mexico and Cuba, while most other members of Anopaea described here are only known from southern high latitudes. The Mexican assemblage also includes taxa which closely resemble Anopaea stoliczkai from the Tithonian of India, Indonesia and the Antarctic Peninsula, and Anopaea callistoensis from the late Tithonian to ?early Berriasian of the Antarctic Peninsula. Our new data expand the palaeogeographical distribution of the high latitude Anopaea to the Gulf of Mexico region and substantiate faunal exchange, in the Late Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous, between Mexico and the Antarctic Realm.

  16. Dinosaur footprint assemblage from the Lower Cretaceous Khok Kruat Formation, Khorat Group, northeastern Thailand

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    Shohei Kozu


    Full Text Available The Khok Kruat Formation is the upper part of the Khorat Group, which consists of upper Lower Cretaceous non-marine sedimentary rocks in northeastern Thailand. Many dinosaur footprints have been known from the upper Lower Cretaceous (Aptian–Albian Khok Kruat Formation at the Huai Dam Chum (Tha Uthen site, northeastern Thailand. Approximately 600 tracks occur in thin mudstone layer of the northern part of the outcrop at the Huai Dam Chum track site. Two types of footprints, small-sized theropod and crocodylomorph are imprinted with mud cracks and ripple marks on the thin mud layer. Most of footprints are referred to cf. Asianopodus, and are imprinted by small-sized theropoda, probably ornithomimosauria. Theropod tracks are mainly separated into two groups, Group A and Group B. From ichnological viewpoints, the small-sized theropod track assemblage indicates the herd behaviour and its idiosyncratic group composition. In particular, the histogram of size-frequency measurements of Group A shows the anomalous bimodal distribution. We consider that there are two hypotheses; the first one is due to the male-female difference, and the second is a result of the different growing stage.

  17. EVOLUTION. A four-legged snake from the Early Cretaceous of Gondwana. (United States)

    Martill, David M; Tischlinger, Helmut; Longrich, Nicholas R


    Snakes are a remarkably diverse and successful group today, but their evolutionary origins are obscure. The discovery of snakes with two legs has shed light on the transition from lizards to snakes, but no snake has been described with four limbs, and the ecology of early snakes is poorly known. We describe a four-limbed snake from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian) Crato Formation of Brazil. The snake has a serpentiform body plan with an elongate trunk, short tail, and large ventral scales suggesting characteristic serpentine locomotion, yet retains small prehensile limbs. Skull and body proportions as well as reduced neural spines indicate fossorial adaptation, suggesting that snakes evolved from burrowing rather than marine ancestors. Hooked teeth, an intramandibular joint, a flexible spine capable of constricting prey, and the presence of vertebrate remains in the guts indicate that this species preyed on vertebrates and that snakes made the transition to carnivory early in their history. The structure of the limbs suggests that they were adapted for grasping, either to seize prey or as claspers during mating. Together with a diverse fauna of basal snakes from the Cretaceous of South America, Africa, and India, this snake suggests that crown Serpentes originated in Gondwana. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  18. A large Cretaceous theropod from Patagonia, Argentina, and the evolution of carcharodontosaurids (United States)

    Novas, Fernando E.; Valais, Silvina; Vickers-Rich, Pat; Rich, Tom


    The Cretaceous Carcharodontosauridae is the latest clade of carnosaurs, including the largest predatory dinosaurs yet recorded. Albeit spectacular for their size, the skeletal anatomy of these theropods remains poorly-known, and their diversity was until recently restricted to two Cenomanian species: the highly derived Giganotosaurus carolinii, from southern South America, and the incompletely known Carcharodontosaurus saharicus, from northern Africa. Here we describe an older and basal member of the group, Tyrannotitan chubutensis gen. et sp. nov., from Aptian strata of Patagonia, Argentina. The new taxon gives new insights into the systematics and evolution of carcharodontosaurids and offers a better understanding of the evolution of Southern theropod faunas. We suggest that carcharodontosaurids radiated in Gondwana sharing with spinosaurids the role of top-predators until their extinction in Cenomanian Turonian times. During this interval, the diplodocoid sauropods and giant titanosaurians went extinct (probably as part of a global-scale crisis), and the smaller abelisaurid theropods took dominance, reigning until the end of the Cretaceous. Electronic Supplementary Material is available.

  19. Mineralogical characteristics of Cretaceous-Tertiary kaolins of the Douala Sub-Basin, Cameroon (United States)

    Bukalo, Nenita N.; Ekosse, Georges-Ivo E.; Odiyo, John O.; Ogola, Jason S.


    As a step in evaluating the quality of Cretaceous-Tertiary kaolins of the Douala Sub-Basin, their mineralogical characteristics were determined. The X-ray diffractometry technique was used to identify and quantify the mineral phases present in bulk and smectite > illite, with mean values of 33.01 > 11.20 > 4.41 wt %; and 72.23 > 10.69 > 4.69 wt %, in bulk and <2 μm fractions, respectively. The kaolins, micromorphologically, consisted of pseudo-hexagonal and thin platy particles; swirl-textured particles; and books or stacks of kaolinite particles. Three main reactions occurred during heating of the kaolins: a low temperature endothermic reaction, observed between 48 and 109 °C; a second low temperature peak, observed between 223 and 285 °C; and a third endothermic peak was found between 469 and 531 °C. In addition, an exothermic reaction also occurred between 943 and 988 °C in some of the samples. The absence of primary minerals such as feldspars and micas in most of these kaolins is an indication of intensive weathering, probably due to the humid tropical climate of the region. The different morphologies suggested that these kaolins might have been transported. Therefore, a humid tropical climate was responsible for the formation of Cretaceous-Tertiary kaolins of the Douala Sub-Basin through intense weathering of surrounding volcanic and metamorphic rocks.

  20. El Niño-Southern oscillation variability from the late cretaceous marca shale of California (United States)

    Davies, Andrew; Kemp, Alan E.S.; Weedon, Graham P.; Barron, John A.


    Changes in the possible behavior of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) with global warming have provoked interest in records of ENSO from past “greenhouse” climate states. The latest Cretaceous laminated Marca Shale of California permits a seasonal-scale reconstruction of water column flux events and hence interannual paleoclimate variability. The annual flux cycle resembles that of the modern Gulf of California with diatoms characteristic of spring upwelling blooms followed by silt and clay, and is consistent with the existence of a paleo–North American Monsoon that brought input of terrigenous sediment during summer storms and precipitation runoff. Variation is also indicated in the extent of water column oxygenation by differences in lamina preservation. Time series analysis of interannual variability in terrigenous sediment and diatom flux and in the degree of bioturbation indicates strong periodicities in the quasi-biennial (2.1–2.8 yr) and low-frequency (4.1–6.3 yr) bands both characteristic of ENSO forcing, as well as decadal frequencies. This evidence for robust Late Cretaceous ENSO variability does not support the theory of a “permanent El Niño,” in the sense of a continual El Niño–like state, in periods of warmer climate.

  1. Eocene and not Cretaceous origin of spider wasps: Fossil evidence from amber

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    Juanita Rodriguez


    Full Text Available Spider wasps had long been proposed to originate in the mid-Cretaceous based on the Burmese amber fossil Bryopompilus interfector Engel and Grimaldi, 2006. We performed a morphological examination of this fossil and determined it does not belong to Pompilidae or any other described hymenopteran family. Instead, we place it in the new family Bryopompilidae. The oldest verifiable member of the Pompilidae is from Baltic amber, which suggests the family probably originated in the Eocene, not in the mid-Cretaceous as previously proposed. The origin of spider wasps appears to be correlated with an increase in spider familial diversity in the Cenozoic. We also we add two genera to the extinct pompilid fauna: Tainopompilus gen. nov., and Paleogenia gen. nov., and describe three new species of fossil spider wasps: Anoplius planeta sp. nov., from Dominican amber (Burdigalian to Langhian; Paleogenia wahisi sp. nov., from Baltic amber (Lutetian to Priabonian; and Tainopompilus argentum sp. nov, from Dominican amber (Chattian to Langhian.

  2. Diversification of Rosaceae since the Late Cretaceous based on plastid phylogenomics. (United States)

    Zhang, Shu-Dong; Jin, Jian-Jun; Chen, Si-Yun; Chase, Mark W; Soltis, Douglas E; Li, Hong-Tao; Yang, Jun-Bo; Li, De-Zhu; Yi, Ting-Shuang


    Phylogenetic relationships in Rosaceae have long been problematic because of frequent hybridisation, apomixis and presumed rapid radiation, and their historical diversification has not been clarified. With 87 genera representing all subfamilies and tribes of Rosaceae and six of the other eight families of Rosales (outgroups), we analysed 130 newly sequenced plastomes together with 12 from GenBank in an attempt to reconstruct deep relationships and reveal temporal diversification of this family. Our results highlight the importance of improving sequence alignment and the use of appropriate substitution models in plastid phylogenomics. Three subfamilies and 16 tribes (as previously delimited) were strongly supported as monophyletic, and their relationships were fully resolved and strongly supported at most nodes. Rosaceae were estimated to have originated during the Late Cretaceous with evidence for rapid diversification events during several geological periods. The major lineages rapidly diversified in warm and wet habits during the Late Cretaceous, and the rapid diversification of genera from the early Oligocene onwards occurred in colder and drier environments. Plastid phylogenomics offers new and important insights into deep phylogenetic relationships and the diversification history of Rosaceae. The robust phylogenetic backbone and time estimates we provide establish a framework for future comparative studies on rosaceous evolution. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  3. Carbon isotope geochemistry of the Cretaceous-Tertiary section of the Wasserfallgraben, Lattengebirge, southeast Germany

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arneth, J.D.; Matzigkeit, U.; Boos, A.


    Carbonates and organic matter in sediments of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (C/T) section of the Wasserfallgraben, Lattengebirge (Bavaria) have been investigated. All parameters - the carbonate content (Csub(carb)), its isotopic composition (delta 13 Csub(carb),delta 18 Osub(carb)) as well as the organic carbon content (Csub(org)), its isotopic composition (delta 13 Csub(org)) and the H/C ratio of the sedimentary organic matter - display systematic variations across the C/T boundary which cannot be attributed to a single cause. The boundary zone as a whole is tectonically disturbed and shows significant features of detrital contaminations. Unidirectional shift in delta 13 Csub(carb) and delta 13 Csub(org) are observed when directly comparing Maastrichtian (latest Cretaceous) and Danian (earliest Tertiary) sediments. These synchronous isotope displacements towards more negative readings are interpreted to reflect the reduced photosynthetic activity as consequence of the mass extinction at the C/T boundary. The results may have some bearings on other C/T profiles investigated where measurements on the reduced carbon species are still lacking. (orig.)

  4. Early and late cretaceous magmatism from Sao Sebastiao island (SE-Brazil): geochemistry and petrology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bellieni, G.; Cavazzini, G.; Montes-Lauar, C.R.; Melfi, A.J.; Pacca, I.G.; De Min, A.; Piccirillo, E.M.


    The Sao Sebastiao island (236 km 2 ), located along the coast of the Sao Paulo State (Southern Brazil), is characterized by precambrian granitic affected by the Brasiliano tectonic-metamorphic cycle. This crystalline basement is intruded by Early Cretaceous (EC) sub alkaline basic and acid dykes, as well as by Late Cretaceous (LC) alkaline stocks (syenites) and dykes (basanite to phonolite). Geochemical, Sr-isotopic and mineral chemistry data point out that: EC-dykes reveal a basic-acid bimodal character, similar to that of the 'coeval' Parana basin flood volcanics; the acid dykes correspond, in composition, to the acid volcanics of the northern Parana basin: the EC-dykes can represent the eastern extension of the inland Santos-Rio de Janeiro dyke swarm, and LC alkaline stocks and dykes constitute distinct groups, characterized by different Sr-isotope initial ratios (syenites: av. 0.7052 and basanites + tephrites = av. 0.7045), which indicate that they are related to different time-integrated mantle source materials. (author)

  5. Oxygen isotopes from biogenic apatites suggest widespread endothermy in Cretaceous dinosaurs (United States)

    Amiot, Romain; Lécuyer, Christophe; Buffetaut, Eric; Escarguel, Gilles; Fluteau, Frédéric; Martineau, François


    The much debated question of dinosaur thermophysiology has not yet been conclusively solved despite numerous attempts. We used the temperature-dependent oxygen isotope fractionation between vertebrate body water (δ 18O body water) and phosphatic tissues (δ 18O p) to compare the thermophysiology of dinosaurs with that of non-dinosaurian ectothermic reptiles. Present-day δ 18O p values of vertebrate apatites show that ectotherms have higher δ 18O p values than endotherms at high latitudes due to their lower body temperature, and conversely lower δ 18O p values than endotherms at low latitudes. Using a data set of 80 new and 49 published δ 18O p values, we observed similar and systematic differences in δ 18O p values (Δ 18O) between four groups of Cretaceous dinosaurs (theropods, sauropods, ornithopods and ceratopsians) and associated fresh water crocodiles and turtles. Expressed in terms of body temperatures ( Tb), these Δ 18O values indicate that dinosaurs maintained rather constant Tb in the range of endotherms whatever ambient temperatures were. This implies that high metabolic rates were widespread among Cretaceous dinosaurs belonging to widely different taxonomic groups and suggest that endothermy may be a synapomorphy of dinosaurs, or may have been acquired convergently in the studied taxa.

  6. Ecological impact of the end-Cretaceous extinction on lamniform sharks.

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    Rachel A Belben

    Full Text Available Lamniform sharks are apex marine predators undergoing dramatic local and regional decline worldwide, with consequences for marine ecosystems that are difficult to predict. Through their long history, lamniform sharks have faced widespread extinction, and understanding those 'natural experiments' may help constrain predictions, placing the current crisis in evolutionary context. Here we show, using novel morphometric analyses of fossil shark teeth, that the end-Cretaceous extinction of many sharks had major ecological consequences. Post-extinction ecosystems supported lower diversity and disparity of lamniforms, and were dominated by significantly smaller sharks with slimmer, smoother and less robust teeth. Tooth shape is intimately associated with ecology, feeding and prey type, and by integrating data from extant sharks we show that latest Cretaceous sharks occupied similar niches to modern lamniforms, implying similar ecosystem structure and function. By comparison, species in the depauperate post-extinction community occupied niches most similar to those of juvenile sand tigers (Carcharias taurus. Our data show that quantitative tooth morphometrics can distinguish lamniform sharks due to dietary differences, providing critical insights into ecological consequences of past extinction episodes.

  7. A Thermal Maturity Analysis of the Effective Cretaceous Petroleum System in the Southern Persian Gulf Basin

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    Majid Alipour


    Full Text Available Commercial hydrocarbon discoveries in the Cretaceous of the southern Persian Gulf basin provide direct evidence that there is an effective petroleum system associated with the Cretaceous series. The revised models of thermal maturity in this region are needed to investigate lateral and stratigraphic variations of thermal maturity, which have not so far been addressed in detail for this part of the Persian Gulf. Such thermal maturity models are required to delineate the existing play assessment risks and to predict properties in more deeply buried undrilled sections. This study uses two dimensional basin modeling techniques to reconstruct maturity evolution of the Cenomanian Middle Sarvak source rock, presumably the most likely source for these hydrocarbons. The results indicate that an estimated 900 meter difference in the depth of burial between the southeastern high and the adjacent trough tends to be translated into noticeable variations at both temperature (135 °C versus 162 °C and vitrinite reflectance (0.91% versus 1.35%. Since the organic matter in the mentioned source rock is of reactive type II, these could cause a shift of about 18 million years in the onset of hydrocarbon generation over respective areas.

  8. A new pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea: Azhdarchidae from the Upper Cretaceous of Morocco.

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    Nizar Ibrahim

    Full Text Available The Kem Kem beds in South Eastern Morocco contain a rich early Upper (or possibly late Lower Cretaceous vertebrate assemblage. Fragmentary remains, predominantly teeth and jaw tips, represent several kinds of pterosaur although only one species, the ornithocheirid Coloborhynchus moroccensis, has been named. Here, we describe a new azhdarchid pterosaur, Alanqa saharica nov. gen. nov. sp., based on an almost complete well preserved mandibular symphysis from Aferdou N'Chaft. We assign additional fragmentary jaw remains, some of which have been tentatively identified as azhdarchid and pteranodontid, to this new taxon which is distinguished from other azhdarchids by a remarkably straight, elongate, lance-shaped mandibular symphysis that bears a pronounced dorsal eminence near the posterior end of its dorsal (occlusal surface. Most remains, including the holotype, represent individuals of approximately three to four meters in wingspan, but a fragment of a large cervical vertebra, that probably also belongs to A. saharica, suggests that wingspans of six meters were achieved in this species. The Kem Kem beds have yielded the most diverse pterosaur assemblage yet reported from Africa and provide the first clear evidence for the presence of azhdarchids in Gondwana at the start of the Late Cretaceous. This, the relatively large size achieved by Alanqa, and the additional evidence of variable jaw morphology in azhdarchids provided by this taxon, indicates a longer and more complex history for this clade than previously suspected.

  9. Ecomorphological selectivity among marine teleost fishes during the end-Cretaceous extinction. (United States)

    Friedman, Matt


    Despite the attention focused on mass extinction events in the fossil record, patterns of extinction in the dominant group of marine vertebrates-fishes-remain largely unexplored. Here, I demonstrate ecomorphological selectivity among marine teleost fishes during the end-Cretaceous extinction, based on a genus-level dataset that accounts for lineages predicted on the basis of phylogeny but not yet sampled in the fossil record. Two ecologically relevant anatomical features are considered: body size and jaw-closing lever ratio. Extinction intensity is higher for taxa with large body sizes and jaws consistent with speed (rather than force) transmission; resampling tests indicate that victims represent a nonrandom subset of taxa present in the final stage of the Cretaceous. Logistic regressions of the raw data reveal that this nonrandom distribution stems primarily from the larger body sizes of victims relative to survivors. Jaw mechanics are also a significant factor for most dataset partitions but are always less important than body size. When data are corrected for phylogenetic nonindependence, jaw mechanics show a significant correlation with extinction risk, but body size does not. Many modern large-bodied, predatory taxa currently suffering from overexploitation, such billfishes and tunas, first occur in the Paleocene, when they appear to have filled the functional space vacated by some extinction victims.

  10. A gravid lizard from the Cretaceous of China and the early history of squamate viviparity (United States)

    Wang, Yuan; Evans, Susan E.


    Although viviparity is most often associated with mammals, roughly one fifth of extant squamate reptiles give birth to live young. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the trait evolved more than 100 times within Squamata, a frequency greater than that of all other vertebrate clades combined. However, there is debate as to the antiquity of the trait and, until now, the only direct fossil evidence of squamate viviparity was in Late Cretaceous mosasauroids, specialised marine lizards without modern equivalents. Here, we document viviparity in a specimen of a more generalised lizard, Yabeinosaurus, from the Early Cretaceous of China. The gravid female contains more than 15 young at a level of skeletal development corresponding to that of late embryos of living viviparous lizards. This specimen documents the first occurrence of viviparity in a fossil reptile that was largely terrestrial in life, and extends the temporal distribution of the trait in squamates by at least 30 Ma. As Yabeinosaurus occupies a relatively basal position within crown-group squamates, it suggests that the anatomical and physiological preconditions for viviparity arose early within Squamata.

  11. Molecular evidence of keratin and melanosomes in feathers of the Early Cretaceous bird Eoconfuciusornis. (United States)

    Pan, Yanhong; Zheng, Wenxia; Moyer, Alison E; O'Connor, Jingmai K; Wang, Min; Zheng, Xiaoting; Wang, Xiaoli; Schroeter, Elena R; Zhou, Zhonghe; Schweitzer, Mary H


    Microbodies associated with feathers of both nonavian dinosaurs and early birds were first identified as bacteria but have been reinterpreted as melanosomes. Whereas melanosomes in modern feathers are always surrounded by and embedded in keratin, melanosomes embedded in keratin in fossils has not been demonstrated. Here we provide multiple independent molecular analyses of both microbodies and the associated matrix recovered from feathers of a new specimen of the basal bird Eoconfuciusornis from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China. Our work represents the oldest ultrastructural and immunological recognition of avian beta-keratin from an Early Cretaceous (∼130-Ma) bird. We apply immunogold to identify protein epitopes at high resolution, by localizing antibody-antigen complexes to specific fossil ultrastructures. Retention of original keratinous proteins in the matrix surrounding electron-opaque microbodies supports their assignment as melanosomes and adds to the criteria employable to distinguish melanosomes from microbial bodies. Our work sheds new light on molecular preservation within normally labile tissues preserved in fossils.

  12. Hadrosauroid Dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman. (United States)

    Buffetaut, Eric; Hartman, Axel-Frans; Al-Kindi, Mohammed; Schulp, Anne S


    Fragmentary post-cranial remains (femora, tibia, vertebrae) of ornithischian dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman are described and referred to hadrosauroids. The specimens come from the Al-Khod Conglomerate, of latest Campanian to Maastrichtian age, in the north-eastern part of the country. Although the fragmentary condition of the fossils precludes a precise identification, various characters, including the shape of the fourth trochanter of the femur and the morphology of its distal end, support an attribution to hadrosauroids. With the possible exception of a possible phalanx from Angola, this group of ornithopod dinosaurs, which apparently originated in Laurasia, was hitherto unreported from the Afro-Arabian plate. From a paleobiogeographical point of view, the presence of hadrosauroids in Oman in all likelihood is a result of trans-Tethys dispersal from Asia or Europe, probably by way of islands in the Tethys shown on all recent paleogeographical maps of that area. Whether hadrosauroids were widespread on the Afro-Arabian landmass in the latest Cretaceous, or where restricted to the « Oman island » shown on some paleogeographical maps, remains to be determined.

  13. A Late Cretaceous Piper (Piperaceae) from Colombia and diversification patterns for the genus. (United States)

    Martínez, Camila; Carvalho, Mónica R; Madriñán, Santiago; Jaramillo, Carlos A


    Documented fossil floras in the neotropics are sparse, yet their records provide evidence on the spatial and temporal occurrence of taxa, allowing for testing of biogeographical and diversification scenarios on individual lineages. A new fossil Piper from the Late Cretaceous of Colombia is described here, and its importance for assessing diversification patterns in the genus is addressed. Leaf architecture of 32 fossil leaf compressions from the Guaduas Formation was compared with that of 294 extant angiosperm species. The phylogenetic position of the fossil named Piper margaritae sp. nov. was established based on leaf traits and a molecular scaffold of Piper. The age of the fossil was independently used as a calibration point for divergence time estimations. Natural affinities of P. margaritae to the Schilleria clade of Piper indicate that the genus occurred in tropical America by the Late Cretaceous. Estimates of age divergence and lineage accumulation reveal that most of the extant diversity of the genus accrued during the last ∼30 Myr. The recent radiation of Piper is coeval with both the Andean uplift and the emergence of Central America, which have been proposed as important drivers of diversity. This pattern could exemplify a recurrent theme among many neotropical plant lineages. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  14. Paleomagnetism of Cretaceous limestones from western Tarim basin suggests negligible latitudinal offset yet significant clockwise rotation (United States)

    Tan, X.; Gilder, S.; Chen, Y.; Cogné, J. P.; Courtillot, V. E.; Cai, J.


    Large northward translation of central Asian crustal blocks has been reported from paleomagnetism of Cretaceous and Tertiary terrestrial sediments. This motion was initially taken as evidence of deformation occurred in the Asian interior as a result of indentation of the Indian Plate. However, because the amount of motion is far greater than geological observations, accuracy of the paleomagnetic record has become a controversial issue. To solve the problem, it has been shown that the latitudinal offset can be entirely attributed to inclination shallowing during deposition and compaction processes (Tan et al., 2003; Tauxe and Kent, 2004). On the other hand, coeval volcanic rocks from central Asia did record steeper paleomagnetic inclinations than terrestrial rocks (Gilder et al., 2003). To extend the effort of solving the controversy, we report paleomagnetic results of Cretaceous limestones from western Tarim basin. Our results show that the majority of our collections have been overprinted. Fortunately, a special type of limestones preserved stable characteristic remanence. Fold tests suggest a primary origin of the magnetization. Comparison of the paleomagnetic direction with the coeval expected direction from reference poles indicates a negligible amount of northward movement consistent with previous result of inclination correction based on magnetic fabrics, and a pattern of clockwise rotation symmetric with the style observed in the western flank of the Pamir ranges. Rock magnetic data will also be presented to support the accurate paleomagnetic record.

  15. Severity of ocean acidification following the end-Cretaceous asteroid impact. (United States)

    Tyrrell, Toby; Merico, Agostino; Armstrong McKay, David Ian


    Most paleo-episodes of ocean acidification (OA) were either too slow or too small to be instructive in predicting near-future impacts. The end-Cretaceous event (66 Mya) is intriguing in this regard, both because of its rapid onset and also because many pelagic calcifying species (including 100% of ammonites and more than 90% of calcareous nannoplankton and foraminifera) went extinct at this time. Here we evaluate whether extinction-level OA could feasibly have been produced by the asteroid impact. Carbon cycle box models were used to estimate OA consequences of (i) vaporization of up to 60 × 10(15) mol of sulfur from gypsum rocks at the point of impact; (ii) generation of up to 5 × 10(15) mol of NOx by the impact pressure wave and other sources; (iii) release of up to 6,500 Pg C as CO2 from vaporization of carbonate rocks, wildfires, and soil carbon decay; and (iv) ocean overturn bringing high-CO2 water to the surface. We find that the acidification produced by most processes is too weak to explain calcifier extinctions. Sulfuric acid additions could have made the surface ocean extremely undersaturated (Ωcalcite ocean very rapidly (over a few days) and if the quantity added was at the top end of literature estimates. We therefore conclude that severe ocean acidification might have been, but most likely was not, responsible for the great extinctions of planktonic calcifiers and ammonites at the end of the Cretaceous.

  16. Diversification of the Genus Anopheles and a Neotropical Clade from the Late Cretaceous.

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    Lucas A Freitas

    Full Text Available The Anopheles genus is a member of the Culicidae family and consists of approximately 460 recognized species. The genus is composed of 7 subgenera with diverse geographical distributions. Despite its huge medical importance, a consensus has not been reached on the phylogenetic relationships among Anopheles subgenera. We assembled a comprehensive dataset comprising the COI, COII and 5.8S rRNA genes and used maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference to estimate the phylogeny and divergence times of six out of the seven Anopheles subgenera. Our analysis reveals a monophyletic group composed of the three exclusively Neotropical subgenera, Stethomyia, Kerteszia and Nyssorhynchus, which began to diversify in the Late Cretaceous, at approximately 90 Ma. The inferred age of the last common ancestor of the Anopheles genus was ca. 110 Ma. The monophyly of all Anopheles subgenera was supported, although we failed to recover a significant level of statistical support for the monophyly of the Anopheles genus. The ages of the last common ancestors of the Neotropical clade and the Anopheles and Cellia subgenera were inferred to be at the Late Cretaceous (ca. 90 Ma. Our analysis failed to statistically support the monophyly of the Anopheles genus because of an unresolved polytomy between Bironella and A. squamifemur.

  17. Discovery of fossil lamprey larva from the Lower Cretaceous reveals its three-phased life cycle. (United States)

    Chang, Mee-mann; Wu, Feixiang; Miao, Desui; Zhang, Jiangyong


    Lampreys are one of the two surviving jawless vertebrate groups and one of a few vertebrate groups with the best exemplified metamorphosis during their life cycle, which consists of a long-lasting larval stage, a peculiar metamorphosis, and a relatively short adulthood with a markedly different anatomy. Although the fossil records have revealed that many general features of extant lamprey adults were already formed by the Late Devonian (ca. 360 Ma), little is known about the life cycle of the fossil lampreys because of the lack of fossilized lamprey larvae or transformers. Here we report the first to our knowledge discovery of exceptionally preserved premetamorphic and metamorphosing larvae of the fossil lamprey Mesomyzon mengae from the Lower Cretaceous of Inner Mongolia, China. These fossil ammocoetes look surprisingly modern in having an eel-like body with tiny eyes, oral hood and lower lip, anteriorly positioned branchial region, and a continuous dorsal skin fin fold and in sharing a similar feeding habit, as judged from the detritus left in the gut. In contrast, the larger metamorphosing individuals have slightly enlarged eyes relative to large otic capsules, thickened oral hood or pointed snout, and discernable radials but still anteriorly extended branchial area and lack a suctorial oral disk, which characterize the early stages of the metamorphosis of extant lampreys. Our discovery not only documents the larval conditions of fossil lampreys but also indicates the three-phased life cycle in lampreys emerged essentially in their present mode no later than the Early Cretaceous.

  18. Cretaceous alkaline volcanism in south Marzanabad, northern central Alborz, Iran: Geochemistry and petrogenesis

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    Roghieh Doroozi


    Full Text Available The alkali-basalt and basaltic trachy-andesites volcanic rocks of south Marzanabad were erupted during Cretaceous in central Alborz, which is regarded as the northern part of the Alpine-Himalayan orogenic belt. Based on petrography and geochemistry, en route fractional crystallization of ascending magma was an important process in the evolution of the volcanic rocks. Geochemical characteristics imply that the south Marzanabad alkaline basaltic magma was originated from the asthenospheric mantle source, whereas the high ratios of (La/YbN and (Dy/YbN are related to the low degree of partial melting from the garnet bearing mantle source. Enrichment pattern of Nb and depletion of Rb, K and Y, are similar to the OIB pattern and intraplate alkaline magmatic rocks. The K/Nb and Zr/Nb ratios of volcanic rocks range from 62 to 588 and from 4.27 to 9 respectively, that are some higher in more evolved samples which may reflect minor crustal contamination. The isotopic ratios of Sr and Nd respectively vary from 0.70370 to 0.704387 and from 0.51266 to 0.51281 that suggest the depleted mantle as a magma source. The development of south Marzanabad volcanic rocks could be related to the presence of extensional phase, upwelling and decompressional melting of asthenospheric mantle in the rift basin which made the alkaline magmatism in Cretaceous, in northern central Alborz of Iran.

  19. Ecological impact of the end-Cretaceous extinction on lamniform sharks. (United States)

    Belben, Rachel A; Underwood, Charlie J; Johanson, Zerina; Twitchett, Richard J


    Lamniform sharks are apex marine predators undergoing dramatic local and regional decline worldwide, with consequences for marine ecosystems that are difficult to predict. Through their long history, lamniform sharks have faced widespread extinction, and understanding those 'natural experiments' may help constrain predictions, placing the current crisis in evolutionary context. Here we show, using novel morphometric analyses of fossil shark teeth, that the end-Cretaceous extinction of many sharks had major ecological consequences. Post-extinction ecosystems supported lower diversity and disparity of lamniforms, and were dominated by significantly smaller sharks with slimmer, smoother and less robust teeth. Tooth shape is intimately associated with ecology, feeding and prey type, and by integrating data from extant sharks we show that latest Cretaceous sharks occupied similar niches to modern lamniforms, implying similar ecosystem structure and function. By comparison, species in the depauperate post-extinction community occupied niches most similar to those of juvenile sand tigers (Carcharias taurus). Our data show that quantitative tooth morphometrics can distinguish lamniform sharks due to dietary differences, providing critical insights into ecological consequences of past extinction episodes.

  20. Modern mammal origins: evolutionary grades in the Early Cretaceous of North America. (United States)

    Jacobs, L L; Winkler, D A; Murry, P A


    Major groups of modern mammals have their origins in the Mesozoic Era, yet the mammalian fossil record is generally poor for that time interval. Fundamental morphological changes that led to modern mammals are often represented by small samples of isolated teeth. Fortunately, functional wear facets on teeth allow prediction of the morphology of occluding teeth that may be unrepresented by fossils. A major step in mammalian evolution occurred in the Early Cretaceous with the evolution of tribosphenic molars, which characterize marsupials and placentals, the two most abundant and diverse extant groups of mammals. A tooth from the Early Cretaceous (110 million years before present) of Texas tests previous predictions (based on lower molars) of the morphology of upper molars in early tribosphenic dentitions. The lingual cusp (protocone) is primitively without shear facets, as expected, but the cheek side of the tooth is derived (advanced) in having distinctive cusps along the margin. The tooth, although distressingly inadequate to define many features of the organism, demonstrates unexpected morphological diversity at a strategic stage of mammalian evolution and falsifies previous claims of the earliest occurrence of true marsupials.

  1. The first freshwater mosasauroid (Upper Cretaceous, Hungary and a new clade of basal mosasauroids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    László Makádi

    Full Text Available Mosasauroids are conventionally conceived of as gigantic, obligatorily aquatic marine lizards (1000s of specimens from marine deposited rocks with a cosmopolitan distribution in the Late Cretaceous (90-65 million years ago [mya] oceans and seas of the world. Here we report on the fossilized remains of numerous individuals (small juveniles to large adults of a new taxon, Pannoniasaurus inexpectatus gen. et sp. nov. from the Csehbánya Formation, Hungary (Santonian, Upper Cretaceous, 85.3-83.5 mya that represent the first known mosasauroid that lived in freshwater environments. Previous to this find, only one specimen of a marine mosasauroid, cf. Plioplatecarpus sp., is known from non-marine rocks in Western Canada. Pannoniasaurus inexpectatus gen. et sp. nov. uniquely possesses a plesiomorphic pelvic anatomy, a non-mosasauroid but pontosaur-like tail osteology, possibly limbs like a terrestrial lizard, and a flattened, crocodile-like skull. Cladistic analysis reconstructs P. inexpectatus in a new clade of mosasauroids: (Pannoniasaurus (Tethysaurus (Yaguarasaurus, Russellosaurus. P. inexpectatus is part of a mixed terrestrial and freshwater faunal assemblage that includes fishes, amphibians turtles, terrestrial lizards, crocodiles, pterosaurs, dinosaurs and birds.

  2. Organic matter in North Bohemian Tertiavy and Cretaceous sediments with uranium mineralization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simanek, V.


    Significant variability was found in the qualitative and the quantitative compositions of dispersed organic matter in Tertiary rocks with uranium ore content between hundredths and units of percentage of the rocks. In Cretaceous rocks with similar proportion of uranium in w.% the variability is much smaller. In rocks with higher organic carbon and uranium levels the organic matter is in a more advanced stage of carbonification metamorphosis than in rocks with lower levels of the components. A statistical correlation test showed free positive correlation between the levels of uranium and organic carbon and the levels of uranium and strongly carbonified organic components and negative correlation between uranium level and humic substances on one hand and the uranium level and bitumens on the other. In Cretaceous sediments, the individual organic compounds were analytically determined in addition to the total level of organic carbon, the strongly carbonified organic components, humic substances and bitumens. Higher fatty acids in ppm concentrations were also found. Their distribution corresponds to the usual distribution in sediments. Rocks with lower contents of organic matter and uranium usually contain phenol aldehydes bound to glycosides while those with higher contents of uranium and organic carbon contain higher amounts of free phenol aldehydes. The composition of amino acids indicates genetic links to the microbial activity. (author)

  3. Phylogenetic diversification of Early Cretaceous seed plants: The compound seed cone of Doylea tetrahedrasperma. (United States)

    Rothwell, Gar W; Stockey, Ruth A


    Discovery of cupulate ovules of Doylea tetrahedrasperma within a compact, compound seed cone highlights the rich diversity of fructification morphologies, pollination biologies, postpollination enclosure of seeds, and systematic diversity of Early Cretaceous gymnosperms. Specimens were studied using the cellulose acetate peel technique, three-dimensional reconstructions (in AVIZO), and morphological phylogenetic analyses (in TNT). Doylea tetrahedrasperma has bract/fertile short shoot complexes helically arranged within a compact, compound seed cone. Complexes diverge from the axis as a single unit and separate distally into a free bract tip and two sporophylls. Each sporophyll bears a single, abaxial seed, recurved toward the cone axis, that is enveloped after pollinaton by sporophyll tissue, forming a closed cupule. Ovules are pollinated by bisaccate grains captured by micropylar pollination horns. The unique combination of characters shown by D. tetrahedrasperma includes the presence of cupulate seeds borne in conifer-like compound seed cones, an ovuliferous scale analogue structurally equivalent to the ovulate stalk of Ginkgo biloba, gymnospermous pollination, and nearly complete enclosure of mature seeds. These features characterize the Doyleales ord. nov., clearly distinguish it from the seed fern order Corystospermales, and allow for recognition of another recently described Early Cretaceous seed plant as a second species in genus Doylea. A morphological phylogenetic analysis highlights systematic relationships of the Doyleales ord. nov. and emphasizes the explosive phylogenetic diversification of gymnosperms that was underway at the time when flowering plants may have originated and/or first began to radiate. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  4. Cretaceous and Paleogene Fagaceae from North America and Greenland: evidence for a Late Cretaceous split between Fagus and the remaining Fagaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grímsson Friðgeir


    Full Text Available Modern lineages of the beech family, Fagaceae, one of the most important north-temperate families of woody flowering plants, have been traced back to the early Eocene. In contrast, molecular differentiation patterns indicate that the Fagus lineage, Fagoideae, with a single modern genus, evolved much earlier than the remaining lineages within Fagaceae (Trigonobalanoideae, Castaneoideae, Quercoideae. The minimum age for this primary split in the Fagaceae has been estimated as 80 ± 20 Ma (i.e. Late Cretaceous in recently published, time-calibrated phylogenetic trees including all Fagales. Here, we report fagaceous fossils from the Campanian of Wyoming (82-81 Ma; Eagle Formation [Fm], the Danian of western Greenland (64-62 Ma; Agatdal Fm, and the middle Eocene of British Columbia (ca 48 Ma; Princeton Chert, and compare them to the Fagaceae diversity of the recently studied middle Eocene Hareøen Fm of western Greenland (42-40 Ma. The studied assemblages confirm that the Fagus lineage (= Fagoideae and the remainder of modern Fagaceae were diverged by the middle Late Cretaceous, together with the extinct Fagaceae lineage(s of Eotrigonobalanus and the newly recognised genus Paraquercus, a unique pollen morph with similarities to both Eotrigonobalanus and Quercus. The new records push back the origin of (modern Fagus by 10 Ma and that of the earliest Fagoideae by 30 Ma. The earliest Fagoideae pollen from the Campanian of North America differs from its single modern genus Fagus by its markedly thicker pollen wall, a feature also seen in fossil and extant Castaneoideae. This suggests that a thick type 1 foot layer is also the plesiomorphic feature in Fagoideae although not seen in any of its living representatives. The Danian Fagus pollen of Greenland differs in size from those of modern species but is highly similar to that of the western North American early Eocene F. langevinii, the oldest known beech so far. Together with the Quercus pollen record

  5. Geology of hole drill thermal infra basaltic (Guarani Aquifer System) in Salto Uruguay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goso, C.; Muzio, R.; Marmisolle, J.; De Souza, S.


    This paper deals with the lithological description of a thermal infrabasaltic (Guarani Aquifer System) hole drill cutting in Dayman (Kanarek Hotel), Salto department (Uruguay). This hole drill shows 152 meters of Buena Vista Formation (Upper Permian- Lower Triassic), 188 meters of Tacuarembo Formation (Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous) and 940meters of Arapey Formation (Lower Cretaceous). Petrographical studies of six basaltic levels were done [es

  6. The last dinosaurs of Brazil: The Bauru Group and its implications for the end-Cretaceous mass extinction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)


    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The non-avian dinosaurs died out at the end of the Cretaceous, ~66 million years ago, after an asteroid impact. The prevailing hypothesis is that the effects of the impact suddenly killed the dinosaurs, but the poor fossil record of latest Cretaceous (Campanian-Maastrichtian dinosaurs from outside Laurasia (and even more particularly, North America makes it difficult to test specific extinction scenarios. Over the past few decades, a wealth of new discoveries from the Bauru Group of Brazil has revealed a unique window into the evolution of terminal Cretaceous dinosaurs from the southern continents. We review this record and demonstrate that there was a diversity of dinosaurs, of varying body sizes, diets, and ecological roles, that survived to the very end of the Cretaceous (Maastrichtian: 72-66 million years ago in Brazil, including a core fauna of titanosaurian sauropods and abelisaurid and carcharodontosaurid theropods, along with a variety of small-to-mid-sized theropods. We argue that this pattern best fits the hypothesis that southern dinosaurs, like their northern counterparts, were still diversifying and occupying prominent roles in their ecosystems before the asteroid suddenly caused their extinction. However, this hypothesis remains to be tested with more refined paleontological and geochronological data, and we give suggestions for future work.

  7. Geologic models and evaluation of undiscovered conventional and continuous oil and gas resources: Upper Cretaceous Austin Chalk (United States)

    Pearson, Krystal


    The Upper Cretaceous Austin Chalk forms a low-permeability, onshore Gulf of Mexico reservoir that produces oil and gas from major fractures oriented parallel to the underlying Lower Cretaceous shelf edge. Horizontal drilling links these fracture systems to create an interconnected network that drains the reservoir. Field and well locations along the production trend are controlled by fracture networks. Highly fractured chalk is present along both regional and local fault zones. Fractures are also genetically linked to movement of the underlying Jurassic Louann Salt with tensile fractures forming downdip of salt-related structures creating the most effective reservoirs. Undiscovered accumulations should also be associated with structure-controlled fracture systems because much of the Austin that overlies the Lower Cretaceous shelf edge remains unexplored. The Upper Cretaceous Eagle Ford Shale is the primary source rock for Austin Chalk hydrocarbons. This transgressive marine shale varies in thickness and lithology across the study area and contains both oil- and gas-prone kerogen. The Eagle Ford began generating oil and gas in the early Miocene, and vertical migration through fractures was sufficient to charge the Austin reservoirs.

  8. Sedimentary Provenance Constraints on the Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous Paleogeography of the Sichuan Basin, SW China (United States)

    Li, Y.; He, D.; Li, D.; Lu, R.


    Sedimentary provenance of the Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous sediments in the Sichuan Basin is constrained by sandstone petrology and detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology, which provides critical insights into mid-late Mesozoic paleogeographic evolution of the Sichuan Basin. Petrographic analyses of 22 sandstone samples indicate moderate to high mature sediments and are primarily derived from cratonic or recycled sources. U-Pb age data for the Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous detrital zircons generally show populations at 130-200, 200-330, 400-490, 680-890, 1730-1960, and 2360-2600 Ma, with up-section variations. The Middle Jurassic sediments contain a relatively high density of 1.85 and 2.5 Ga zircons and a low density of the 800 Ma zircons, which are consistent with derivation mainly from the Songpan-Ganzi terrane and the South Qinling belt, and secondarily from the Western Jiangnan Orogen. The Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous sedimentation with a scattered age distribution shared common multiple-source to sink systems that were predominantly draining towards the south and southeast, but increasingly drained southward, and were later disrupted by a synchronous northeastward drainage capture. Late Cretaceous sediments have a distinct reduction in Block.

  9. Modelling tidal current-induced bed shear stress and palaeocirculation in an epicontinental seaway: the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin, Central Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mitchell, A. J.; Uličný, David; Hampson, G. J.; Allison, P. A.; Gorman, G. J.; Piggott, M. D.; Wells, M. R.; Pain, C. C.


    Roč. 57, č. 2 (2010), s. 359-388 ISSN 0037-0746 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA300120609 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30120515 Keywords : bed shear stress * Bohemian Cretaceous Basin * epicontinental sea * tidal circulation * Turonian Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 2.229, year: 2010

  10. 15N/14N variations in Cretaceous Atlantic sedimentary sequences: implication for past changes in marine nitrogen biogeochemistry (United States)

    Rau, G.H.; Arthur, M.A.; Dean, W.E.


    At two locations in the Atlantic Ocean (DSDP Sites 367 and 530) early to middle Cretaceous organic-carbon-rich beds ("black shales") were found to have significantly lower ??15N values (lower 15N/14N ratios) than adjacent organic-carbon-poor beds (white limestones or green claystones). While these lithologies are of marine origin, the black strata in particular have ??15N values that are significantly lower than those previously found in the marine sediment record and most contemporary marine nitrogen pools. In contrast, black, organic-carbon-rich beds at a third site (DSDP Site 603) contain predominantly terrestrial organic matter and have C- and N-isotopic compositions similar to organic matter of modern terrestrial origin. The recurring 15N depletion in the marine-derived Cretaceous sequences prove that the nitrogen they contain is the end result of an episodic and atypical biogeochemistry. Existing isotopic and other data indicate that the low 15N relative abundance is the consequence of pelagic rather than post-depositional processes. Reduced ocean circulation, increased denitrification, and, hence, reduced euphotic zone nitrate availability may have led to Cretaceous phytoplankton assemblages that were periodically dominated by N2-fixing blue-green algae, a possible source of this sediment 15N-depletion. Lack of parallel isotopic shifts in Cretaceous terrestrially-derived nitrogen (Site 603) argues that the above change in nitrogen cycling during this period did not extend beyond the marine environment. ?? 1987.

  11. Late Cretaceous paleosols as paleoclimate proxies of high-latitude Southern Hemisphere: Mata Amarilla Formation, Patagonia, Argentina (United States)

    Varela, Augusto N.; Raigemborn, M. Sol; Richiano, Sebastián; White, Tim; Poiré, Daniel G.; Lizzoli, Sabrina


    Although there is general consensus that a global greenhouse climate characterized the mid-Cretaceous, details of the climate state of the mid-Cretaceous Southern Hemisphere are less clearly understood. In particular, continental paleoclimate reconstructions are scarce and exclusively derived from paleontological records. Using paleosol-derived climofunction studies of the mid- to Upper Cretaceous Mata Amarilla Formation, southern Patagonia, Argentina, we present a reconstruction of the mid-Cretaceous climate of southern South America. Our results indicate that at 60° south paleolatitude during the Cenomanian-Santonian stages, the climate was subtropical temperate-warm (12 °C ± 2.1 °C) and humid (1404 ± 108 mm/yr) with marked rainfall seasonality. These results are consistent with both previous estimations from the fossil floras of the Mata Amarilla Formation and other units of the Southern Hemisphere, and with the previous observations of the displacement of tropical and subtropical floras towards the poles in both hemispheres. The data presented here show a more marked seasonality and slightly lower mean annual precipitation and mean annual temperature values than those recorded at the same paleolatitudes in the Northern Hemisphere.

  12. The Trace Fossil Chondrites in Uppermost Jurasic-Lower Cretaceous Deep Cavity Fills from the Western Carpathians, Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Uchman, A.; Mikuláš, Radek; Houša, Václav


    Roč. 54, č. 3 (2003), s. 1-7 ISSN 1335-0552 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/00/0118 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z3013912 Keywords : jurassic * Cretaceous * trace fossils Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 0.397, year: 2003

  13. Lower Cretaceous succession and biostratigraphy near overthrust plane of Silesian Nappe (Ostravice River Channel, Outer Western Carpathians, Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Halasová, E.; Vašíček, Zdeněk; Jansa, L.; Reháková, D.; Skupien, P.


    Roč. 87, č. 2 (2012), s. 383-406 ISSN 1214-1119 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30860518 Keywords : Silesian Unit * Lower Cretaceous * thin sections * calcareous nannofossils * dinoflagellates Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 1.141, year: 2012

  14. Assessment of undiscovered continuous oil and gas resources of Upper Cretaceous Shales in the Songliao Basin of China, 2017 (United States)

    Potter, Christopher J.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Pitman, Janet K.; Klett, Timothy R.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Finn, Thomas M.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Marra, Kristen R.; Woodall, Cheryl A.


    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean undiscovered, technically recoverable resources of 3.3 billion barrels of oil and 887 billion cubic feet of gas in shale reservoirs of the Upper Cretaceous Qingshankou and Nenjiang Formations in the Songliao Basin of northeastern China.

  15. Aspects of middle cretaceous pelagic sedimentation in Southern Europe : production and storage of organic matter, stable isotopes, and astronomical influences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, P.L. de


    Large amounts of organic carbon were stored as black shales in pelagic sediments during the Lower and Middle Cretaceous, especially within the Tethyan and North Atlantic oceans and their marginal basins (Schlanger & Jenkyns, 1976; Fischer &Arthur, 1977; Ryan & Cita, 1977; Thiede & van

  16. The last dinosaurs of Brazil: The Bauru Group and its implications for the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Candeiro, Carlos R A; Simbras, Felipe M


    The non-avian dinosaurs died out at the end of the Cretaceous, ~66 million years ago, after an asteroid impact. The prevailing hypothesis is that the effects of the impact suddenly killed the dinosaurs, but the poor fossil record of latest Cretaceous (Campanian-Maastrichtian) dinosaurs from outside Laurasia (and even more particularly, North America) makes it difficult to test specific extinction scenarios. Over the past few decades, a wealth of new discoveries from the Bauru Group of Brazil has revealed a unique window into the evolution of terminal Cretaceous dinosaurs from the southern continents. We review this record and demonstrate that there was a diversity of dinosaurs, of varying body sizes, diets, and ecological roles, that survived to the very end of the Cretaceous (Maastrichtian: 72-66 million years ago) in Brazil, including a core fauna of titanosaurian sauropods and abelisaurid and carcharodontosaurid theropods, along with a variety of small-to-mid-sized theropods. We argue that this pattern best fits the hypothesis that southern dinosaurs, like their northern counterparts, were still diversifying and occupying prominent roles in their ecosystems before the asteroid suddenly caused their extinction. However, this hypothesis remains to be tested with more refined paleontological and geochronological data, and we give suggestions for future work.

  17. Geochemical evolution of Cenozoic-Cretaceous magmatism and its relation to tectonic setting, southwestern Idaho, U.S.A

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norman, M.D.; Leeman, W.P.


    Magmatism in the western United States spanned a change in tectonic setting from Mesozoic and early Tertiary plate convergence to middle and late Tertiary crustal extension. This paper presents new major element, trace element, and isotopic (Sr, Nd, Pb) data on a diverse suite of Cretaceous to Neogene igneous rocks from the Owyhee area of southwestern Idaho to evaluate possible relationships between the evolving tectonic regime and temporal changes in igneous activity. The oldest studied rocks are Cretaceous granitic intrusives that probably formed by large-scale mixing of Precambrian crust with subduction-related magmas. Silicic Eocene tuffs are also rich in crustal components, but have isotopic compositions unlike the Cretaceous intrusives. These data require at least two crustal sources that may correspond to domains of significantly different age (Archean vs. Proterozoic). The oldest mafic lavas in the study area are Oligocene andesites and basalts compositionally similar to subduction-related magmas derived from asthenospheric mantle and erupted through thick continental crust. Direct crustal involvement during oligocene time was limited to minor interaction with the mafic magmas. Miocene activity produced bimodal basalt-rhyolite suites and minor volumes of hybrid lavas. Compositions of Miocene basalts demonstrate the decline of subduction-related processes, and increased involvement of subcontinental lithospheric mantle as a magma source. Crustally-derived Miocene rhyolites have isotopic compositions similar to those of the Cretaceous granitic rocks but trace element abundances more typical of within-plate magmas. (orig./WB)

  18. Coprolites with prey remains and traces from coprophagous organisms from the Lower Cretaceous (Late Berriasian) Jydegaard Formation of Bornholm, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Milàn, Jesper; Rasmussen, Bo Wilhelm; Bonde, Niels Christensøn


    Two fragmentary coprolites from the Lower Cretaceous Jydegaard Formation of Bornholm, Denmark, represent the first record of coprolites from continental Mesozoic deposits in Denmark. Both specimens contain fish scale bone fragments of unknown affinity. Based on morphology, inclusions and the pote...

  19. Late Cretaceous extension and exhumation of the Stong and Taku magmatic and metamorphic complexes, NE Peninsular Malaysia (United States)

    François, T.; Md Ali, M. A.; Matenco, L.; Willingshofer, E.; Ng, T. F.; Taib, N. I.; Shuib, M. K.


    Fragmentation of large continental areas by post-orogenic extension requires favourable geodynamic conditions and frequently occurs along pre-existing suture zones or nappe contacts, as exemplified by the Stong and Taku magmatic and metamorphic complexes of northern Peninsular Malaysia. For this case, we have employed a field and microstructural kinematic study combined with low temperature thermo-chronology to analyse the tectonic and exhumation history. The results show that the Late Palaeozoic - Triassic Indosinian orogeny created successive phases of burial related metamorphism, shearing and contractional deformation. This orogenic structure was subsequently dismembered during a Cretaceous thermal event that culminated in the formation of a large scale Late Santonian - Early Maastrichtian extensional detachment, genetically associated with crustal melting, the emplacement of syn-kinematic plutons and widespread migmatisation. The emplacement of these magmatic rocks led to an array of simultaneously formed structures that document deformation conditions over a wide temperature range, represented by amphibolite- and greenschist- facies mylonites and as well as brittle structures, such as cataclastic zones and normal faults that formed during exhumation in the footwall of the detachment. The formation of this detachment and a first phase of Late Cretaceous cooling was followed by renewed Eocene - Oligocene exhumation, as evidenced from our fission track ages. We infer that an initial Cretaceous thermal anomaly was responsible for the formation of an extensional gneiss dome associated with simple shear and rotation of normal faults. These Cretaceous processes played a critical role in the establishment of the presently observed crustal structure of Peninsular Malaysia.

  20. Fossil mega- and microflora from the Březno Beds s.s. (Bohemian Cretaceous Basin, Coniacian)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Halamski, A. T.; Kvaček, J.; Svobodová, Marcela


    Roč. 253, June 2018 (2018), s. 123-138 ISSN 0034-6667 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : fossil plant * Cretaceous * taxonomy * paleobotany * Coniacian * Czech Republic Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy OBOR OECD: Paleontology Impact factor: 1.817, year: 2016

  1. Paleomagnetism and the Alpine tectonics of Eurasia IV : Jurassic, Cretaceous and Eocene pole positions from northeastern Turkey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voo, R. van der

    In April 1965 and May 1966 several groups of samples were collected by the author in northern and eastern Turkey in view of a study of their magnetic properties. The characteristic magnetizations of four groups of Eocene and Cretaceous volcanic rocks and sediments had the following directions of

  2. Chemostratigraphy of Late Cretaceous deltaic and marine sedimentary rocks from high northern palaeolatitudes in the Nuussuaq Basin, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenniger, Marc; Pedersen, Gunver Krarup; Bjerrum, Christian J.

    The Nuussuaq Basin in the Baffin Bay area in West Greenland formed as a result of the opening of the Labrador Sea in Late Mesozoic to Early Cenozoic times. The first rifting and the development of the Nuussuaq Basin took place during the Early Cretaceous and was followed by a second rifting phase...

  3. Terebella phosphatica Leriche (Polychaeta) associated with phosphatic crusts and particles (Lower Turonian, Bohemian Cretaceous Basin, Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žítt, Jiří; Vodrážka, R.


    Roč. 41, April (2013), s. 111-126 ISSN 0195-6671 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : Terebella phosphatica tubes * Atreta-Bdelloidina encrusting community * Faecal pellet accumulations * phosphogenesis * Lower Turonian * Bohemian Cretaceous Basin Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 2.390, year: 2013

  4. The clasts of Cretaceous marls in the conglomerates of the Konradsheim Formation (Pöchlau quarry, Gresten Klippen Zone, Austria) (United States)

    Ślączka, Andrzej; Gasiñski, M. Adam; Bąk, Marta; Wessely, Godfrid


    Investigations were carried out on foraminiferids and radiolaria from redeposited clasts within the conglomerates of the Konradsheim Formation (Gresten Klippen Zone) in the area of the Pöchlau hill, east of Maria Neustift. These shales and marls are of Middle to Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous age. In the latter clasts, foraminiferal assemblages with Tritaxia ex gr. gaultina as well as radiolaria species Angulobracchia portmanni Baumgartner, Dictyomitra communis (Squinabol), Hiscocapsa asseni (Tan), Pseudodictyomitra lodogaensis Pessagno, Pseudoeucyrtis hanni (Tan), Rhopalosyringium fossile (Squinabol) were found. In one block from the uppermost part of the sequence there is an assemblage with Caudammina (H) gigantea, Rotalipora appenninica and Globotruncana bulloides. However, the brecciated character of this block and occurrence near a fault suggest that it was probably wedged into the conglomerates of the Konradsheim Formation during tectonic movements. In pelitic siliceous limestones below the Konradsheim Limestone radiolarian assemblages of Middle Callovian to Early Tithonian age were found. They enable correlation with the Scheibbsbach Formation. In a marly sequence, above the conglomeratic limestone, the foraminiferal assemblages contain taxa from mid-Cretaceous up to Paleocene. The present biostratigraphic investigation confirmed the previous stratigraphic assignments and imply clearly that the sedimentation of deposits similar to the Konradsheim Formation also occurred at the end of the Early Cretaceous and deposition of conglomeratic limestones within the Gresten Klippen Zone, and especially within the Konradsheim Formation, was repeated several times during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous.

  5. Kinematics of Late Cretaceous subduction initiation in the Neo-Tethys Ocean reconstructed from ophiolites of Turkey, Cyprus, and Syria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maffione, Marco; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J.J.; de Gelder, Giovanni I.N.O.; van der Goes, Freek C.; Morris, Antony

    Formation of new subduction zones represents one of the cornerstones of plate tectonics, yet both the kinematics and geodynamics governing this process remain enigmatic. A major subduction initiation event occurred in the Late Cretaceous, within the Neo-Tethys Ocean between Gondwana and Eurasia.

  6. A new Late Cretaceous ginkgoalean reproductive structure Nehvizdyella gen. nov. from the Czech Republic and its whole-plant reconstruction

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kvaček, J.; Falcon-Lang, H. J.; Dašková, Jiřina


    Roč. 92, č. 12 (2005), s. 1958-1969 ISSN 0002-9122 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Late Cretaceous * Cycadopites * Ginkgoales Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 2.572, year: 2005

  7. Cretaceous to Recent Asymetrical Subsidence of South American and West African Conjugate Margins (United States)

    Kenning, J.; Mann, P.


    Two divergent interpretations have been proposed for South American rifted-passive margins: the "mirror hypothesis" proposes that the rifted margins form symmetrically from pure shear of the lithosphere while upper-plate-lower plate models propose that the rifted margins form asymmetrically by simple shear. Models based on seismic reflection and refraction imaging and comparison of conjugate, rifted margins generally invoke a hybrid stretching process involving elements of both end member processes along with the effects of mantle plumes active during the rift and passive margin phases. We use subsidence histories of 14, 1-7 km-deep exploration wells located on South American and West African conjugate pairs now separated by the South Atlantic Ocean, applying long-term subsidence to reveal the symmetry or asymmetry of the underlying, conjugate, rift processes. Conjugate pairs characterize the rifted margin over a distance of 3500 km and include: Colorado-South Orange, Punta Del Este-North Orange, South Pelotas-Lüderitz and the North Pelotas-Walvis Basins. Of the four conjugate pairs, more rapid subsidence on the South American plate is consistently observed with greater initial rift and syn-rift subsidence rates of >60m/Ma (compared to 100 m/Ma are observed offshore South Africa between approximately 120-80 Ma, compatible with onset of the post-rift thermal sag phase. During this period the majority of burial is completed and rates remain low at Argentina/Uruguay displays more gradual subsidence throughout the Cretaceous, consistently averaging a moderate 15-30m/Ma. By the end of this stage there is a subsequent increase to 25-60 m/Ma within the last 20 Ma, interpreted to reflect lithospheric loading due to increased sedimentation rates during the Cenozoic. This increase in subsidence rate is not seen in the African conjugate section where the majority of sediments bypassed the highly aggraded Cretaceous shelf. Initially greater on the Brazilian margin compared to

  8. The age and diversification of terrestrial New World ecosystems through Cretaceous and Cenozoic time. (United States)

    Graham, Alan


    Eight ecosystems that were present in the Cretaceous about 100 Ma (million years ago) in the New World eventually developed into the 12 recognized for the modern Earth. Among the forcing mechanisms that drove biotic change during this interval was a decline in global temperatures toward the end of the Cretaceous, augmented by the asteroid impact at 65 Ma and drainage of seas from continental margins and interiors; separation of South America from Africa beginning in the south at ca. 120 Ma and progressing northward until completed 90-100 Ma; the possible emission of 1500 gigatons of methane and CO(2) attributed to explosive vents in the Norwegian Sea at ca. 55 Ma, resulting in a temperature rise of 5°-6°C in an already warm world; disruption of the North Atlantic land bridge at ca. 45 Ma at a time when temperatures were falling; rise of the Andes Mountains beginning at ca. 40 Ma; opening of the Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica at ca. 32 Ma with formation of the cold Humboldt at ca. 30 Ma; union of North and South America at ca. 3.5 Ma; and all within the overlay of evolutionary processes. These processes generated a sequence of elements (e.g., species growing in moist habitats within an overall dry environment; gallery forests), early versions (e.g., mangrove communities without Rhizophora until the middle Eocene), and essentially modern versions of present-day New World ecosystems. As a first approximation, the fossil record suggests that early versions of aquatic communities (in the sense of including a prominent angiosperm component) appeared early in the Middle to Late Cretaceous, the lowland neotropical rainforest at 64 Ma (well developed by 58-55 Ma), shrubland/chaparral-woodland-savanna and grasslands around the middle Miocene climatic optimum at ca. 15-13 Ma, deserts in the middle Miocene/early Pliocene at ca. 10 Ma, significant tundra at ca. 7-5 Ma, and alpine tundra (páramo) shortly thereafter when cooling temperatures were augmented

  9. Tectonic setting of Cretaceous basins on the NE Tibetan Plateau: Insights from the Jungong basin (United States)

    Craddock, W.H.; Kirby, E.; Dewen, Z.; Jianhui, L.


    Quantifying the Cenozoic growth of high topography in the Indo-Asian collision zone remains challenging, due in part to significant shortening that occurred within Eurasia before collision. A growing body of evidence suggests that regions far removed from the suture zone experienced deformation before and during the early phases of Himalayan orogenesis. In the present-day north-eastern Tibetan Plateau, widespread deposits of Cretaceous sediment attest to significant basin formation; however, the tectonic setting of these basins remains enigmatic. We present a study of a regionally extensive network of sedimentary basins that are spatially associated with a system of SE-vergent thrust faults and are now exposed in the high ranges of the north-eastern corner of the Tibetan Plateau. We focus on a particularly well-exposed basin, located ~20km north of the Kunlun fault in the Anyemaqen Shan. The basin is filled by ~900m of alluvial sediments that become finer-grained away from the basin-bounding fault. Additionally, beds in the proximal footwall of the basin-bounding fault exhibit progressive, up-section shallowing and several intraformational unconformities which can be traced into correlative conformities in the distal part of the basin. The observations show sediment accumulated in the basin during fault motion. Regional constraints on the timing of sediment deposition are provided by both fossil assemblages from the Early Cretaceous, and by K-Ar dating of volcanic rocks that floor and cross-cut sedimentary fill. We argue that during the Cretaceous, the interior NE Tibetan Plateau experienced NW-SE contractional deformation similar to that documented throughout the Qinling-Dabie orogen to the east. The Songpan-Ganzi terrane apparently marked the southern limit of this deformation, such that it may have been a relatively rigid block in the Tibetan lithosphere, separating regions experiencing deformation north of the convergent Tethyan margin from regions deforming

  10. Past and Present Weathering Recorded in Cretaceous Shale Samples from Colombia - Implications for Paleoenvironmental Reconstructions (United States)

    Mahoney, C.; März, C.; Wagner, T.


    It is well known that for geochemical studies on ancient rocks, outcrop samples can be compromised by present-day weathering. This raises the fundamental question, if only outcrop samples are available, how reliable can paleoenvironmental reconstructions be? To answer this question, shale samples have been gathered from Cretaceous outcrops of the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia, and analysed by XRF and Fe speciation in order to investigate paleo-redox conditions in this margin basin of the Proto-Atlantic. The samples are consistently depleted (relative to average shale) in redox-related trace metals and in total Fe indicating oxic conditions, whereas Fe speciation (highly reactive over total Fe) indicates anoxic conditions. We ask if this depletion in trace metals and total Fe is due to a lack of primary supply from the depositional environment, or if is it caused by modern oxidative outcrop weathering in this tropical mountainous setting? Our results from artificial weathering experiments confirm that certain trace metals U, Zn and Mo are easily leached from the samples, whereas Fe is quantitatively retained in the samples due to conversion of pyrite and siderite to Fe oxides. Pristine samples from wells in the adjacent Middle Magdalena Valley Basin (MMV) also exhibit total Fe depletion, but are up to 2000-fold enriched in Mo. This combined evidence indicates that the depletion of trace metals may be due to contemporary weathering, but there has to be a paleoenvironmental reason behind the low total Fe signature. The Guiana Shield was the probable source of sediment to the Cretaceous basin. The Chemical Index of Alteration suggest the source of detrital material was initially highly weathered (average 83, maximum 95). Ancient laterites have been identified on the Guiana Shield, and retention of Fe in these laterites may explain the low Fe input into the Eastern Cordillera basin. These results confirm that trace metal-based redox proxies may be seriously affected by

  11. Evidence for subduction-related magmatism during the Cretaceous and Cenozoic in Myanmar (United States)

    Sevastjanova, Inga; Sagi, David Adam; Webb, Peter; Masterton, Sheona; Hill, Catherine; Davies, Clare


    Myanmar's complex geological history, numerous controversies around its tectonic evolution and the presence of prospective hydrocarbon basins make it a key area of interest for geologists. Understanding whether a passive or an active margin existed in the region during the Cenozoic is particularly important for the production of accurate basin models; active Cenozoic subduction would imply that hydrocarbon basins in the forearc experienced extension due to slab rollback. The geology of Myanmar was influenced by the regional tectonics associated with the Cretaceous and Cenozoic closure of the Neotethys Ocean. During this time, India travelled rapidly from Gondwana to Asia at speeds up to 20 cm/yr. To accommodate the north-eastward motion of India, the Neotethys Ocean was consumed at the subduction zone along the southern margin of Eurasia. Based on our Global Plate Model, this subduction zone can reasonably be expected to extend for the entire width of the Neotethys Ocean as far as Myanmar and Southeast Asia at their eastern extent. Moreover, a) Cretaceous volcanism onshore Myanmar, b) the middle Cenozoic arc-related extension in the Present Day eastern Andaman Sea and c) the late Cenozoic uplift of the Indo-Burman Ranges are all contemporaneous with the subduction ages predicted by the global plate motions. However, because of the geological complexity of the area, additional evidence would augment interpretations that are based on structural data. In an attempt to reduce the uncertainty in the existing interpretations, we have compiled published zircon geochronological data from detrital and igneous rocks in the region. We have used published zircon U-Pb ages and, where available, published Hf isotope data and CL images (core/rim) in order to distinguish 'juvenile' mantle-derived zircons from those of reworked crustal origin. The compilation shows that Upper Cretaceous and Cenozoic zircons, which are interpreted to have a volcanic provenance, are common across the

  12. Kilop Cretaceous Hardground (Kale, Gümüshane, NE Turkey):description and origin (United States)

    Eren, Muhsin; Tasli, Kemal


    A hardground surface is well exposed in the Kilop area of Kale (Gümüshane, NE Turkey) which forms part of the Eastern Pontides. Here, the hardground is underlain by shallow water Lower Cretaceous limestones, and overlain by Upper Cretaceous red limestones/marls which contains a planktonic microfauna including Globotruncanidae. In the field, the recognition of the hardground is based on the presence of extensive burrows (especially vertical burrows), the encrusting rudistid bivalve Requienia, neptunian-dykes with infills of pelagic sediments and synsedimentary faults. Skolithos and Thalassinoides-type burrows are present. Some burrow walls show iron hydroxide-staining. The extensive burrowing occurred prior to lithification. On the other hand, the neptunian-dykes and synsedimentary faults, which cut the hard ground, occurred after the lithification. These features indicate the progressive hardening of the substrate. The burrowed limestone consists of an intrabioclastic peloidal grainstone which was deposited in an intertidal to shallow, subtidal, moderate to relatively high energy environment. The peloidal limestone shows little or no evidence of submarine cementation, characterized by only scarce relics of isopachous cement rims of bladed calcite spar. The grainstone cement is composed predominantly of blocky calcite and overgrowth calcite cements on the echinoid-fragments. The origin of this cement is controversial. Biostratigraphic analysis of the limestones demonstrates that there is a marked stratigraphic gap (hiatus), spanning the Aptian to the Santonian, in the Cretaceous of the Kilop area. The formation of the Kilop Hardground is related to the break-up and subsidence of the Eastern Pontides carbonate platform during the formation of the Black Sea backarc basin. Hardground development was initiated in a shallow marine environment of slow sedimentation and with moderate to high energy indicating slow subsidence. Later, the hardground subsided abruptly, as

  13. Reinvestigating an enigmatic Late Cretaceous monocot: morphology, taxonomy, and biogeography of Viracarpon

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    Kelly K.S. Matsunaga


    Full Text Available Angiosperm-dominated floras of the Late Cretaceous are essential for understanding the evolutionary, ecological, and geographic radiation of flowering plants. The Late Cretaceous–early Paleogene Deccan Intertrappean Beds of India contain angiosperm-dominated plant fossil assemblages known from multiple localities in central India. Numerous monocots have been documented from these assemblages, providing a window into an important but poorly understood time in their diversification. One component of the Deccan monocot diversity is the genus Viracarpon, known from anatomically preserved infructescences. Viracarpon was first collected over a century ago and has been the subject of numerous studies. However, resolution of its three-dimensional (3D morphology and anatomy, as well as its taxonomic affinities, has remained elusive. In this study we investigated the morphology and taxonomy of genus Viracarpon, combining traditional paleobotanical techniques and X-ray micro-computed tomography (μCT. Re-examination of type and figured specimens, 3D reconstructions of fruits, and characterization of structures in multiple planes of section using μCT data allowed us to resolve conflicting interpretations of fruit morphology and identify additional characters useful in refining potential taxonomic affinities. Among the four Viracarpon species previously recognized, we consider two to be valid (Viracarpon hexaspermum and Viracarpon elongatum, and the other two to be synonyms of these. Furthermore, we found that permineralized infructescences of Coahuilocarpon phytolaccoides from the late Campanian of Mexico correspond closely in morphology to V. hexaspermum. We argue that Viracarpon and Coahuilocarpon are congeneric and provide the new combination, Viracarpon phytolaccoides (Cevallos-Ferriz, Estrada-Ruiz & Perez-Hernandez Matsunaga, S.Y. Smith, & Manchester comb. nov. The significant geographic disjunction between these two occurrences indicates that the

  14. Lower Cretaceous smarl turbidites of the Argo Abyssal Plain, Indian Ocean (United States)

    Dumoulin, Julie A.; Stewart, Sondra K.; Kennett, Diana; Mazzullo, Elsa K.


    Sediments recovered during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 123 from the Argo Abyssal Plain (AAP) consist largely of turbidites derived from the adjacent Australian continental margin. The oldest abundant turbidites are Valanginian-Aptian in age and have a mixed (smarl) composition; they contain subequal amounts of calcareous and siliceous biogenic components, as well as clay and lesser quartz. Most are thin-bedded, fine sand to mud-sized, and best described by Stow and Piper's model (1984) for fine-grained biogenic turbidites. Thicker (to 3 m), coarser-grained (medium-to-coarse sand-sized) turbidites fit Bouma's model (1962) for sandy turbidites; these generally are base-cut-out (BCDE, BDE) sequences, with B-division parallel lamination as the dominant structure. Parallel laminae most commonly concentrate quartz and/or calcispheres vs. lithic clasts or clay, but distinctive millimeter to centimeter-thick, radiolarian-rich laminae occur in both fine and coarse-grained Valanginian-Hauterivian turbidites.AAP turbidites were derived from relatively deep parts of the continental margin (outer shelf, slope, or rise) that lay below the photic zone, but above the calcite compensation depth (CCD). Biogenic components are largely pelagic (calcispheres, foraminifers, radiolarians, nannofossils); lesser benthic foraminifers are characteristic of deep-water (abyssal to bathyal) environments. Abundant nonbiogenic components are mostly clay and clay clasts; smectite is the dominant clay species, and indicates a volcanogenic provenance, most likely the Triassic-Jurassic volcanic suite exposed along the northern Exmouth Plateau.Lower Cretaceous smarl turbidites were generated during eustatic lowstands and may have reached the abyssal plain via Swan Canyon, a submarine canyon thought to have formed during the Late Jurassic. In contrast to younger AAP turbidites, however, Lower Cretaceous turbidites are relatively fine-grained and do not contain notably older reworked fossils. Early

  15. The Eagle Ford Shale, Texas: an initial insight into Late Cretaceous organic-rich mudrock palaeoenvironments (United States)

    Forshaw, Joline; Jarvis, Ian; Trabucho-Alexandre, João; Tocher, Bruce; Pearce, Martin


    The hypothesised reduction of oxygen within the oceans during the Cretaceous is believed to have led to extended intervals of regional anoxia in bottom waters, resulting in increased preservation of organic matter and the deposition of black shales. Episodes of more widespread anoxia, and even euxinia, in both bottom and surface waters are associated with widespread black shale deposition during Ocean Anoxic Events (OAEs). The most extensive Late Cretaceous OAE, which occurred ~ 94 Ma during Cenomanian-Turonian boundary times, and was particularly well developed in the proto-North Atlantic and Tethyan regions, lasted for around 500 kyr (OAE2). Although the causes of this and other events are still hotly debated, research is taking place internationally to produce a global picture of the causes and consequences of Cretaceous OAEs. Understanding OAEs will enable a better interpretation of the climate fluctuations that ensued, and their association with the widespread deposition of black shales, rising temperatures, increased pCO2, enhanced weathering, and increased nutrient fluxes. The Eagle Ford Formation, of Cenomanian - Turonian age, is a major shale gas play in SW and NE Texas, extending over an area of more than 45,000 km2. The formation, which consists predominantly of black shales (organic-rich calcareous mudstones), was deposited during an extended period of relative tectonic quiescence in the northern Gulf Coast of the Mexico Basin, bordered by reefs along the continental shelf. The area offers an opportunity to study the effects of OAE2 in an organic-rich shelf setting. The high degree of organic matter preservation in the formation has produced excellent oil and gas source rocks. Vast areas of petroleum-rich shales are now being exploited in the Southern States of the US for shale gas, and the Eagle Ford Shale is fast becoming one of the countries largest producers of gas, oil and condensate. The Eagle Ford Shale stratigraphy is complex and heterogeneous

  16. Basement control in the development of the early cretaceous West and Central African rift system (United States)

    Maurin, Jean-Christophe; Guiraud, René


    The structural framework of the Precambrian basement of the West and Central African Rift System (WCARS) is described in order to examine the role of ancient structures in the development of this Early Cretaceous rift system. Basement structures are represented in the region by large Pan-African mobile belts (built at ca. 600 Ma) surrounding the > 2 Ga West African, Congo and Sao Francisco cratons. Except for the small Gao trough (eastern Mali) located near the contact nappe of the Pan-African Iforas suture zone along the edge of the West African craton, the entire WCARS is located within the internal domains of the Pan-African mobile belts. Within these domains, two main structural features occur as the main basement control of the WCARS: (1) an extensive network of near vertical shear zones which trend north-south through the Congo, Brazil, Nigeria, Niger and Algeria, and roughly east-west through northeastern Brazil and Central Africa. The shear zones correspond to intra-continental strike-slip faults which accompanied the oblique collision between the West African, Congo, and Sao Francisco cratons during the Late Proterozoic; (2) a steep metamorphic NW-SE-trending belt which corresponds to a pre-Pan-African (ca. 730 Ma) ophiolitic suture zone along the eastern edge of the Trans-Saharian mobile belt. The post-Pan-African magmatic and tectonic evolution of the basement is also described in order to examine the state of the lithosphere prior to the break-up which occurred in the earliest Cretaceous. After the Pan-African thermo-tectonic event, the basement of the WCARS experienced a long period of intra-plate magmatic activity. This widespread magmatism in part relates to the activity of intra-plate hotspots which have controlled relative uplift, subsidence and occasionally block faulting. During the Paleozoic and the early Mesozoic, this tectonic activity was restricted to west of the Hoggar, west of Aïr and northern Cameroon. During the Late Jurassic

  17. Kinematics of Late Cretaceous subduction initiation in the Neo-Tethys Ocean reconstructed from ophiolites of Turkey, Cyprus, and Syria (United States)

    Maffione, Marco; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; de Gelder, Giovanni I. N. O.; van der Goes, Freek C.; Morris, Antony


    Formation of new subduction zones represents one of the cornerstones of plate tectonics, yet both the kinematics and geodynamics governing this process remain enigmatic. A major subduction initiation event occurred in the Late Cretaceous, within the Neo-Tethys Ocean between Gondwana and Eurasia. Suprasubduction zone ophiolites (i.e., emerged fragments of ancient oceanic lithosphere formed at suprasubduction spreading centers) were generated during this subduction event and are today distributed in the eastern Mediterranean region along three E-W trending ophiolitic belts. Several models have been proposed to explain the formation of these ophiolites and the evolution of the associated intra-Neo-Tethyan subduction zone. Here we present new paleospreading directions from six Upper Cretaceous ophiolites of Turkey, Cyprus, and Syria, calculated by using new and published paleomagnetic data from sheeted dyke complexes. Our results show that NNE-SSW subduction zones were formed within the Neo-Tethys during the Late Cretaceous, which we propose were part of a major step-shaped subduction system composed of NNE-SSW and WNW-ESE segments. We infer that this subduction system developed within old (Triassic?) lithosphere, along fracture zones and perpendicular weakness zones, since the Neo-Tethyan spreading ridge formed during Gondwana fragmentation would have already been subducted at the Pontides subduction zone by the Late Cretaceous. Our new results provide an alternative kinematic model of Cretaceous Neo-Tethyan subduction initiation and call for future research on the mechanisms of subduction inception within old (and cold) lithosphere and the formation of metamorphic soles below suprasubduction zone ophiolites in the absence of nearby spreading ridges.

  18. Dental Disparity and Ecological Stability in Bird-like Dinosaurs prior to the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction. (United States)

    Larson, Derek W; Brown, Caleb M; Evans, David C


    The causes, rate, and selectivity of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction continue to be highly debated [1-5]. Extinction patterns in small, feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs (including birds) are important for understanding extant biodiversity and present an enigma considering the survival of crown group birds (Neornithes) and the extinction of their close kin across the end-Cretaceous boundary [6]. Because of the patchy Cretaceous fossil record of small maniraptorans [7-12], this important transition has not been closely examined in this group. Here, we test the hypothesis that morphological disparity in bird-like dinosaurs was decreasing leading up to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, as has been hypothesized in some dinosaurs [13, 14]. To test this, we examined tooth morphology, an ecological indicator in fossil reptiles [15-19], from over 3,100 maniraptoran teeth from four groups (Troodontidae, Dromaeosauridae, Richardoestesia, and cf. Aves) across the last 18 million years of the Cretaceous. We demonstrate that tooth disparity, a proxy for variation in feeding ecology, shows no significant decline leading up to the extinction event within any of the groups. Tooth morphospace occupation also remains static over this time interval except for increased size during the early Maastrichtian. Our data provide strong support that extinction within this group occurred suddenly after a prolonged period of ecological stability. To explain this sudden extinction of toothed maniraptorans and the survival of Neornithes, we propose that diet may have been an extinction filter and suggest that granivory associated with an edentulous beak was a key ecological trait in the survival of some lineages. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Isotopic ordering in eggshells reflects body temperatures and suggests differing thermophysiology in two Cretaceous dinosaurs (United States)

    Eagle, Robert A.; Enriquez, Marcus; Grellet-Tinner, Gerald; Pérez-Huerta, Alberto; Hu, David; Tütken, Thomas; Montanari, Shaena; Loyd, Sean J.; Ramirez, Pedro; Tripati, Aradhna K.; Kohn, Matthew J.; Cerling, Thure E.; Chiappe, Luis M.; Eiler, John M.


    Our understanding of the evolutionary transitions leading to the modern endothermic state of birds and mammals is incomplete, partly because tools available to study the thermophysiology of extinct vertebrates are limited. Here we show that clumped isotope analysis of eggshells can be used to determine body temperatures of females during periods of ovulation. Late Cretaceous titanosaurid eggshells yield temperatures similar to large modern endotherms. In contrast, oviraptorid eggshells yield temperatures lower than most modern endotherms but ~6 °C higher than co-occurring abiogenic carbonates, implying that this taxon did not have thermoregulation comparable to modern birds, but was able to elevate its body temperature above environmental temperatures. Therefore, we observe no strong evidence for end-member ectothermy or endothermy in the species examined. Body temperatures for these two species indicate that variable thermoregulation likely existed among the non-avian dinosaurs and that not all dinosaurs had body temperatures in the range of that seen in modern birds.

  20. Vertebrate assemblages from the early Late Cretaceous of southeastern Morocco: An overview (United States)

    Cavin, L.; Tong, H.; Boudad, L.; Meister, C.; Piuz, A.; Tabouelle, J.; Aarab, M.; Amiot, R.; Buffetaut, E.; Dyke, G.; Hua, S.; Le Loeuff, J.


    Fossils of vertebrates have been found in great abundance in the continental and marine early Late Cretaceous sediments of Southeastern Morocco for more than 50 years. About 80 vertebrate taxa have so far been recorded from this region, many of which were recognised and diagnosed for the first time based on specimens recovered from these sediments. In this paper, we use published data together with new field data to present an updated overview of Moroccan early Late Cretaceous vertebrate assemblages. The Cretaceous series we have studied encompasses three Formations, the Ifezouane and Aoufous Formations, which are continental and deltaic in origin and are often grouped under the name "Kem Kem beds", and the Akrabou Formation which is marine in origin. New field observations allow us to place four recognised vertebrate clusters, corresponding to one compound assemblage and three assemblages, within a general temporal framework. In particular, two ammonite bioevents characterise the lower part of the Upper Cenomanian ( Calycoceras guerangeri Zone) at the base of the Akrabou Formation and the upper part of the Lower Turonian ( Mammites nodosoides Zone), that may extend into the Middle Turonian within the Akrabou Formation, and allow for more accurate dating of the marine sequence in the study area. We are not yet able to distinguish a specific assemblage that characterises the Ifezouane Formation when compared to the similar Aoufous Formation, and as a result we regard the oldest of the four vertebrate "assemblages" in this region to be the compound assemblage of the "Kem Kem beds". This well-known vertebrate assemblage comprises a mixture of terrestrial (and aerial), freshwater and brackish vertebrates. The archosaur component of this fauna appears to show an intriguingly high proportion of large-bodied carnivorous taxa, which may indicate a peculiar trophic chain, although collecting biases alter this palaeontological signal. A small and restricted assemblage, the

  1. Moth flies and sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae in Cretaceous Burmese amber

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    Frauke Stebner


    Full Text Available One new subfamily, four new genera and 10 new species of Psychodidae are described from Burmese amber which significantly increases our knowledge about this group in the Cretaceous. Protopsychodinae n. subfam. probably represents the oldest known ancestor of modern Psychodinae and includes three species within two genera: Datzia setosa gen. et sp. n., Datzia bispina gen. et sp. n., and Mandalayia beumersorum gen. et sp. n. Sycoracinae and Phlebotominae are represented by two genera each in the studied material, Palaeoparasycorax globosus gen. et sp. n., Palaeoparasycorax suppus gen. et sp. n., Parasycorax simplex sp. n., and Phlebotomites aphoe sp. n. and Phlebotomus vetus sp. n., respectively. Bruchomyiinae is represented by Nemopalpus quadrispiculatus sp. n. Furthermore, one genus of an incertae sedis subfamily, Bamara groehni gen. et sp. n., is described. The systematic positions of the new taxa are discussed.

  2. A stem acrodontan lizard in the Cretaceous of Brazil revises early lizard evolution in Gondwana. (United States)

    Simões, Tiago R; Wilner, Everton; Caldwell, Michael W; Weinschütz, Luiz C; Kellner, Alexander W A


    Iguanians are one of the most diverse groups of extant lizards (>1,700 species) with acrodontan iguanians dominating in the Old World, and non-acrodontans in the New World. A new lizard species presented herein is the first acrodontan from South America, indicating acrodontans radiated throughout Gondwana much earlier than previously thought, and that some of the first South American lizards were more closely related to their counterparts in Africa and Asia than to the modern fauna of South America. This suggests both groups of iguanians achieved a worldwide distribution before the final breakup of Pangaea. At some point, non-acrodontans replaced acrodontans and became the only iguanians in the Americas, contrary to what happened on most of the Old World. This discovery also expands the diversity of Cretaceous lizards in South America, which with recent findings, suggests sphenodontians were not the dominant lepidosaurs in that continent as previously hypothesized.

  3. Faunal evidence for reduced productivity and uncoordinated recovery in Southern Hemisphere Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary sections (United States)

    Aberhan, Martin; Weidemeyer, Sven; Kiessling, Wolfgang; Scasso, Roberto A.; Medina, Francisco A.


    The mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary is generally explained by a severe crisis in primary productivity, following a catastrophic bolide impact. Consistent with this scenario, Danian mollusk-dominated benthic shelf ecosystems of southern middle paleolatitudes (Neuquén Basin, Argentina) are characterized by (1) a stratigraphically limited low in macrofossil abundances; (2) an increase in starvation-resistant, nonplanktotrophic deposit feeders and chemosymbionts; (3) a reduction in the average body size of individuals; and (4) individuals with inactive lifestyles being more common than in the late Maastrichtian. Return to pre-extinction conditions of the various synecological attributes occurred over unequal time spans, indicating that recovery was uncoordinated with respect to ecological traits. Global comparison of ecological patterns suggests that reduced food supply (1) was a controlling factor in both hemispheres; (2) affected macrobenthic marine faunas at various distances from the Chicxulub impact site; and (3) was more effective in siliciclastic environments as compared to oligotrophic carbonate settings.


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    Full Text Available The Cretaceous coral genus Preverastraea is being revised, mainly on the basis of sample material. This cerioid, occasionally astreoid or phaceloid, genus is characterised by round or polygonal calices, compact septa in a regular hexameral symmetry and lonsdaleoid septa. The wall is of the same structure as the septa. The genera Bogdanovicoenia, Paraacanthogyra, and Saxuligyra are considered synonyms of Preverastraea. Related genera are Aulastraeopora and Apoplacophyllia, which only differ by their solitary or dendroid growth forms. There are altogether 13 species of Preverastraea. The genus, which occurred worldwide, is restricted to the period from the Late Barremian to the Late Cenomanian, being most common in the Aptian to Early Albian. Eighty-three samples are either known from the literature or have been to hand. This makes Preverastraea a rather rare genus. 


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    Full Text Available The Cretaceous coral genus Aulastraeopora is being revised, mainly on the basis of sample material. This genus of solitary growth form is characterised by medium-sized to large specimens, compact septa in a regular hexameral or tetrameral symmetry and lonsdaleoid septa. Related genera are Preverastraea and Apoplacophyllia, which only differ by their cerioid-astreoid and phaceloid growth forms. There are four species of Aulastraeopora. The genus, which occurred world-wide, is restricted to the period from the Late Barremian to the Late Cenomanian, being most common in the Aptian to Early Albian. Forty-one samples are either known from the literature or have been to hand. This makes Aulastraeopora a rare genus. 

  6. Vascular plants from the Devonian to Lower Cretaceous in southern Africa

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    J. M. Anderson


    Full Text Available The succession of pre-angiospermous megafloras in southern Africa from the Devonian to Lower Cretaceous is outlined. Interrelationships between continental drift, global climatic trends, and floral and faunal evolution are emphasized. Data are given on numbers of assemblages sampled; on species diversity; and on relative abundance of each genus per productive ‘formation’. A total of 79 genera and about 250 species are recognized in the 150 assemblages from the 11 horizons considered. Floras are unknown from the Carboniferous and are as yet undescribed from the Jurassic. Aside from these gaps, a good idea of the floral development is obtained. Diversity lows of around 5 to 10 species per ‘formation’ are witnessed in the Devonian, whereas a peak of 112 species is encountered in the Upper Triassic Molteno Formation. Diversity remains around 20 to 30 species for all other ‘formations’.

  7. Mid-Cretaceous amber fossils illuminate the past diversity of tropical lizards (United States)

    Daza, Juan D.; Stanley, Edward L.; Wagner, Philipp; Bauer, Aaron M.; Grimaldi, David A.


    Modern tropical forests harbor an enormous diversity of squamates, but fossilization in such environments is uncommon and little is known about tropical lizard assemblages of the Mesozoic. We report the oldest lizard assemblage preserved in amber, providing insight into the poorly preserved but potentially diverse mid-Cretaceous paleotropics. Twelve specimens from the Albian-Cenomanian boundary of Myanmar (99 Ma) preserve fine details of soft tissue and osteology, and high-resolution x-ray computed tomography permits detailed comparisons to extant and extinct lizards. The extraordinary preservation allows several specimens to be confidently assigned to groups including stem Gekkota and stem Chamaleonidae. Other taxa are assignable to crown clades on the basis of similar traits. The detailed preservation of osteological and soft tissue characters in these specimens may facilitate their precise phylogenetic placement, making them useful calibration points for molecular divergence time estimates and potential keys for resolving conflicts in higher-order squamate relationships. PMID:26973870

  8. Evidence of Egg Diversity in Squamate Evolution from Cretaceous Anguimorph Embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Fernandez

    Full Text Available Lizards are remarkable amongst amniotes, for they display a unique mosaic of reproduction modes ranging from egg-laying to live-bearing. Within this patchwork, geckoes are believed to represent the only group to ever have produced fully calcified rigid-shelled eggs, contrasting with the ubiquitous parchment shelled-eggs observed in other lineages. However, this hypothesis relies only on observations of modern taxa and fossilised gecko-like eggshells which have never been found in association with any embryonic or parental remains. We report here the first attested fossil eggs of lizards from the Early Cretaceous of Thailand, combining hard eggshells with exquisitely preserved embryos of anguimoph (e.g. Komodo dragons, mosasaurs. These fossils shed light on an apparently rare reproduction strategy of squamates, demonstrate that the evolution of rigid-shelled eggs are not an exclusive specialization of geckoes, and suggest a high plasticity in the reproductive organs mineralizing eggshells.

  9. Surface alteration and physical properties of glass from the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (United States)

    Barkatt, A.; Sang, J.C.; Thorpe, A.N.; Senftle, F.E.; Talmy, I.G.; Norr, M.K.; Mazer, J.J.; Izett, G.; Sigurdsson, Haraldur


    The scalloped surface feature on Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary glass is often explained as being due to terrestrial aqueous leaching. Leaching of man-made glass results in a reduction in density of the glass. Also, Fe, because of its relative insolubility, is concentrated by the leaching process. Thus, the Haitian glass specimens which have been heavily altered should have a thin rim of less dense glass in which the Fe is concentrated compared to the core glass. The higher Fe concentration in the rim glass should cause it to have an enhanced Curie constant and a lower density compared to the unaltered glass. The magnetic Curie constant, density, and scanning electron microscopic studies were made on altered specimens of Haitian glass and also on specimens showing a minimum of alteration. The results show that the less altered samples have the highest density and the lowest Curie constant. The data substantiate the terrestrial hypothesis. ?? 1994.

  10. Time scales of critical events around the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. (United States)

    Renne, Paul R; Deino, Alan L; Hilgen, Frederik J; Kuiper, Klaudia F; Mark, Darren F; Mitchell, William S; Morgan, Leah E; Mundil, Roland; Smit, Jan


    Mass extinctions manifest in Earth's geologic record were turning points in biotic evolution. We present (40)Ar/(39)Ar data that establish synchrony between the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary and associated mass extinctions with the Chicxulub bolide impact to within 32,000 years. Perturbation of the atmospheric carbon cycle at the boundary likely lasted less than 5000 years, exhibiting a recovery time scale two to three orders of magnitude shorter than that of the major ocean basins. Low-diversity mammalian fauna in the western Williston Basin persisted for as little as 20,000 years after the impact. The Chicxulub impact likely triggered a state shift of ecosystems already under near-critical stress.

  11. Environmental Effects of an Impact-Generated Dust Cloud: Implications for the Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinctions (United States)

    Pollack, James B.; Toon, Owen B.; Ackerman, Thomas P.; McKay, Christopher P.; Turco, Richard P.


    A model of the evolution and radiative effects of a debris cloud from a hypothesized impact event at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary suggests that the cloud could have reduced the amount of light at the earth's surface below that required for photosynthesis for several months and, for a somewhat shorter interval, even below that needed for many animals to see. For 6 months to 1 year, the surface would cool; the oceans would cool only a few degrees Celsius at most, but the continents might cool a maximum of 40 Kelvin. Extinctions in the ocean may have been caused primarily by the temporary cessation of photosynthesis, but those on land may have been primarily induced by a combination of lowered temperatures and reduced light.

  12. Environmental effects of an impact-generated dust cloud - Implications for the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinctions (United States)

    Pollack, J. B.; Toon, O. B.; Ackerman, T. P.; Mckay, C. P.; Turco, R. P.


    A model of the evolution and radiative effects of a debris cloud from a hypothesized impact event at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary suggests that the cloud could have reduced the amount of light at the earth's surface below that required for photosynthesis for several months and, for a somewhat shorter interval, even below that needed for many animals to see. For 6 months to 1 year, the surface would cool; the oceans could cool only a few degrees Celsius at most, but the continents might cool a maximum of 40 Kelvin. Extinctions in the ocean may have been caused primarily by the temporary cessation of photosynthesis, but those on land may have been primarily induced by a combination of lowered temperatures and reduced light.

  13. Investigations of a Cretaceous limestone with spectral induced polarization and scanning electron microscopy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansson, Sara; Sparrembom, Charlotte; Fiandaca, Gianluca


    limestone was carried out in the Kristianstad basin, Sweden. The time domain IP data was processed with a recently developed method in order to suppress noise from the challenging urban setting in the survey area. The processing also enabled extraction of early decay times resulting in broader spectra...... in early time ranges for bedrock characterization. The inverted sections showed variations within the limestone that could be caused by variations in texture and composition. Samples from a deep drilling in the Kristianstad basin were investigated with scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X......Characterization of varying bedrock properties is a common need in various contexts, ranging from large infrastructure pre-investigations to environmental protection. A direct current resistivity and time domain induced polarization (IP) survey aiming to characterize properties of a Cretaceous...

  14. New Data on the Composition of Cretaceous Volcanic Rocks of the Alazeya Plateau, Northeastern Yakutia (United States)

    Tsukanov, N. V.; Skolotnev, S. G.


    This work presents new data on the composition of volcanics, developed within the Alazeya Plateau of the Kolyma-Indigirka fold area (Northeast Russia), which indicate essential differences in their composition and, accordingly, different geodynamic settings of the formation of rocks. The studied igneous rocks are subdivided into two groups. Volcanics of the first group of the Late Cretaceous age, which are represented by differentiated volcanic rock series (from andesitobasalts to dacites and rhyolites), were formed under island arc conditions in the continent-ocean transition zone. Volcanics of the second group are ascribed to the tholeiitic series and were formed under the other geodynamic setting, which is associated with the regime of extension and riftogenesis, manifested in the studied area probably at the later stage.

  15. Dinosaur tracks from the Cedar Mountain Formation (Lower Cretaceous), Arches National Park, Utah (United States)

    Lockley, Martin G.; White, Diane K.; Kirkland, James I.; Santucci, Vincent L.


    The seventh and largest known dinosaur tracksite from the Cedar Mountain Formation is reported from two important stratigraphic levels in the Ruby Ranch Member within the boundaries of Arches National Park. Previous reports of sites with a few isolated tracks are of limited utility in indicating the fauna represented by track makers. The Arches site reveals evidence of several theropod morphotypes, including a possible match for the coelurosaur Nedcolbertia and an apparently didactyl Utahraptor-like dromeosaurid. Sauropod tracks indicate a wide-gauge morphotype (cf. Brontopodus). Ornithischian tracks suggest the presence of an iguandontid-like ornithopod and a large ankylosaur. Dinosaur track diversity is high in comparison with other early Cretaceous vertebrate ichnofaunas, and it correlates well with faunal lists derived from skeletal remains, thus providing a convincing census of the known fauna.

  16. Early Cretaceous climate change (Hauterivian - Early Aptian): Learning from the past to prevent modern reefs decline (United States)

    Godet, Alexis; Bodin, Stéphane; Adatte, Thierry; Föllmi, Karl B.


    In the last decades, the anthropogenic increase pCO2atm has been considered as one of the main contributors for the decline of modern coral reefs, and nearly 60% of these marine ecosystems are presently threatened (Bryant et al., 1998). Interactions between anthropogenic change and reef growth can, however, not be reduced to a single factor, and it is essential to look at the Earth's history to understand and counterbalance. During the Early Cretaceous, enhanced pCO2atm may have been responsible, at least in part, for the demise of the carbonate platform along the northern margin of the Tethys through climatic feedback mechanisms. From the Hauterivian to the Early Aptian, increased rainfalls are documented from the clay-mineral association, by a change from a smectite-dominated (most of the Hauterivian), to a kaolinite-dominated assemblage (latest Hauterivian up to the early Late Barremian). This switch is dated to the Pseudothurmannia ohmi ammonozone in the Vocontian Trough of southeastern France (Angles section, Godet et al., 2008). It is immediately followed in time by major nutrient input, as is illustrated by the substantial increase in phosphorus accumulation rates (PAR), not only in this section, but also in the Ultrahelvetic area of Switzerland and in the Umbria-Marche basin of Italy (Bodin et al., 2006). On the other hand, the remainder of the Hauterivian is characterized by PAR mean values characteristic of mesotrophic conditions, whereas the Late Barremian witnesses the return to oligotrophic environments (lower PAR values). Synchronously, these perturbations are mirrored on the platform by changes in the type of carbonate ecosystems. Indeed, a stronger continental runoff, and a subsequent input in the oceanic domain of nutrients (e.g., phosphorus) and clastic material modified marine palaeoenvironmental conditions and triggered changes in ecosystems. A unique archive of the Early Cretaceous carbonate platform is preserved in the Helvetic Alps, where the

  17. Cretaceous-Paleogene ostracods from the Paraíba Basin, northeastern Brazil (United States)

    de Lima Barros, Cecília; Piovesan, Enelise Katia; Oliveira Agostinho, Sonia Maria


    This work presents a detailed taxonomic study on the marine ostracods from the Paraíba Basin, northeastern Brazil, in wells from the wells Itamaracá-1IT-03-PE and Poty-1PO-01-PE, which record the Maastrichtian-Danian boundary. Besides the taxonomic data, this paper contributes to the paleoenvironmental knowledge of Cretaceous-Paleogene ostracods from the Paraíba Basin. The analysis of 98 samples of the well Itamaracá-1IT-03-PE and 59 samples of the Poty-1PO-01-PE resulted in the record of 34 ostracode species, all representative of a marine environment with normal salinity. Seven new species are proposed: Cytherella centrocompressa sp. nov.; Cytherella paraibensis sp. nov.; Neonesidea potyensis sp. nov.; Bythoceratina spinosa sp. nov.; Eucytherura ventrotuberculata sp. nov.; Langiella fauthi sp. nov. and Protobuntonia punctatum sp. nov.

  18. Accreted fragments of the Late Cretaceous Caribbean Colombian Plateau in Ecuador (United States)

    Mamberti, Marc; Lapierre, Henriette; Bosch, Delphine; Jaillard, Etienne; Ethien, Raynald; Hernandez, Jean; Polvé, Mireille


    The eastern part of the Western Cordillera of Ecuador includes fragments of an Early Cretaceous (≈123 Ma) oceanic plateau accreted around 85-80 Ma (San Juan-unit). West of this unit and in fault contact with it, another oceanic plateau sequence (Guaranda unit) is marked by the occurrence of picrites, ankaramites, basalts, dolerites and shallow level gabbros. A comparable unit is also exposed in northwestern coastal Ecuador (Pedernales unit). Picrites have LREE-depleted patterns, high ɛNd i and very low Pb isotopic ratios, suggesting that they were derived from an extremely depleted source. In contrast, the ankaramites and Mg-rich basalts are LREE-enriched and have radiogenic Pb isotopic compositions similar to the Galápagos HIMU component; their ɛNd i are slightly lower than those of the picrites. Basalts, dolerites and gabbros differ from the picrites and ankaramites by flat rare earth element (REE) patterns and lower ɛNd; their Pb isotopic compositions are intermediate between those of the picrites and ankaramites. The ankaramites, Mg-rich basalts, and picrites differ from the lavas from the San Juan-Multitud Unit by higher Pb ratios and lower ɛNd i. The Ecuadorian and Gorgona 88-86 Ma picrites are geochemically similar. The Ecuadorian ankaramites and Mg-rich basalts share with the 92-86 Ma Mg-rich basalts of the Caribbean-Colombian Oceanic Plateau (CCOP) similar trace element and Nd and Pb isotopic chemistry. This suggests that the Pedernales and Guaranda units belong to the Late Cretaceous CCOP. The geochemical diversity of the Guaranda and Pedernales rocks illustrates the heterogeneity of the CCOP plume source and suggests a multi-stage model for the emplacement of these rocks. Stratigraphic and geological relations strongly suggest that the Guaranda unit was accreted in the late Maastrichtian (≈68-65 Ma).

  19. Palaeomagnetic time and space constraints of the Early Cretaceous Rhenodanubian Flysch zone (Eastern Alps) (United States)

    Dallanave, Edoardo; Kirscher, Uwe; Hauck, Jürgen; Hesse, Reinhard; Bachtadse, Valerian; Wortmann, Ulrich Georg


    The Rhenodanubian Flysch zone (RDF) is a Lower Cretaceous-lower Palaeocene turbidite succession extending for ˜500 km from the Danube at Vienna to the Rhine Valley (Eastern Alps). It consists of calcareous and siliciclastic turbidite systems deposited in a trench abyssal plain. The age of deposition has been estimated through micropalaeontologic dating. However, palaeomagnetic studies constraining the age and the palaeolatitude of deposition of the RDF are still missing. Here, we present palaeomagnetic data from the Early Cretaceous Tristel and Rehbreingraben Formations of the RDF from two localities in the Bavarian Alps (Rehbrein Creek and Lainbach Valley, southern Germany), and from the stratigraphic equivalent of the Falknis Nappe (Liechtenstein). The quality of the palaeomagnetic signal has been assessed by either fold test (FT) or reversal test (RT). Sediments from the Falknis Nappe are characterized by a pervasive syntectonic magnetic overprint as tested by negative FT, and are thus excluded from the study. The sediments of the Rehbreingraben Formation at Rehbrein Creek, with positive RT, straddle magnetic polarity Chron M0r and the younger M΄-1r΄ reverse event, with an age of ˜127-123 Ma (late Barremian-early Aptian). At Lainbach Valley, no polarity reversals have been observed, but a positive FT gives confidence on the reliability of the data. The primary palaeomagnetic directions, after correction for inclination shallowing, allow to precisely constrain the depositional palaeolatitude of the Tristel and Rehbreingraben Formations around ˜28°N. In a palaeogeographic reconstruction of the Alpine Tethys at the Barremian/Aptian boundary, the RDF is located on the western margin of the Briançonnais terrain, which was separated from the European continent by the narrow Valais Ocean.

  20. Insight on the anatomy, systematic relationships, and age of the Early Cretaceous ankylopollexian dinosaur Dakotadon lakotaensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clint A. Boyd


    Full Text Available Knowledge regarding the early evolution within the dinosaurian clade Ankylopollexia drastically increased over the past two decades, in part because of an increase in described taxa from the Early Cretaceous of North America. These advances motivated the recent completion of extensive preparation and conservation work on the holotype and only known specimen of Dakotadon lakotaensis, a basal ankylopollexian from the Lakota Formation of South Dakota. That specimen (SDSM 8656 preserves a partial skull, lower jaws, a single dorsal vertebra, and two caudal vertebrae. That new preparation work exposed several bones not included in the original description and revealed that other bones were previously misidentified. The presence of extensive deformation in areas of the skull is also noted that influenced inaccuracies in prior descriptions and reconstructions of this taxon. In addition to providing an extensive re-description of D. lakotaensis, this study reviews previously proposed diagnoses for this taxon, identifies two autapomorphies, and provides an extensive differential diagnosis. Dakotadon lakotaensis is distinct from the only other ankylopollexian taxon known from the Lakota Formation, Osmakasaurus depressus, in the presence of two prominent, anteroposteriorly oriented ridges on the ventral surfaces of the caudal vertebrae, the only overlapping material preserved between these taxa. The systematic relationships of D. lakotaensis are evaluated using both the parsimony and posterior probability optimality criteria, with both sets of analyses recovering D. lakotaensis as a non-hadrosauriform ankylopollexian that is more closely related to taxa from the Early Cretaceous (e.g., Iguanacolossus, Hippodraco, and Theiophytalia than to more basally situated taxa from the Jurassic (e.g., Camptosaurus, Uteodon. This taxonomic work is supplemented by field work that relocated the type locality, confirming its provenance from unit L2 (lower Fuson Member

  1. A transitional snake from the Late Cretaceous period of North America. (United States)

    Longrich, Nicholas R; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Gauthier, Jacques A


    Snakes are the most diverse group of lizards, but their origins and early evolution remain poorly understood owing to a lack of transitional forms. Several major issues remain outstanding, such as whether snakes originated in a marine or terrestrial environment and how their unique feeding mechanism evolved. The Cretaceous Coniophis precedens was among the first Mesozoic snakes discovered, but until now only an isolated vertebra has been described and it has therefore been overlooked in discussions of snake evolution. Here we report on previously undescribed material from this ancient snake, including the maxilla, dentary and additional vertebrae. Coniophis is not an anilioid as previously thought a revised phylogenetic analysis of Ophidia shows that it instead represents the most primitive known snake. Accordingly, its morphology and ecology are critical to understanding snake evolution. Coniophis occurs in a continental floodplain environment, consistent with a terrestrial rather than a marine origin; furthermore, its small size and reduced neural spines indicate fossorial habits, suggesting that snakes evolved from burrowing lizards. The skull is intermediate between that of lizards and snakes. Hooked teeth and an intramandibular joint indicate that Coniophis fed on relatively large, soft-bodied prey. However, the maxilla is firmly united with the skull, indicating an akinetic rostrum. Coniophis therefore represents a transitional snake, combining a snake-like body and a lizard-like head. Subsequent to the evolution of a serpentine body and carnivory, snakes evolved a highly specialized, kinetic skull, which was followed by a major adaptive radiation in the Early Cretaceous period. This pattern suggests that the kinetic skull was a key innovation that permitted the diversification of snakes.

  2. New dinosaur fossils from ANA locality, Arcillas de Morella Formation (Aptian, Lower Cretaceous, Cinctorres, Spain) (United States)

    Santos-Cubedo, A.; de Santisteban, C.; Suñer, M.; Galobart, A.


    Ana is one of the several dinosaur bone sites located in the Arcillas de Morella Formation (Aptian, Lower Cretaceous; eastern Iberian Chain, Spain). This site was discovered in 1998, but it remained unexcavated until 2002, when a palaeontologist team formed by members of the Institut Paleontología Miquel Crusafont from Sabadell and the Grup Guix from Vila-real unearthed the first fossil from the locality. Nowadays there are five hundred fossils collected, including vertebrate and invertebrate species. Dinosaur bones (Theropoda and Ornithopoda) are abundant in this assemblage and in the last field season bones determined as Sauropoda were found. Taxonomically, Ana is dominated by disarticulated remains of Ornithopoda, which are usually fragmentary and abraded. Many of the elements may have been reworked (spatial averaging and/or time averaging), and the fossil concentration constitutes an autochthonous to parautochthonous association, in a spatial sense. The remains found in the Ana fossils site are placed in sandstones and limes containing marine autochthonous fauna. These deposits were formed during the transgressive infilling of an incised valley. Sedimentological features indicate that fossils were finally deposited in starved shallow estuarine environment. Mineralogically, the sediment including the fossils contains grains of quartz, illite/mica, kaolinite/clorite, K-feldspar and plagioclase, distributed in two mainly grain populations, a silty-clay and a coarse sand size grain, indicating that the sediments were bedded in a low-medium energy depositional environment. Nowadays we identified in Ana, teeth of Theropoda indet. and Baryonychinae indet., and bones of Iguanodon sp. Herein, we report new fossil findings from Ana site. These materials have been determined as Iguanodontia, Titanosauriformes and Theropoda. These new findings will help to understand the dinosaur fauna present in the Lower Cretaceous of Els Ports (Castellón, Spain). Acknowledgments This

  3. The Laminated Marca Shale: High-Frequency Climate Cycles From the Latest Cretaceous (United States)

    Davies, A.; Kemp, A. E.; Weedon, G.; Barron, J. A.


    The Latest Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Marca Shale Member, California, displays a well-preserved record of alternating terrigenous and diatomaceous laminae couplets, remarkably similar in lithology to recent laminated sediments from the Gulf of California and Santa Barbara Basin. This similarity, together with the recognition of intra- and inter-annual variability in the diatom flora, implies an annual origin for these couplets. High-resolution backscattered electron imagery has identified two sublaminae types within the varved succession; near monospecific lamina of Chaetoceros-type resting spore and of large Azpeitiopsis morenoensis. The composition and occurrence of these laminae is similar to ENSO forced intra-annual variability of diatom flora along the modern Californian margin. Relative thickness variations in terrigenous and biogenic laminae (proxies for precipitation and productivity respectively) also exhibit similar characteristics to variability in Quaternary varves from the Santa Barbara Basin, shown to be imparted by ENSO forcing. In order to track changes in the levels of bottom water oxygenation within the basin, a bioturbation index was established. Periods when bioturbation was minimal (enhanced benthic anoxia) coincide with times of greatest diatomaceous export flux and also lowest flux of detrital material. Conversely, periods of enhanced bioturbation correspond with reduced diatomaceous export flux and an increased flux of detrital material, comparable with ENSO forced variations in diatomaceous and terrigenous export flux and associated benthic oxygenation levels in Pleistocene varves off the Californian margin. Power spectra obtained from time-series analysis of the bioturbation index and laminae thickness variations exhibit strong signals within the ENSO band. This research implies that high-frequency climate perturbations are inherent components of the climate system and that ENSO-type variability was not confined to the dynamic climate

  4. Growth ring analysis of fossil coniferous woods from early cretaceous of Araripe Basin (Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Etiene F. Pires


    Full Text Available Growth ring analysis on silicified coniferous woods from the Missão Velha Formation (Araripe Basin - Brazil has yielded important information about periodicity of wood production during the Early Cretaceous in the equatorial belt. Despite warm temperatures, dendrological data indicate that the climate was characterized by cyclical alternation of dry and rainy periods influenced by cyclical precipitations, typical of tropical wet and dry or savanna climate. The abundance of false growth rings can be attributed to both occasional droughts and arthropod damage. The present climate data agree with palaeoclimatic models that inferred summer-wet biomes for the Late Jurassic/Early Cretaceous boundary in the southern equatorial belt.A partir de análise de anéis de crescimento em lenhos de coníferas silicificadas provenientes da Formação Missão Velha(Bacia do Araripe - Brasil, obteve-se importantes informações a respeito da periodicidade de produção lenhosa duranteo início do Cretáceo, na região do equador. Apesar das estimativas de temperatura apresentarem-se elevadas, os dados dendrológicos indicam que o clima foi caracterizado pela alternância cíclica de períodos secos e chuvosos, influenciado por precipitações periódicas, típico das condições atuais de climatropical úmido e seco ou savana. A abundância de falsosanéis de crescimento pode ser atribuída tanto a secas ocasionais quanto a danos causados por artrópodes. Os dados paleoclimáticos aqui obtidos corroboram com modelos paleoclimáticos que inferem a ocorrência de um bioma de verões úmidos para o limite Neojurássico/Eocretáceo ao sul do equador.

  5. Estimating Latest Cretaceous and Tertiary Atmospheric PCO2 from Stomatal Indices (United States)

    Royer, D. L.; Wing, S. L.; Beerling, D. J.


    Most modern C3 seed plants show an inverse relationship between PCO2 and stomatal index (SI), where SI is the proportion of epidermal cells that are stomatal packages. This plant-atmosphere response therefore provides a reliable approach for estimating paleo-CO2 levels. Since stomatal responses to CO2 are generally species-specific, one is limited in paleo-reconstructions to species that exist both in the fossil record and living today. Fossils morphologically similar to living Ginkgo biloba and Metasequoia glyptostroboides extend back to the early and late Cretaceous, respectively, indicating that the fossil and living forms are very closely related. Measurements of SI made on fossil Ginkgo and Metasequoia were calibrated with historical collections of G. biloba and M. glyptostroboides leaves from sites that developed during the anthropogenically-driven CO2 increases of the past 145 years (288-369 ppmv) and with saplings of G. biloba and M. glyptostroboides grown in CO2 controlled growth chambers (350-800 ppmv). Both nonlinear regressions are highly significant (Ginkgo: n = 40, r2 = 0.91; Metasequoia: n = 18; r2 = 0.85). Results from a sequence of 23 latest Cretaceous to early Eocene-aged Ginkgo-bearing sites indicate that CO2 remained between 300 and 450 ppmv with the exception of one high estimate ( ~800 ppmv) near the Paleocene/Eocene boundary, and results from 4 middle Miocene-aged Ginkgo- and Metasequoia-bearing sites indicate that CO2 was between 320 and 400 ppmv. If correct, the CO2 values estimated here are too low to explain via the CO2 greenhouse effect alone the higher global mean temperatures (e.g., 3-4 ° C for the early Eocene) inferred from models and geological data for these two intervals.

  6. A large parasitengonid mite (Acari, Erythraeoidea from the Early Cretaceous Crato Formation of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. A. Dunlop


    Full Text Available A new large, fossil mite (Arachnida: Acari, Pararainbowia martilli n. gen. n. sp., is described from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian Crato Formation from Ceará State, Brazil. It is assigned to the Cohort Parasitengona and the superfamily Erythraeoidea, some extant members of which can reach up to seven millimetres in body length. Given that doubts have been raised about the identity of putative Crato feather mite eggs, this new fossil represents the first unequivocal record of Acari from the Crato Formation, the first non-amber record of an erythraeoid mite and the oldest named example of this superfamily. Fossil erythraeoids from Mesozoic and Tertiary ambers are briefly reviewed – including a widely overlooked Late Cretaceous species – with comments on Mesozoic mites in general. Thirteen Baltic amber erythraeoids have been formally described, but much unstudied material from various amber sources remains. Ein neues großes Milbenfossil (Arachnida: Acari, Pararainbowia martilli n. gen. n. sp., wird aus der Crato Formation (Unterkreide, Aptium des Ceará Gebietes in Brasilien beschrieben. Es wird der Kohorte Parasitengona und der Überfamilie Erythraeoidea zugeordnet; die modernen Vertreter erreichen eine Körperlänge bis zu sieben mm. Weil die Identität von Federmilbeneiern aus der Crato Formation in Frage gestellt wurde, ist dieser Neufund der erste klare Hinweis von Acari aus der Crato Formation. Es ist die erste erythraeoide Milbe, die nicht aus dem Bernstein stammt sowie das älteste genannte Beispiel dieser Überfamilie. Fossile erythraeoide Milben aus dem Bernstein des Mesozoikum und des Tertiärs werden kurz zusammengefasst – u. a. eine weitgehend übersehene Art aus der Oberkreide – mit allgemeinen Anmerkungen zu den mesozoischen Milben. Dreizehn erythraeoide Milbenarten sind aus dem baltischen Bernstein genannt und beschrieben worden, aber weiteres unbearbeitetes Material von verschiedenen Bernstein-Fundpunkten liegt noch vor

  7. ) Geochemistry and Hydrocarbon Potential of Cretaceous Shales in the Chad Basin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alalade, B.; Ogunyemi, A. T.; Abimbola, A.F.; Olugbemiro, R. O.


    The Chad Basin is the largest intracratonic basin in Africa and is filled with more than 400m of Cretaceous to Recent sediments. Geochemical and petrographic studies of Cretaceous shales form the Bima, Gongola and Fika Formations were carried out to establish their hydrocarbon potential and thermal maturity. Ditch cuttings of the shales were collected from the Wa di and Karen's exploration wells located in the Nigerian sector of the Chad Basin.The geochemical analysis of the shales indicate that, except for Si02 and K20, all other oxides (Mg O, Fe2O3, AL2O3, CaO) are more abundant in the Fika shale than the Gongola shale. This suggests a more marine condition for the Fika shale compared to the Gongola shale. The Fika and Gongola shales were further classified into Iron shale and shale respectively. Organic carbon contents of the Bima, Gongola and exceed the minimum (0.5wt%) usually required for siliciclastic petroleum source rock. However, the soluble organic matter (SOM) and saturated hydrocarbon (SHC) contents of the shales, which ranges from 108pm to 743ppm and 23ppm to 100ppm respectively, are generally low and are therefore, organically lean. The organic matter of the shales is predominantly terrestrially derived, vitrinite rich, Type III kerogen and are therefore, gas prone. Thermal maturity assessed from SOM/TOC, SHC/TOC ratios and spore color index (SCI) indicate that the Fika shale is immature while the Gongola and Bima shales are within the oil window

  8. Current status and future of developing Upper Cretaceous oil deposits in the Oktyabrskoye field

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kamyshnikova, A.I.; Lapshin, M.Ye.


    The Upper Cretaceous deposit at the Oktyabrskoye field was discovered in 1966. Fractured, cavernous limestone, similar to the producing rock of many Upper Cretaceous deposits of the Chechen Ingush ASSR, form the reservoir. The deposit is situated toward a narrow anticlinal fold with angles of rock drop 40-45/sup 0/. Its heighth is 950m; the average capacity of the producing part is 400m; the deposit depth is 4200-5150m; the layer temperature is 150-160/sup 0/C. Exploratory work on the deposit is incomplete. The deposit was brought under industrial development in 1974. The development is conducted based on a refined, technological system, that includes contour flooding to maintain layer pressure in the center to edge part of the deposit at 36.0 MPa. This somewhat increases the pressure of the gas saturated oil, as well as the subsequent increase in layer pressure to 45.9 MPa for assuring wide open well flow during the late stages of development. Currently, the amount of oil obtained somewhat exceeds the planned level but the pumping volume is less than that planned. The deposit has not yet been studied sufficiently. Its boundaries have not been established; the locations of the initial and working water/oil edges are conditional; the structural plan is approximate. Data on the degree of waterflooding in the deposit and the magnitude of the actual oil yield coefficient are lacking inasmuch as the amount of oil already extracted at this time exceeds the calculated reserves. To increase the effectiveness of further development of the deposit and acquisition of the necessary data for calculating oil reserves, the deposit will be studied according to a special plan over a number of new drilling wells.

  9. Cretaceous biota of the Triângulo Mineiro region (Brazil: A review of recent finds

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    Candeiro, C. R. A.


    Full Text Available The Bauru Group (Adamantina, Uberaba, and Marília Formations crop out in the Triângulo Mineiro region, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, and yield a rich continental biota. Invertebrate and vertebrate taxa from underlying and overlying strata, as well as biostratigraphical correlations with other fossil sites in Argentina, suggest an Upper Cretaceous age for this biota. The diversity of the fossil assemblage recorded in these formations is summarized here and includes: frogs, lizards, crocodiles, titanosaurs, abelisaurid and carcharodontosaurid dinosaurs. This fossil assemblage provides important clues to understand faunas from other southern landmasses, particularly those from the Cretaceous of the African continent.Los afloramientos del Grupo Bauru (formaciones Adamantina, Uberaba y Marília en la región del Triângulo Mineiro, Provincia de Minas Gerais, Brasil, posee un rico contenido de biota continental. Los taxa de invertebrados y vertebrados de estos estratos, así como las correlaciones biostratigráficas con otros yacimientos fósiles de Argentina, sugieren una edad del Cretácico Tardío. La diversidad de la asociación fósil registrada en las formaciones del Triângulo Mineiro se resume en el presente trabajo e incluye: sapos, lagartos, tortugas, cocodrilianos, titanosaurideos, dinosaurios abelisaurideos y carcharodontosaurideos. Esta asociación es importante para la comprensión de las faunas del sur de América y también de las del Cretácico de África.

  10. Post Cretaceous cooling trend documented in the gastropods (Turritella Sp.) from the Cenozoic startigraphic successions of India (United States)

    Banerjee, Y.; Ghosh, P.; Halder, K.; Malarkodi, N.; Pathak, P.


    The aftermath of the Himalyan orogeny and subsequent cooling is documented in the deep sea sedimentary record from the Oceanic realm (1). Here we attempt to reconstruct the temperature pattern based on marine gastropods i.e. Turritella sp. which became abundant during the post Cretaceous period and have successfully been used for the reconstruction of climate by measuring the stable isotopic composition (2,3,4). Well preserved specimens of Cretaceous Turritella from the Rajamundry Infratrappean beds and those from the Miocene, Holocene succession of Kutch, western India were analysed along with specimen from the modern time scale (also from Kutch). The Cretaceous, early to mid Miocene, early Holocene and modern shells recorded δ13C variability from 0.36 to 4.94‰, -1.83 to -4.83‰, -3.26 to 0.40‰, -1.47 to -4.70‰ respectively suggesting drop in the productivity during mid Miocene and subsequent period of rapid growth. The Variability in terms of δ18O ranges from -2.28 to -4.99‰, -2.66 to -7.06‰, -2.86 to 0.96‰, -1.05 to -3.23‰ for the Cretaceous, early to mid Miocene, early Holocene and modern shells respectively. Corbula sp. collected from the same strata with that of the early to mid Holocene Turritella showed a similar δ13C and δ18O values denoting similar environmental condition during deposition. Absence of any significant correlation between δ13C vs δ18O support equilibrium precipitation of shell growth bands. We used Epstein oxygen isotope thermometry to derive temperature from the oxygen isotope of carbonate and adopted water isotopic composition (1‰ for the Cretaceous and -0.7‰ for the Miocene) from the literature. Our observation captured an overall cooling trend from the Cretaceous to the Holocene time period (especially in between mid Miocene to Holocene) and a subsequent warming trend in modern time. Validation with other thermometry method will be displayed at the time of presentation. References: [1] Zachos et al., 2001

  11. Biostratigraphy of the Upper Cretaceous deposits in north of Birjand, (Shushud section

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    farah jalili


    Full Text Available Introduction: One of the first works about Cretaceous deposits in eastern part of the Lut Block is done by Stocklin et al. (1972. They reported Orbitolina limestones in Shah Kuh area and Maasterichtian siliciclastic and limestone beds which have overlaid the older deposits with a gap. In geological maps of the east of Iran, Upper Cretaceous deposits have been reported (Berthiaux et al., 1990; Eftekharnejad, 1991; Berberian and Soheili, 1992; Alvai Naini, 1983; Guillou et al., 1981 that they have been mostly referred to shallow and relatively deep facies. Moreover, Gorgich (2002, Gorgich et al. (2009 and Motie (2010 reported Maastrichtian deposits in the east of Iran. The study area is located at Geological Quadrangle Map of Qayen (Berthiaux et al., 1990 and Geological Sheet Map of Roum (Shahidi et al., 2000. The measured section is geographically situated at 33o 05′ north latitude and 59o 02′ east longitude. Aims and Method: This paper aims to study lithostratigraphy, identification of foraminifera assemblage, age determination, and biostratigraphy and biozonation of the measured section. The authors hope this research lead to a better understanding of the regional geology and distribution of Cretaceous foraminifera that might describe the degree of lithostratigraphic and biostratigraphic precision. In this research 160 samples have been collected which 130 samples were cut and thin sections were prepared. The other samples were disaggregated in dilute H2O2 (10% vol. and washed. The washed residues were dried and picked the isolated forams. Thin sections studied under Olympus microscope and the foraminifera were identified and photographed. The isolated forms were photographed with Scanning Electronic Microscope (SEM device model XL30 Philips in Technical Faculty of Tehran University. Discussion and results (Lithostratigraphy and biostratigraphy: From point of view of lithostratigraphy, the lower contact of the succession is faulted and the

  12. Giant calcite concretions in aeolian dune sandstones; sedimentological and architectural controls on diagenetic heterogeneity, mid-Cretaceous Iberian Desert System, Spain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arribas, M.E.; Rodríguez-López, J.P.; Meléndez, N.; Soria, A.R.; de Boer, P.L.


    Aeoliandunesandstones of the Iberian erg system (Cretaceous, Spain) host giantcalciteconcretions that constitute heterogeneities of diagenetic origin within a potential aeolian reservoir. The giantcalciteconcretions developed in large-scale aeoliandune foresets, at the transition between aeoliandune

  13. Early cretaceous Obernirchen and Bentheim sandstones from Germany used as dimension stone in the Netherlands: geology physical properties, architectural use and comparative weathering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dubelaar, C.W.; Nijland, T.G.


    The Netherlands, with only scarce occurrences of outcropping or shallow buried natural stone, has over centuries imported huge quantities of Early Cretaceous Bentheim Sandstone and Obernkirchen Sandstone from Germany. The present paper provides an overview of their distribution and properties

  14. A study on uranium metallogenetic prospects of ground water oxidation zone type in the lower cretaceous, north Shanganning basin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Jinping


    Lower Cretaceous is developed well in the north part of Shanganning basin. The area was widely uplifting vertically after their deposited. Based on the features of lithology, lithophase and Neotectonic forms, two main periods of oxidation-erosion of K2-E1 and N1-present can be distinguished. During these two periods, large scale horizontal oxidation were occurred. It is significant that the ground water oxidation related to the uranium mineralization and has been proved by the field investigation and the data of γ-logging in drill hole for oil. Meanwhile, according to the hydrodynamic features of present Shanganning plateau type artesian basin, it seems that uranium mineralization main related to the ground water oxidation the upper parts of the Lower Cretaceous

  15. The old and the new plankton: ecological replacement of associations of mollusc plankton and giant filter feeders after the Cretaceous?

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    Amane Tajika


    Full Text Available Owing to their great diversity and abundance, ammonites and belemnites represented key elements in Mesozoic food webs. Because of their extreme ontogenetic size increase by up to three orders of magnitude, their position in the food webs likely changed during ontogeny. Here, we reconstruct the number of eggs laid by large adult females of these cephalopods and discuss developmental shifts in their ecologic roles. Based on similarities in conch morphology, size, habitat and abundance, we suggest that similar niches occupied in the Cretaceous by juvenile ammonites and belemnites were vacated during the extinction and later partially filled by holoplanktonic gastropods. As primary consumers, these extinct cephalopod groups were important constituents of the plankton and a principal food source for planktivorous organisms. As victims or, respectively, profiteers of this case of ecological replacement, filter feeding chondrichthyans and cetaceans likely filled the niches formerly occupied by large pachycormid fishes during the Jurassic and Cretaceous.

  16. Post-early cretaceous landform evolution along the western margin of the banca~nnia trough, western nsw (United States)

    Gibson, D.L.


    Previously undated post-Devonian sediments outcropping north of Fowlers Gap station near the western margin of the Bancannia Trough are shown by plant macro- and microfossil determinations to be of Early Cretaceous (most likely Neocomian and/or Aptian) age, and thus part of the Eromanga Basin. They are assigned to the previously defined Telephone Creek Formation. Study of the structural configuration of this unit and the unconformably underlying Devonian rocks suggests that the gross landscape architecture of the area results from post-Early Cretaceous monoclinal folding along blind faults at the western margin of the trough, combined with the effects of differential erosion. This study shows that, while landscape evolution in the area has been dynamic, the major changes that have occurred are on a geological rather than human timescale.

  17. Teeth of embryonic or hatchling sauropods from the Berriasian (Early Cretaceous of Cherves-de-Cognac, France

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    Paul M. Barrett


    Full Text Available The Cherves-de-Cognac site (Charente, France has yielded a diverse continental microvertebrate fauna of Berriasian (earliest Cretaceous age. Dinosaur remains are rare, but include three teeth that are referrable to an indeterminate sauropod, which might represent either a titanosauriform, a non-titanosauriform macronarian or a non-neosauropod. The small size of these teeth (with a maximum length of 3 mm, as preserved and the almost complete absence of emanel wrinkling suggests that they pertained to embryonic or hatchling individuals. The Cherves-de-Cognac sauropod represents a rare occurrence of sauropod embryos/hatchlings, a new sauropod record from the poorly-known terrestrial Berriasian and another possible instance of the persistence of non-diplodocoid, non-titanosauriform sauropods into the Cretaceous.

  18. Current oil and gas production from North American Upper Cretaceous chalks (United States)

    Scholle, Peter A.


    Production of oil and natural gas from North American chalks has increased significantly during the past five years, spurred by the prolific production from North Sea chalks, as well as by higher prices and improved production technology. Chalk reservoirs have been discovered in the Gulf Coast in the Austin Group, Saratoga and Annona Chalks, Ozan Formation, Selma Group, Monroe gas rock (an informal unit of Navarro age), and other Upper Cretaceous units. In the Western Interior, production has been obtained from the Cretaceous Niobrara and Greenhorn Formations. Significant, though subcommercial, discoveries of natural gas and gas condensate also have been made in the Upper Cretaceous Wyandot Formation on the Scotian Shelf of eastern Canada. All North American chalk units share a similar depositional and diagenetic history. The chalks consist primarily of whole and fragmented coccoliths with subordinate planktonic and benthonic Foraminifera, inoceramid prisms, oysters, and other skeletal grains. Most have between 10 and 35 percent HCl-insoluble residue, predominantly clay. Deposition was principally below wave base in tens to hundreds of meters of water. The diagenetic history of a chalk is critical in determining its reservoir potential. All chalk has a stable composition (low-Mg calcite) and very high primary porosity. With subsequent burial, mechanical and chemical (solution-transfer) compaction can reduce or completely eliminate pore space. The degree of loss of primary porosity in chalk sections is normally a direct function of the maximum depth to which it has been buried. Pore-water chemistry, pore-fluid pressures, and tectonic stresses also influence rates of cementation. Oil or gas reservoirs of North American chalk fall into three main groups: 1. Areas with thin overburden and significant primary porosity retention (for example, Niobrara Formation of Kansas and eastern Colorado). 2. Areas with thicker overburden but considerable fracturing. Here primary

  19. A new species of Cretalamna sensu stricto (Lamniformes, Otodontidae) from the Late Cretaceous (Santonian-Campanian) of Alabama, USA (United States)

    Ehret, Dana J.


    Decades of collecting from exposures of the Upper Cretaceous Tombigbee Sand Member of the Eutaw Formation and Mooreville Chalk in Alabama, USA has produced large numbers of isolated Cretalamna (sensu stricto) teeth. Many of these teeth had formerly been assigned to the extinct Late Cretaceous shark Cretalamna appendiculata (Agassiz, 1843), a taxon that is now considered largely restricted to the Turonian of Europe. Recent studies have shed light on the diversity of Late Cretaceous Cretalamna (s.s.) taxa, and here we recognize a new species from Alabama, Cretalamna bryanti. The teeth of C. bryanti sp. nov. appear aligned with the members of the Cretalamna borealis species group, but can be distinguished from these other species by a combination of the following: anterior teeth with a more pronounced and triangular lingual root protuberance, broader triangular cusp, and a taller root relative to the height of the crown; anteriorly situated lateroposterior teeth have a distally inclined or hooked main cusp and more than one pair of lateral cusplets; and lateroposterior teeth have a strong distally hooked main cusp and a root that is largely symmetrical in basal view. At present, C. bryanti sp. nov. is stratigraphically confined to the Santonian/Campanian Dicarinella asymetrica Sigal, 1952 and Globotruncanita elevata Brotzen, 1934 Planktonic Foraminiferal Zones within the Tombigbee Sand Member of the Eutaw Formation and Mooreville Chalk, and teeth have been collected from only four counties in central and western Alabama. The recognition of C. bryanti sp. nov. in Alabama adds to our knowledge on the diversity and distribution of Late Cretaceous otodontids in the region. PMID:29333348

  20. Cenomanian and Cenomanian-Turonian boundary deposits in the southern part of the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin, Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Čech, S.; Hradecká, L.; Svobodová, Marcela; Švábenická, L.


    Roč. 80, č. 4 (2005), s. 321-354 ISSN 1210-3527 Grant - others:GA MŽP1(CZ) 1975/630/02 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z3013912 Keywords : Cenomanian * biostratigraphy * Bohemian Cretaceous Basin Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

  1. First complete sauropod dinosaur skull from the Cretaceous of the Americas and the evolution of sauropod dentition. (United States)

    Chure, Daniel; Britt, Brooks B; Whitlock, John A; Wilson, Jeffrey A


    Sauropod dinosaur bones are common in Mesozoic terrestrial sediments, but sauropod skulls are exceedingly rare--cranial materials are known for less than one third of sauropod genera and even fewer are known from complete skulls. Here we describe the first complete sauropod skull from the Cretaceous of the Americas, Abydosaurus mcintoshi, n. gen., n. sp., known from 104.46 +/- 0.95 Ma (megannum) sediments from Dinosaur National Monument, USA. Abydosaurus shares close ancestry with Brachiosaurus, which appeared in the fossil record ca. 45 million years earlier and had substantially broader teeth. A survey of tooth shape in sauropodomorphs demonstrates that sauropods evolved broad crowns during the Early Jurassic but did not evolve narrow crowns until the Late Jurassic, when they occupied their greatest range of crown breadths. During the Cretaceous, brachiosaurids and other lineages independently underwent a marked diminution in tooth breadth, and before the latest Cretaceous broad-crowned sauropods were extinct on all continental landmasses. Differential survival and diversification of narrow-crowned sauropods in the Late Cretaceous appears to be a directed trend that was not correlated with changes in plant diversity or abundance, but may signal a shift towards elevated tooth replacement rates and high-wear dentition. Sauropods lacked many of the complex herbivorous adaptations present within contemporaneous ornithischian herbivores, such as beaks, cheeks, kinesis, and heterodonty. The spartan design of sauropod skulls may be related to their remarkably small size--sauropod skulls account for only 1/200th of total body volume compared to 1/30th body volume in ornithopod dinosaurs.

  2. A New Basal Hadrosauroid Dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Khok Kruat Formation in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Northeastern Thailand


    Shibata, Masateru; Jintasakul, Pratueng; Azuma, Yoichi; You, Hai-Lu


    A new basal hadrosauroid dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Khok Kruat Formation of Thailand, Sirindhorna khoratensis gen. et sp. nov is described. The new taxon is based on composite skull and mandible including premaxilla, maxilla, jugal, quadrate, braincases, predentary, dentaries, surangular, and maxillary and dentary teeth. It is diagnostic by such characters as, sagittal crest extending along entire dorsal surface of the parietal and reaching the frontoparietal suture (autapomorphy), tr...

  3. A molecular genetic time scale demonstrates Cretaceous origins and multiple diversification rate shifts within the order Galliformes (Aves). (United States)

    Stein, R Will; Brown, Joseph W; Mooers, Arne Ø


    The phylogeny of Galliformes (landfowl) has been studied extensively; however, the associated chronologies have been criticized recently due to misplaced or misidentified fossil calibrations. As a consequence, it is unclear whether any crown-group lineages arose in the Cretaceous and survived the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg; 65.5 Ma) mass extinction. Using Bayesian phylogenetic inference on an alignment spanning 14,539 bp of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data, four fossil calibrations, and a combination of uncorrelated lognormally distributed relaxed-clock and strict-clock models, we inferred a time-calibrated molecular phylogeny for 225 of the 291 extant Galliform taxa. These analyses suggest that crown Galliformes diversified in the Cretaceous and that three-stem lineages survived the K-Pg mass extinction. Ideally, characterizing the tempo and mode of diversification involves a taxonomically complete phylogenetic hypothesis. We used simple constraint structures to incorporate 66 data-deficient taxa and inferred the first taxon-complete phylogenetic hypothesis for the Galliformes. Diversification analyses conducted on 10,000 timetrees sampled from the posterior distribution of candidate trees show that the evolutionary history of the Galliformes is best explained by a rate-shift model including 1-3 clade-specific increases in diversification rate. We further show that the tempo and mode of diversification in the Galliformes conforms to a three-pulse model, with three-stem lineages arising in the Cretaceous and inter and intrafamilial diversification occurring after the K-Pg mass extinction, in the Paleocene-Eocene (65.5-33.9 Ma) or in association with the Eocene-Oligocene transition (33.9 Ma). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous continental convergence and intracontinental orogenesis in East Asia: A synthesis of the Yanshan Revolution (United States)

    Dong, Shuwen; Zhang, Yueqiao; Zhang, Fuqin; Cui, Jianjun; Chen, Xuanhua; Zhang, Shuanhong; Miao, Laicheng; Li, Jianhua; Shi, Wei; Li, Zhenhong; Huang, Shiqi; Li, Hailong


    The basic tectonic framework of continental East Asia was produced by a series of nearly contemporaneous orogenic events in the late Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous. Commonly, the Late Mesozoic orogenic processes were characterized by continent-continent collision, large-scale thrusting, strike-slip faulting and intense crustal shortening, crustal thickening, regional anatexis and metamorphism, followed by large-scale lithospheric extension, rifting and magmatism. To better understand the geological processes, this paper reviews and synthesizes existing multi-disciplinary geologic data related to sedimentation, tectonics, magmatism, metamorphism and geochemistry, and proposes a two-stage tectono-thermal evolutionary history of East Asia during the late Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous (ca. 170-120 Ma). In the first stage, three orogenic belts along the continental margins were formed coevally at ca. 170-135 Ma, i.e., the north Mongol-Okhotsk orogen, the east paleo-Pacific coastal orogen, and the west Bangong-Nujiang orogen. Tectonism related to the coastal orogen caused extensive intracontinental folding and thrusting that resulted in a depositional hiatus in the Late Jurassic, as well as crustal anatexis that generated syn-kinematic granites, adakites and migmatites. The lithosphere of the East Asian continent was thickened, reaching a maximum during the latest Jurassic or the earliest Cretaceous. In the second stage (ca. 135-120 Ma), delamination of the thickened lithosphere resulted in a remarkable (>120 km) lithospheric thinning and the development of mantle-derived magmatism, mineralization, metamorphic core complexes and rift basins. The Middle Jurassic-Early Cretaceous subduction of oceanic plates (paleo-Pacific, meso-Tethys, and Mongol-Okhotsk) and continent-continent collision (e.g. Lhasa and Qiangtang) along the East Asian continental margins produced broad coastal and intracontinental orogens. These significant tectonic activities, marked by

  5. Neutron and photon activation analyses in geochemical characterization of sediment profiles at the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mizera, Jiří; Řanda, Zdeněk


    Roč. 282, č. 1 (2009), s. 53-57 ISSN 0236-5731. [MARC VIII (8th International Conference on Methods and Applications of Radionalytical Chemistry ). Kailua-Kona, Hawai, 05.04.2009-10.04.2009] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10480505 Keywords : Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary * Brodno section * Neutron activation analysis Subject RIV: BG - Nuclear, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Colliders Impact factor: 0.631, year: 2009

  6. Provenance and U-Pb geochronology of the Upper Cretaceous El Chanate Group, northwest Sonora, Mexico, and its tectonic significance (United States)

    Jacques-Ayala, C.; Barth, A.P.; Wooden, J.L.; Jacobson, C.E.


    The Upper Cretaceous El Chanate Group, northwest Sonora, Mexico, is a 2.8km thick clastic sedimentary sequence deposited in a continental basin closely related to volcanic activity. It consists of three formations: the Pozo Duro (oldest), the Anita, and the Escalante (youngest). Petrographic study, conglomerate pebble counts, and U-Pb geochronology of detrital zircons were performed to determine the source and age of this sequence, and to interpret its tectonic setting. In the sandstones of all three formations, the most abundant grains are those of volcanic composition (Q38F22L 40, Q35F19L46, and Q 31F22L47, respectively). The Pozo Duro Formation includes well-rounded quartz-arenite clast conglomerates, whereas conglomerates of the two upper units have clasts predominantly of andesitic and rhyolitic composition. The most likely source for these sediments was the Jurassic volcanic arc exposed in northern Sonora and southern Arizona. Zircons from five sandstone samples define two main age groups, Proterozoic and Mesozoic. The first ranges mostly from 1000 to 1800Ma, which suggests the influence of a cratonic source. This zircon suite is interpreted to be recycled and derived from the same source area as the quartz-rich sandstone clasts in the basal part of the section. Mesozoic zircons range from Triassic to Late Cretaceous, which confirms the proposed Late Cretaceous age for the sequence, and also corroborates Jurassic felsic source rocks. Another possible source was the Alisitos volcanic arc, exposed along the western margin of the Baja California Peninsula. Of regional significance is the great similarity between the El Chanate Group and the McCoy Mountains Formation of southeastern California and southwestern Arizona. Both are Cretaceous, were deposited in continental environments, and have similar zircon-age patterns. Also, both exhibit intense deformation and locally display penetrative foliation. These features strongly suggest that both units underwent


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali SARI


    Full Text Available - Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Akkuyu formation was deposited in a marine carbonate platform in Central Tarurids. The organic material of the unit is composed of Type III kerogen which is woody material transported from the land. Late Jurassic- Early Cretaceous is an important period which great anoxic events in deep sea bottom occurred due to the primary organic productivity in global sea surface. Use of several trace elements values (Ni, V, U, Cr, Co, Th revealed that Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Akkuyu formation shows oxic, disoxic and anoxic paleoredox conditions. In this period the primary productivity was considerably high. Examination of specimen derived from Akkuyu formation revealed that there exists a very good positive relationship between the major oxides of Al2O3, SiO2, Fe2O3, TiO2, and K2O. These combinations of major oxides indicate a detrital origin of source rock. Chemical weathering evaluations of Central Taurids in the Jurassic-Cretaceous period indicated moderate and strong weathering of source rock. K2O/Na2O versus SiO2; SiO2/Al2O3 versus K2O/Na2O; Al2O3/ SiO2 versus Fe2O3 + MgO ve TiO2 versus Fe2O3 + MgO diagrams indicated that Akkuyu formation was deposited along active and/or passive continental margin and derived from basalt and basalt+granite mixed rocks.

  8. Tectonic evolution of the Sicilian Maghrebian Chain inferred from stratigraphic and petrographic evidences of Lower Cretaceous and Oligocene flysch

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    Puglisi Diego


    Full Text Available The occurrence of a Lower Cretaceous flysch group, cropping out from the Gibraltar Arc to the Balkans with a very similar structural setting and sedimentary provenance always linked to the dismantling of internal areas, suggests the existence of only one sedimentary basin (Alpine Tethys s.s., subdivided into many other minor oceanic areas. The Maghrebian Basin, mainly developed on thinned continental crust, was probably located in the westernmost sector of the Alpine Tethys. Cretaceous re-organization of the plates triggered one (or more tectonic phases, well recorded in almost all the sectors of the Alpine Tethys. However, the Maghrebian Basin seems to have been deformed by Late- or post-Cretaceous tectonics, connected with a “meso-Alpine” phase (pre-Oligocene, already hypothesized since the beginning of the nineties. Field geological evidence and recent biostratigraphic data also support this important meso- Alpine tectonic phase in the Sicilian segment of the Maghrebian Chain, indicated by the deformations of a Lower Cretaceous flysch sealed by Lower Oligocene turbidite deposits. This tectonic development is emphasized here because it was probably connected with the onset of rifting in the southern paleomargin of the European plate, the detaching of the so-called AlKaPeCa block (Auct.; i.e. Alboran + Kabylian + Calabria and Peloritani terranes and its fragmentation into several microplates. The subsequent early Oligocene drifting of these microplates led to the progressive closure of the Maghrebian Basin and the opening of new back-arc oceanic basins, strongly controlled by extensional processes, in the western Mediterranean (i.e. Gulf of Lion, Valencia Trough, Provençal Basin and Alboran Sea.

  9. Paleolatitudes of the Tibetan Himalaya from primary and secondary magnetizations of Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous sedimentary rocks (United States)

    Huang, Wentao; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; Dekkers, Mark J.; Garzanti, Eduardo; Dupont-Nivet, Guillaume; Lippert, Peter C.; Li, Xiaochun; Maffione, Marco; Langereis, Cor G.; Hu, Xiumian; Guo, Zhaojie; Kapp, Paul


    The Tibetan Himalaya represents the northernmost continental unit of the Indian plate that collided with Asia in the Cenozoic. Paleomagnetic studies on the Tibetan Himalaya can help constrain the dimension and paleogeography of "Greater India," the Indian plate lithosphere that subducted and underthrusted below Asia after initial collision. Here we present a paleomagnetic investigation of a Jurassic (limestones) and Lower Cretaceous (volcaniclastic sandstones) section of the Tibetan Himalaya. The limestones yielded positive fold test, showing a prefolding origin of the isolated remanent magnetizations. Detailed paleomagnetic analyses, rock magnetic tests, end-member modeling of acquisition curves of isothermal remanent magnetization, and petrographic investigation reveal that the magnetic carrier of the Jurassic limestones is authigenic magnetite, whereas the dominant magnetic carrier of the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastic sandstones is detrital magnetite. Our observations lead us to conclude that the Jurassic limestones record a prefolding remagnetization, whereas the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastic sandstones retain a primary remanence. The volcaniclastic sandstones yield an Early Cretaceous paleolatitude of 55.5°S [52.5°S, 58.6°S] for the Tibetan Himalaya, suggesting it was part of the Indian continent at that time. The size of "Greater India" during Jurassic time cannot be estimated from these limestones. Instead, a paleolatitude of the Tibetan Himalaya of 23.8°S [21.8°S, 26.1°S] during the remagnetization process is suggested. It is likely that the remagnetization, caused by the oxidation of early diagenetic pyrite to magnetite, was induced during 103-83 or 77-67 Ma. The inferred paleolatitudes at these two time intervals imply very different tectonic consequences for the Tibetan Himalaya.

  10. The origin of oil in the Cretaceous succession from the South Pars Oil Layer of the Persian Gulf (United States)

    Rahmani, Omeid; Aali, Jafar; Junin, Radzuan; Mohseni, Hassan; Padmanabhan, Eswaran; Azdarpour, Amin; Zarza, Sahar; Moayyed, Mohsen; Ghazanfari, Parviz


    The origin of the oil in Barremian-Hauterivian and Albian age source rock samples from two oil wells (SPO-2 and SPO-3) in the South Pars oil field has been investigated by analyzing the quantity of total organic carbon (TOC) and thermal maturity of organic matter (OM). The source rocks were found in the interval 1,000-1,044 m for the Kazhdumi Formation (Albian) and 1,157-1,230 m for the Gadvan Formation (Barremian-Hauterivian). Elemental analysis was carried out on 36 samples from the source rock candidates (Gadvan and Kazhdumi formations) of the Cretaceous succession of the South Pars Oil Layer (SPOL). This analysis indicated that the OM of the Barremian-Hauterivian and Albian samples in the SPOL was composed of kerogen Types II and II-III, respectively. The average TOC of analyzed samples is less than 1 wt%, suggesting that the Cretaceous source rocks are poor hydrocarbon (HC) producers. Thermal maturity and Ro values revealed that more than 90 % of oil samples are immature. The source of the analyzed samples taken from Gadvan and Kazhdumi formations most likely contained a content high in mixed plant and marine algal OM deposited under oxic to suboxic bottom water conditions. The Pristane/nC17 versus Phytane/nC18 diagram showed Type II-III kerogen of mixture environments for source rock samples from the SPOL. Burial history modeling indicates that at the end of the Cretaceous time, pre-Permian sediments remained immature in the Qatar Arch. Therefore, lateral migration of HC from the nearby Cretaceous source rock kitchens toward the north and south of the Qatar Arch is the most probable origin for the significant oils in the SPOL.

  11. A new species of Cretalamna sensu stricto (Lamniformes, Otodontidae from the Late Cretaceous (Santonian-Campanian of Alabama, USA

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    Jun A. Ebersole


    Full Text Available Decades of collecting from exposures of the Upper Cretaceous Tombigbee Sand Member of the Eutaw Formation and Mooreville Chalk in Alabama, USA has produced large numbers of isolated Cretalamna (sensu stricto teeth. Many of these teeth had formerly been assigned to the extinct Late Cretaceous shark Cretalamna appendiculata (Agassiz, 1843, a taxon that is now considered largely restricted to the Turonian of Europe. Recent studies have shed light on the diversity of Late Cretaceous Cretalamna (s.s. taxa, and here we recognize a new species from Alabama, Cretalamna bryanti. The teeth of C. bryanti sp. nov. appear aligned with the members of the Cretalamna borealis species group, but can be distinguished from these other species by a combination of the following: anterior teeth with a more pronounced and triangular lingual root protuberance, broader triangular cusp, and a taller root relative to the height of the crown; anteriorly situated lateroposterior teeth have a distally inclined or hooked main cusp and more than one pair of lateral cusplets; and lateroposterior teeth have a strong distally hooked main cusp and a root that is largely symmetrical in basal view. At present, C. bryanti sp. nov. is stratigraphically confined to the Santonian/Campanian Dicarinella asymetrica Sigal, 1952 and Globotruncanita elevata Brotzen, 1934 Planktonic Foraminiferal Zones within the Tombigbee Sand Member of the Eutaw Formation and Mooreville Chalk, and teeth have been collected from only four counties in central and western Alabama. The recognition of C. bryanti sp. nov. in Alabama adds to our knowledge on the diversity and distribution of Late Cretaceous otodontids in the region.

  12. Diversity patterns amongst herbivorous dinosaurs and plants during the Cretaceous: implications for hypotheses of dinosaur/angiosperm co-evolution. (United States)

    Butler, R J; Barrett, P M; Kenrick, P; Penn, M G


    Palaeobiologists frequently attempt to identify examples of co-evolutionary interactions over extended geological timescales. These hypotheses are often intuitively appealing, as co-evolution is so prevalent in extant ecosystems, and are easy to formulate; however, they are much more difficult to test than their modern analogues. Among the more intriguing deep time co-evolutionary scenarios are those that relate changes in Cretaceous dinosaur faunas to the primary radiation of flowering plants. Demonstration of temporal congruence between the diversifications of co-evolving groups is necessary to establish whether co-evolution could have occurred in such cases, but is insufficient to prove whether it actually did take place. Diversity patterns do, however, provide a means for falsifying such hypotheses. We have compiled a new database of Cretaceous dinosaur and plant distributions from information in the primary literature. This is used as the basis for plotting taxonomic diversity and occurrence curves for herbivorous dinosaurs (Sauropodomorpha, Stegosauria, Ankylosauria, Ornithopoda, Ceratopsia, Pachycephalosauria and herbivorous theropods) and major groups of plants (angiosperms, Bennettitales, cycads, cycadophytes, conifers, Filicales and Ginkgoales) that co-occur in dinosaur-bearing formations. Pairwise statistical comparisons were made between various floral and faunal groups to test for any significant similarities in the shapes of their diversity curves through time. We show that, with one possible exception, diversity patterns for major groups of herbivorous dinosaurs are not positively correlated with angiosperm diversity. In other words, at the level of major clades, there is no support for any diffuse co-evolutionary relationship between herbivorous dinosaurs and flowering plants. The diversification of Late Cretaceous pachycephalosaurs (excluding the problematic taxon Stenopelix) shows a positive correlation, but this might be spuriously related to

  13. Sedimentary features of the Blackhawk formation (Cretaceous) at Sunnyside, Carbon County, Utah (United States)

    Maberry, John O.


    The Blackhawk Formation at Sunnyside, Utah, was deposited along the western margin of the Western Interior Cretaceous sea during southeastward withdrawal of the sea. Sand was the dominant type of land-derived sediment deposited in the Sunnyside district during the regressive phases. Sand bodies prograded seaward in response to changing sediment supply from a source west of Sunnyside. Where conditions were favorable for the accumulation of vegetable material, peat deposits formed and were later changed to bituminous Coal by diagenesis. Studies of the coal bed show that the coals were formed from accumulation of small, low-growing plants and plant debris that was transported into the area of accumulation. Remains of large plants in the coals are rare. Trace fossils, which are tracks, trails and burrows formed by organisms and preserved in the rock, are extremely abundant in the Blackhawk rocks. These biogenic sedimentary structures are common in Cretaceous deposits throughout the western United States. Trace fossil distribution in the rocks is controlled by the depositional environment preferred by their creators. A study of the trace fossils of a. locality allows a more precise determination of the conditions during deposition of the sediments. Water depth, bottom conditions, salinity, current velocity and amount of suspended nutrients in the water are some of the environmental factors that may be reconstructed by studying trace fossils. The Blackhawk Formation at Sunnyside comprises the members, the Kenilworth Member and the Sunnyside Member. Field studies show that the formation may be further subdivided in the Sunnyside district., according to the precepts of units of mappable thickness and similar lithologic characteristics. The Blackhawk pinches out eastward and north. ward into the Mancos Shale, and names for submembers become meaningless. Names are of value in the region of interest, however, because of the prominence of the named units. Coal mining is the

  14. Geomagnetic Reversals of the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous Captured in a North China Core (United States)

    Kuhn, T.; Fu, R. R.; Kent, D. V.; Olsen, P. E.


    The Tuchengzi formation in North China nominally spans nearly 20 million years of the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous, an interval during which age calibration of the Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale (GPTS) based on seafloor magnetic anomalies is poorly known. The overlying Yixian formation is of special paleontological interest due to an abundance of spectacularly preserved macrofossils of feathered non-avian dinosaurs, birds, mammals, and insects. Scarce fossils in the Tuchengzi, sparse accurate radiometric dates on both the Tuchengzi and overlying Yixian formation, and scant previous paleomagnetic studies on these formations motivated our application of magnetostratigraphy as a geochronological tool. We constructed a geomagnetic reversal sequence from the upper 142m of a 200m core extracted in Liaoning Province at Huangbanjigou spanning the lower Yixian Formation and the unconformably underlying Tuchengzi Formation. Thermal demagnetization up to 680°C in steps of 25-50°C revealed predominantly normal overprints consistent with the modern day field with unblocking temperatures between 125°C and as high as 550°C, as well as normal and reverse characteristic components with unblocking temperatures between 500°C and 680°C. Going up from the base of the core, there is a reverse polarity magnetozone >6m thick, followed by a 5m normal magnetozone, a 10m reverse magnetozone, a 25m normal magnetozone, and a 6m reverse magnetozone truncated by the Yixian-Tuchengzi unconformity. Above the unconformity, all 81m of core were normal. These results indicate that a meaningful polarity stratigraphy can be recovered from the Tuchengzi and Yixian formations that will be invaluable for correlations across the Tuchengzi and potentially the Yixian formations, which span thousands of square kilometers and vary in thickness by many hundreds of meters. The results also demonstrate that, in combination with accurate and precise radiometric dates, the Tuchengzi Formation has the

  15. Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) phosphorites in Jordan: implications for the formation of a south Tethyan phosphorite giant (United States)

    Pufahl, Peir K.; Grimm, Kurt A.; Abed, Abdulkader M.; Sadaqah, Rushdi M. Y.


    A record of sedimentary, authigenic, and biological processes are preserved within the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Alhisa Phosphorite Formation (AP) in central and northern Jordan. The AP formed near the eastern extremity of the south Tethyan Phosphorite Province (STPP), a carbonate-dominated Upper Cretaceous to Eocene "phosphorite giant" that extends from Colombia, North Africa to the Middle East. Multidisciplinary research of the AP and associated cherts, chalks, and oyster buildups indicate that phosphatic strata formed on a highly productive, storm-dominated, east-west trending epeiric platform along the south Tethyan margin. The onset of phosphogenesis and the accumulation of economic phosphorite coincided with a rise in relative sea level that onlapped peritidal carbonates of the Ajlun Group. Pristine phosphates are associated with well-developed micrite concretionary horizons and contain abundant non-keeled spiral planktic foraminifera and a low diversity benthic assemblage of Buliminacean foraminifera, suggesting that pristine phosphates are a condensed facies and phosphogenesis was stimulated by the effects of a highly productive surface ocean and the suboxic diagenesis of sedimentary organic matter. The bulk sediment composition and absence of Fe-bearing authigenic phases such as glauconite, pyrite (including pyrite molds), siderite, and goethite within pristine phosphates suggests that deposition and authigenesis occurred under conditions of detrital starvation and that "iron-pumping" played a minimal role in phosphogenesis. Authigenic precipitation of phosphate occurred in a broad array of sedimentary environments—herein termed a "phosphorite nursery"—that spanned the entire platform. This is a non-uniformitarian phenomenon reflecting precipitation of sedimentary apatite across a wide depositional spectrum in a variety of depositional settings, wherever the conditions were suitable for phosphogenesis. Sedimentologic data indicate that pristine

  16. Are diamond-bearing Cretaceous kimberlites related to shallow-angle subduction beneath western North America? (United States)

    Currie, C. A.; Beaumont, C.


    The origin of deep-seated magmatism (in particular, kimberlites and lamproites) within continental plate interiors remains enigmatic in the context of plate tectonic theory. One hypothesis proposes a relationship between kimberlite occurrence and lithospheric subduction, such that a subducting plate releases fluids below a continental craton, triggering melting of the deep lithosphere and magmatism (Sharp, 1974; McCandless, 1999). This study provides a quantitative evaluation of this hypothesis, focusing on the Late Cretaceous- Eocene (105-50 Ma) kimberlites and lamproites of western North America. These magmas were emplaced along a corridor of Archean and Proterozoic lithosphere, 1000-1500 km inboard of the plate margin separating the subducting Farallon Plate and continental North America Plate. Kimberlite-lamproite magmatism coincides with tectonic events, including the Laramide orogeny, shut-down of the Sierra Nevada arc, and eastward migration of volcanism, that are commonly attributed to a change in Farallon Plate geometry to a shallow-angle trajectory (subduction that places the Farallon Plate beneath the western edge of the cratonic interior of North America. This geometry is consistent with the observed continental dynamic subsidence that lead to the development of the Western Interior Seaway. The models also show that the subducting plate has a cool thermal structure, and subducted hydrous minerals (serpentine, phengite and phlogopite) remain stable to more than 1200 km from the trench, where they may break down and release fluids that infiltrate the overlying craton lithosphere. This is supported by geochemical studies that indicate metasomatism of the Colorado Plateau and Wyoming craton mantle lithosphere by an aqueous fluid and/or silicate melt with a subduction signature. Through Cretaceous shallow-angle subduction, the Farallon Plate was in a position to mechanically and chemically interact with North American craton lithosphere at the time of

  17. The Jurassic-early Cretaceous Ilo batholith of southern coastal Peru: geology, geochronology and geochemistry (United States)

    Boekhout, Flora; Sempere, Thierry; Spikings, Richard; Schaltegger, Urs


    The Ilo batholith (17°00 - 18°30 S) crops out in an area of about 20 by 100 km, along the coast of southern Peru. This batholith is emplaced into the ‘Chocolate‘ Formation of late Permian to middle Jurassic age, which consists of more than 1000 m of basaltic and andesitic lavas, with interbedded volcanic agglomerates and breccias. The Ilo Batholith is considered to be a rarely exposed fragment of the Jurassic arc in Peru. Our aim is to reconstruct the magmatic evolution of this batholith, and place it within the context of long-lasting magma genesis along the active Andean margin since the Paleozoic. Sampling for dating and geochemical analyses was carried out along several cross sections through the batholith that were exposed by post-intrusion eastward tilting of 20-30°. Sparse previous work postulates early to middle Jurassic and partially early Cretaceous emplacement, on the basis of conventional K/Ar and 40Ar/39Ar dating methods in the Ilo area. Twenty new U-Pb zircon ages (LA-ICP-MS and CA-ID-TIMS) accompanied by geochemical data suggests the Ilo batholith formed via the amalgamation of middle Jurassic and early Cretaceous, subduction-related plutons. Preliminary Hf isotope studies reveal a primitive mantle source for middle Jurassic intrusions. Additional Sr, Nd and Hf isotope analyses are planned to further resolve the source regions of different pulses of plutonic activity. We strongly suggest that batholith emplacement was at least partly coeval with the emplacement of the late Permian to middle Jurassic Chocolate Formation, which was deposited in an extensional tectonic regime. Our age results and geochemical signature fit into the scheme of episodic emplacement of huge amounts of subduction related magmatism that is observed throughout the whole Andean event, particularly during the middle Jurassic onset of the first Andean cycle (southern Peru, northern Chile and southern Argentina). Although the exact geodynamic setting remains to be precisely

  18. Regional setting and geochronology of the Late Cretaceous Banatitic Magmatic and Metallogenetic Belt (United States)

    Ciobanu, Cristiana L.; Cook, Nigel J.; Stein, Holly


    The 1,500-km-long Banatitic Magmatic and Metallogenetic Belt (BMMB) of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria is a complex calc-alkaline magmatic arc of Late Cretaceous age. It hosts a variety of magmatic-hydrothermal Cu, Au, Mo, Zn, Pb and Fe deposits, including Europe's only world-class porphyry-copper deposits. Regional metallogeny can be linked to subduction of the Vardar Ocean during the Late Cretaceous, as part of the closure of the Neotethys Ocean that had separated Europe and Africa in the Mesozoic. Porphyry Cu-(Au)-(Mo) and intimately associated epithermal massive sulphides dominate in the central segments of the belt in southernmost Banat (Romania), Serbia and north-west Bulgaria. These districts are the economically most important today, including major active Cu-Au mines at Moldova Nouă in Romania, Majdanpek, Veliki Krivelj and Bor in Serbia, and Elatsite, Assarel and Chelopech in Bulgaria. More numerous (and mostly mined in the past) are Fe, Cu and Zn-Pb skarns, which occur mainly at the two ends of the belt, in Eastern Bulgaria and in Romania. This paper summarises some of the deposit characteristics within the geodynamic framework of terminal Vardar subduction. Heterogeneous terranes of the belt, including the Apuseni Mountains at the western end, are aligned parallel to the Vardar front following continental collision of the Dacia and Tisza blocks. All available geochronological data (numerous K-Ar and some U-Pb and Re-Os ages) are compiled, and are complemented by a new high-precision Re-Os date for the Dognecea skarn deposit, south-west Romania (76.6±0.3 Ma). These data indicate that magmatism extended over at least 25 million years, from about 90 to 65 Ma in each segment of the belt. Within Apuseni Mountains and Banat, where magma emplacement was related to syn-collisional extension in the orogenic belt of Carpathians, ore formation seems to be restricted in time and maybe constrained by a shared tectonic event.

  19. Do brooding and polygamy behaviors exist on Cretaceous oviraptoroid dinosaurs of China: a paleobiological perspective (United States)

    Yang, T.-R.; Cheng, Y.-N.; Yang, K.-M.


    Brooding, parental care, and polygamy represent three different stages in bird's reproduction. The oringin of these behaviors is still in debate. Several samples excavated from China strengthen the phylogenetic relationship between birds and dinosaurs, for example, feathered dinosaurs, paired-eggs in pelvic region of an oviraptorid dinosaur, and small theropod fossils. Previous studies in past two decades, including an oviraptor sitting on a clutch and comparison of the ratio of clutch-volume to adult-body-size between Aves and Mesozoic dinosaurs, proposed that these behaviors had appeared on some Cretaceous theropods (e.g., oviraptor and troodon). These researches also indicate the possibility of endothermy and male care first. In conclusion, this reproduction strategy might support females having more remnant energy to build a larger clutch contributed eggs from multiple females, and brooded by males only. From our cluster analysis through paleoecological perspectives, the eggs in Cretaceous oviraptor's nest should not be corporately laid by multiple females. In morphological observation, the fossilized clutches from Ganzhou, Jiangxi, Mainland China, are 2-layered interbeded with matrix of reddish-brown siltstone or clays. The inner-layer eggs are hampered from directly contacting with adult dinosaurs body. Furthermore, the blunt ends of the eggs point to the center, and incline away forming a mound-shape nest, which is completely different from those of precocial and male-caring megapode. The ornamentation of eggshell surface and microstructures from thin sections of eggs from oviraptors and ostrich (Struthioniformes) are totally different. Comparison of thickness in different part of oviraptor's egg also reveal possible physiological structure in the egg and ecological behaviors. The detailed comparison implies that the Mesozoic oviraptoroid dinosaurs hold absolutely different incubation and caring behaviors from extant birds. We propose an alternative

  20. Upper Cretaceous molluscan record along a transect from Virden, New Mexico, to Del Rio, Texas (United States)

    Cobban, W.A.; Hook, S.C.; McKinney, K.C.


    Updated age assignments and new collections of molluscan fossils from lower Cenomanian through upper Campanian strata in Texas permit a much refined biostratigraphic correlation with the rocks of New Mexico and the Western Interior. Generic names of many Late Cretaceous ammonites and inoceramid bivalves from Texas are updated to permit this correlation. Strata correlated in the west-to-east transect include the lower Cenomanian Beartooth Quartzite and Sarten Sandstone of southwest New Mexico, and the Eagle Mountains Formation, Del Rio Clay, Buda Limestone, and. basal beds of the Chispa Summit, Ojinaga, and Boquillas Formations of the Texas-Mexico border area. Middle Cenomanian strata are lacking in southwestern New Mexico but are present in the lower parts of the Chispa Summit and Boquillas Formations in southwest Texas. Upper Cenomanian and lower Turonian rocks are present at many localities in New Mexico and Texas in the Mancos Shale and Chispa Summit, Ojinaga, and Boquillas Formations. Middle Turonian and younger rocks seem to be entirely nonmarine in southwestern New Mexico, but they are marine in the Rio Grande area in the Chispa. Summit, Ojinaga, and Boquillas Formations. The upper part of the Chispa Summit and Boquillas contain late Turonian fossils. Rocks of Coniacian and Santonian age are present high in the Chispa Summit, Ojinaga, and Boquillas Formations, and in the lower part of the Austin. The San Carlos, Aguja, Pen, and Austin Formations contain fossils of Campanian age. Fossils representing at least 38 Upper Cretaceous ammonite zones are present along the transect. Collections made in recent years in southwestern New Mexico and at Sierra de Cristo Rey just west of downtown El Paso, Texas, have been well treated and do not need revision. Taxonomic names and zonations published in the pre-1970 literature on the Rio Grande area of Texas have been updated. New fossil collections from the Big Bend National Park, Texas, allow for a much refined correlation

  1. Pinaceae-like reproductive morphology in Schizolepidopsis canicularis sp. nov. from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian) of Mongolia. (United States)

    Leslie, Andrew B; Glasspool, Ian; Herendeen, Patrick S; Ichinnorov, Niiden; Knopf, Patrick; Takahashi, Masamichi; Crane, Peter R


    Seed cone scales assigned to the genus Schizolepidopsis are widespread in Late Triassic to Cretaceous Eurasian deposits. They have been linked to the conifer family Pinaceae based on associated vegetative remains, but their exact affinities are uncertain. Recently discovered material from the Early Cretaceous of Mongolia reveals important new information concerning Schizolepidopsis cone scales and seeds, and provides support for a relationship between the genus and extant Pinaceae. Specimens were collected from Early Cretaceous (probable Aptian-Albian) lignite deposits in central Mongolia. Lignite samples were disaggregated, cleaned in hydrofluoric acid, and washed in water. Specimens were selected for further study using light and electron microscopy. Schizolepidopsis canicularis seed cones consist of loosely arranged, bilobed ovulate scales subtended by a small bract. A single inverted seed with an elongate micropyle is borne on each lobe of the ovulate scale. Each seed has a wing formed by the separation of the adaxial surface of the ovulate scale. Schizolepidopsis canicularis produced winged seeds that formed in a manner that is unique to Pinaceae among extant conifers. We do not definitively place this species in Pinaceae pending more complete information concerning its pollen cones and vegetative remains. Nevertheless, this material suggests that Schizolepidopsis may be important for understanding the early evolution of Pinaceae, and may potentially help reconcile the appearance of the family in the fossil record with results based on phylogenetic analyses of molecular data.

  2. Tectonosedimentary framework of Upper Cretaceous -Neogene series in the Gulf of Tunis inferred from subsurface data: implications for petroleum exploration (United States)

    Dhraief, Wissem; Dhahri, Ferid; Chalwati, Imen; Boukadi, Noureddine


    The objective and the main contribution of this issue are dedicated to using subsurface data to delineate a basin beneath the Gulf of Tunis and its neighbouring areas, and to investigate the potential of this area in terms of hydrocarbon resources. Available well data provided information about the subsurface geology beneath the Gulf of Tunis. 2D seismic data allowed delineation of the basin shape, strata geometries, and some potential promising subsurface structures in terms of hydrocarbon accumulation. Together with lithostratigraphic data obtained from drilled wells, seismic data permitted the construction of isochron and isobath maps of Upper Cretaceous-Neogene strata. Structural and lithostratigraphic interpretations indicate that the area is tectonically complex, and they highlight the tectonic control of strata deposition during the Cretaceous and Neogene. Tectonic activity related to the geodynamic evolution of the northern African margin appears to have been responsible for several thickness and facies variations, and to have played a significant role in the establishment and evolution of petroleum systems in northeastern Tunisia. As for petroleum systems in the basin, the Cretaceous series of the Bahloul, Mouelha and Fahdene formations are acknowledged to be the main source rocks. In addition, potential reservoirs (Fractured Abiod and Bou Dabbous carbonated formations) sealed by shaly and marly formations (Haria and Souar formations respectively) show favourable geometries of trap structures (anticlines, tilted blocks, unconformities, etc.) which make this area adequate for hydrocarbon accumulations.

  3. Foraminiferal biostratigraphy of Upper Cretaceous (Campanian - Maastrichtian) sequences in the Peri-Tethys basin; Moghan area, NW Iran (United States)

    Omidvar, Mahboobeh; Safari, Amrollah; Vaziri-Moghaddam, Hossain; Ghalavand, Hormoz


    The Upper Cretaceous sediments in the Moghan area, NW Iran, contain diverse planktonic and benthic foraminifera, with a total of 33 genera and 53 species (17 genera and 38 species of planktonic foraminifera and 16 genera and 15 species from benthic foraminifera), which led to the identification of six biozones spanning the middle Campanian to late Maastrichtian. A detailed paleontological study and biostratigraphic zonation of these sequences has been carried out in four surface sections. This study shows that there are two different facies in the Moghan area, based on the faunal content. A deep open marine condition exists in the Molok, Selenchai and Nasirkandi sections. In these sections, Upper Cretaceous sequences have diverse planktonic foraminiferal species including the Globotruncana ventricosa (middle to late Campanian), Globotruncanella havanensis (late Campanian), Globotruncana aegyptiaca (latest Campanian), Gansserina gansseri (latest Campanian to early Maastrichtian), Contusotruncana contusa- Racemiguembelina fructicosa (early to late Maastrichtian) and Abathomphalus mayaroensis (late Maastrichtian) zones. This deep open marine setting grades laterally into shallower marine condition dominated by large benthic foraminifera such as Orbitoides media, Orbitoides gruenbachensis, Orbitoides cf. apiculata, Lepidorbitoides minor, Pseudosiderolites sp., Siderolites praecalcitrapoides, Siderolites aff. calcitrapoides and Siderolites calcitrapoides. This facies is mainly recorded in the Hovay section. A detailed biostratigraphic zonation scheme is presented for the studied sections and correlated with the results of other studies in the Tethyan realm. This is the first biozonation scheme for Upper Cretaceous sequences of the Moghan area that can be used as a basis for ongoing studies in this area and other parts of Tethys basin.

  4. A Late Cretaceous diversification of Asian oviraptorid dinosaurs: evidence from a new species preserved in an unusual posture (United States)

    Lü, Junchang; Chen, Rongjun; Brusatte, Stephen L.; Zhu, Yangxiao; Shen, Caizhi


    Oviraptorosaurs are a bizarre group of bird-like theropod dinosaurs, the derived forms of which have shortened, toothless skulls, and which diverged from close relatives by developing peculiar feeding adaptations. Although once among the most mysterious of dinosaurs, oviraptorosaurs are becoming better understood with the discovery of many new fossils in Asia and North America. The Ganzhou area of southern China is emerging as a hotspot of oviraptorosaur discoveries, as over the past half decade five new monotypic genera have been found in the latest Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) deposits of this region. We here report a sixth diagnostic oviraptorosaur from Ganzhou, Tongtianlong limosus gen. et sp. nov., represented by a remarkably well-preserved specimen in an unusual splayed-limb and raised-head posture. Tongtianlong is a derived oviraptorid oviraptorosaur, differentiated from other species by its unique dome-like skull roof, highly convex premaxilla, and other features of the skull. The large number of oviraptorosaurs from Ganzhou, which often differ in cranial morphologies related to feeding, document an evolutionary radiation of these dinosaurs during the very latest Cretaceous of Asia, which helped establish one of the last diverse dinosaur faunas before the end-Cretaceous extinction.

  5. Paleoenvironmental reconstruction and evolution of an Upper Cretaceous lacustrine-fluvial-deltaic sequence in the Parecis Basin, Brazil (United States)

    Rubert, Rogerio R.; Mizusaki, Ana Maria Pimentel; Martinelli, Agustín G.; Urban, Camile


    The Cretaceous in the Brazilian Platform records events of magmatism, tectonism and sedimentation coupled to the Gondwana breakup. Some of these events are registered as sedimentary sequences in interior basins, such as in the Cretaceous sequence of the Alto Xingu Sub-basin, Parecis Basin, Central Brazil. This article proposes the faciologic characterization and paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the Cretaceous sequence of the eastern portion of the Parecis Basin and its relation with some reactivated structures as, for instance, the Serra Formosa Arch. Based on both data from outcrops and core drillings a paleoenvironmental and evolutionary reconstruction of the sequence is herein presented. The base of the studied section is characterized by chemical and low energy clastic sedimentation of Lake Bottom and Shoreline, in a context of fast initial subsidence and low sedimentation rate. As the subsidence process decreased, a deltaic progradation became dominant with deposition in a prodelta environment, followed by a deltaic front and deltaic plain interbedded with fluvial plain, and aeolian deposition completing the sequence. The inferred Coniacian-Santonian age is based on vertebrate (fishes and notosuchians) and ostracod fossils with regional chrono-correlates in the Adamantina (Bauru Group), Capacete (Sanfranciscana Basin), and Bajo de la Carpa (Neuquén Group, in Argentina) formations. The formation of a Coniacian depocenter in the Alto Xingu Sub-basin is associated to the Turonian-Coniacian reactivation event in the Peruvian Orogenic Phase of the Andean Orogeny, with the transference of stresses to interplate setting, reactivating Proterozoic structures of the basement.

  6. Extended mitogenomic phylogenetic analyses yield new insight into crocodylian evolution and their survival of the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. (United States)

    Roos, Jonas; Aggarwal, Ramesh K; Janke, Axel


    The mitochondrial genomes of the dwarf crocodile, Osteolaemus tetraspis, and two species of dwarf caimans, the smooth-fronted caiman, Paleosuchus trigonatus, and Cuvier's dwarf caiman, Paleosuchus palpebrosus, were sequenced and included in a mitogenomic phylogenetic study. The phylogenetic analyses, which included a total of ten crocodylian species, yielded strong support to a basal split between Crocodylidae and Alligatoridae. Osteolaemus fell within the Crocodylidae as the sister group to Crocodylus. Gavialis and Tomistoma, which joined on a common branch, constituted a sister group to Crocodylus/Osteolaemus. This suggests that extant crocodylians are organized in two families: Alligatoridae and Crocodylidae. Within the Alligatoridae there was a basal split between Alligator and a branch that contained Paleosuchus and Caiman. The analyses also provided molecular estimates of various divergences applying recently established crocodylian and outgroup fossil calibration points. Molecular estimates based on amino acid data placed the divergence between Crocodylidae and Alligatoridae at 97-103 million years ago and that between Alligator and Caiman/Paleosuchus at 65-72 million years ago. Other crocodilian divergences were placed after the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Thus, according to the molecular estimates, three extant crocodylian lineages have their roots in the Cretaceous. Considering the crocodylian diversification in the Cretaceous the molecular datings suggest that the extinction of the dinosaurs was also to some extent paralleled in the crocodylian evolution. However, for whatever reason, some crocodylian lineages survived into the Tertiary.

  7. Lower Cretaceous fossils from China shed light on the ancestral body plan of crown softshell turtles (Trionychidae, Cryptodira). (United States)

    Brinkman, Donald; Rabi, Márton; Zhao, Lijun


    Pan-trionychids or softshell turtles are a highly specialized and widespread extant group of aquatic taxa with an evolutionary history that goes back to the Early Cretaceous. The earliest pan-trionychids had already fully developed the "classic" softshell turtle morphology and it has been impossible to resolve whether they are stem members of the family or are within the crown. This has hindered our understanding of the evolution of the two basic body plans of crown-trionychids. Thus it remains unclear whether the more heavily ossified shell of the cyclanorbines or the highly reduced trionychine morphotype is the ancestral condition for softshell turtles. A new pan-trionychid from the Early Cretaceous of Zhejiang, China, Perochelys hengshanensis sp. nov., allows a revision of softshell-turtle phylogeny. Equal character weighting resulted in a topology that is fundamentally inconsistent with molecular divergence date estimates of deeply nested extant species. In contrast, implied weighting retrieved Lower Cretaceous Perochelys spp. and Petrochelys kyrgyzensis as stem trionychids, which is fully consistent with their basal stratigraphic occurrence and an Aptian-Santonian molecular age estimate for crown-trionychids. These results indicate that the primitive morphology for soft-shell turtles is a poorly ossified shell like that of crown-trionychines and that shell re-ossification in cyclanorbines (including re-acquisition of peripheral elements) is secondary.

  8. Geologic assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources—Lower Cretaceous Albian to Upper Cretaceous Cenomanian carbonate rocks of the Fredericksburg and Washita Groups, United States Gulf of Mexico Coastal Plain and State Waters (United States)

    Swanson, Sharon M.; Enomoto, Catherine B.; Dennen, Kristin O.; Valentine, Brett J.; Cahan, Steven M.


    In 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessed Lower Cretaceous Albian to Upper Cretaceous Cenomanian carbonate rocks of the Fredericksburg and Washita Groups and their equivalent units for technically recoverable, undiscovered hydrocarbon resources underlying onshore lands and State Waters of the Gulf Coast region of the United States. This assessment was based on a geologic model that incorporates the Upper Jurassic-Cretaceous-Tertiary Composite Total Petroleum System (TPS) of the Gulf of Mexico basin; the TPS was defined previously by the USGS assessment team in the assessment of undiscovered hydrocarbon resources in Tertiary strata of the Gulf Coast region in 2007. One conventional assessment unit (AU), which extends from south Texas to the Florida panhandle, was defined: the Fredericksburg-Buda Carbonate Platform-Reef Gas and Oil AU. The assessed stratigraphic interval includes the Edwards Limestone of the Fredericksburg Group and the Georgetown and Buda Limestones of the Washita Group. The following factors were evaluated to define the AU and estimate oil and gas resources: potential source rocks, hydrocarbon migration, reservoir porosity and permeability, traps and seals, structural features, paleoenvironments (back-reef lagoon, reef, and fore-reef environments), and the potential for water washing of hydrocarbons near outcrop areas.In Texas and Louisiana, the downdip boundary of the AU was defined as a line that extends 10 miles downdip of the Lower Cretaceous shelf margin to include potential reef-talus hydrocarbon reservoirs. In Mississippi, Alabama, and the panhandle area of Florida, where the Lower Cretaceous shelf margin extends offshore, the downdip boundary was defined by the offshore boundary of State Waters. Updip boundaries of the AU were drawn based on the updip extent of carbonate rocks within the assessed interval, the presence of basin-margin fault zones, and the presence of producing wells. Other factors evaluated were the middle

  9. Mid-Cretaceous aeolian desert systems in the Yunlong area of the Lanping Basin, China: Implications for palaeoatmosphere dynamics and paleoclimatic change in East Asia (United States)

    Li, Gaojie; Wu, Chihua; Rodríguez-López, Juan Pedro; Yi, Haisheng; Xia, Guoqing; Wagreich, Michael


    The mid-Cretaceous constitutes a period of worldwide atmospheric and oceanic change associated with slower thermohaline circulation and ocean anoxic events, possible polar glaciations and by a changing climate pattern becoming controlled by a zonal planetary wind system and an equatorial humid belt. During the mid-Cretaceous, the subtropical high-pressure arid climate belt of the planetary wind system controlled the palaeolatitude distribution of humid belts in Asia as well as the spatial distribution of rain belts over the massive continental blocks at mid-low latitudes in the southern and northern hemispheres. Additionally, the orographic effect of the Andean-type active continental margin in East Asia hindered the transportation of ocean moisture to inland regions. With rising temperatures and palaeoatmospheric conditions dominated by high pressure systems, desert climate environments expanded at the inland areas of East Asia including those accumulated in the mid-Cretaceous of the Simao Basin, the Sichuan Basin, and the Thailand's Khorat Basin, and leading the Late Cretaceous erg systems in the Xinjiang Basin and Jianghan Basin. This manuscript presents evidences that allow to reinterpret previously considered water-laid sediments to be accumulated as windblown deposits forming part of extensive erg (sandy desert) systems. Using a multidisciplinary approach including petrological, sedimentological and architectural observations, the mid-Cretaceous (Albian-Turonian) Nanxin Formation from the Yunlong region of Lanping Basin, formerly considered to aqueous deposits is here interpreted as representing aeolian deposits, showing local aeolian-fluvial interaction deposits. The palaeowind directions obtained from the analysis of aeolian dune cross-beddings indicates that inland deserts were compatible with a high-pressure cell (HPC) existing in the mid-low latitudes of East Asia during the mid-Cretaceous. Compared with the Early Cretaceous, the mid-Cretaceous had

  10. New predatory cockroaches (Insecta: Blattaria: Manipulatoridae fam.n.) from the Upper Cretaceous Myanmar amber (United States)

    Vršanský, Peter; Bechly, Günter


    We describe a new extinct lineage Manipulatoridae (new family) of cockroaches from the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) amber of Myanmar. Manipulator modificaputis gen. et sp. n. is a morphologically unique extinct cockroach that represents the first (of a total of 29 known worldwide) cockroach family reported exclusively from the Myanmar amber. This family represents an early side branch of the stem group of Mantodea (most probably a sister group of Eadiidae within Blattaria/Corydioidea) because it has some synapomorphies with the Mantodea (including the stem group and Eadiidae). This family also retains symplesiomorphies that exclude a position in the crown group, and furthermore has unique autapomorphies that exclude a position as a direct ancestor of Mantodea. The unique adaptations such as strongly elongated extremities and freely movable head on a long neck suggest that these animals were pursuit predators. Five additional specimens (including two immatures) reported from the Myanmar amber suggest that this group was relatively rare but belonged to the indigenous and autochthonous inhabitants of the ancient amber forest of the Myanmar region.

  11. Plesiosaur-bearing rocks from the Late Cretaceous Tahora Fm, Mangahouanga, New Zealand - a palaeoenvironmental study (United States)

    Vajda, Vivi; Raine, J. Ian


    Mangahouanga Stream, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand is world-famous for its high southern latitude vertebrate fossils including plesiosaurs, mosasaurs and more rarely, dinosaurs. The fossils are preserved in the conglomeratic facies of the Maungataniwha Sandstone Member of the Tahora Formation. A palynological investigation of sediments from the boulders hosting vertebrate fossils reveals well-preserved palynological assemblages dominated by pollen and spores from land plants but also including marine dinoflagellate cysts in one sample. The palynofacies is strongly dominated by wood fragments including charcoal, and the sample taken from a boulder hosting plesiosaur vertebrae is entirely terrestrially derived, suggesting a fresh-water habitat for at least some of these plesiosaurs. The key-pollen taxa Nothofagidites senectus and Tricolpites lilliei, together with the dinocyst Isabelidinium pellucidum and the megaspore Grapnelispora evansii, strongly indicate an early Maastrichtian age for the host rock. The terrestrial palynoflora reflects a mixed vegetation dominated by podocarp conifers and angiosperms with a significant tree-fern subcanopy component. The presence of taxa with modern temperate distributions such as Nothofagus (southern beech), Proteaceae and Cyatheaceae (tree-ferns), indicates a mild-temperate climate and lack of severe winter freezing during the latest Cretaceous, providing an ecosystem which most probably made it possible for polar dinosaurs to overwinter. The paper is dedicated to Mrs Joan Wiffen who with her great persistence, enthusiasm and courage put Mangahouanga on the world map, becoming a role model for many young scientists.

  12. Characterization of the Cretaceous aquifer structure of the Meskala region of the Essaouira Basin, Morocco (United States)

    Hanich, L.; Zouhri, L.; Dinger, J.


    The aquifer of early Cretaceous age in the Meskala region of the Essaouira Basin is defined by interpretation of geological drilling data of oil and hydrogeological wells, field measurement and analysis of in situ fracture orientations, and the application of a morphostructural method to identify lineaments. These analyzes are used to develop a stratigraphic-structural model of the aquifer delimited by fault zones of two principal orientations: NNE and WNW. These fault zones define fault blocks that range in area from 4 to 150km2. These blocks correspond either to elevated zones (horsts) or depressed zones (grabens). This structural setting with faults blocks of Meskala region is in accordance with the structure of the whole Essaouira Basin. Fault zones disrupt the continuity of the aquifer throughout the study area, create recharge and discharge zones, and create dip to the units from approximately 10?? to near vertical in various orientations. Fracture measurements and morphometric-lineament analyzes help to identify unmapped faults, and represent features important to groundwater hydraulics and water quality within fault blocks. The above geologic features will enable a better understanding of the behaviour and hydro-geo-chemical and hydrodynamics of groundwater in the Meskala aquifer. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Revised Cretaceous and Tertiary stratigraphic nomenclature in the Colville Basin, Northern Alaska (United States)

    Mull, Charles G.; Houseknecht, David W.; Bird, Kenneth J.


    A revised stratigraphic nomenclature is proposed for Cretaceous and Tertiary geologic units of the central and western North Slope of Alaska. This revised nomenclature is a simplified and broadly applicable scheme suitable for a suite of digital geologic quadrangle maps being prepared jointly by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys and Division of Oil and Gas. This revised nomenclature scheme is a simplification of a complex stratigraphic terminology that developed piecemeal during five decades of geologic investigations of the North Slope. It is based on helicopter-supported geologic field investigations incorporating information from high-resolution aerial photography, satellite imagery, paleontology, reflection seismic records, and sequence stratigraphic concepts. This revised nomenclature proposes the abandonment of the Colville Group; demotion of the Nanushuk Group to formation status; abandonment of six formations (Kukpowruk, Tuktu, Grandstand, Corwin, Chandler, and Ninuluk); revision of four formations (Sagavanirktok, Prince Creek, Schrader Bluff, and Seabee); elevation of the Tuluvak Tongue of the Prince Creek Formation to formation status; revision of two members (Franklin Bluffs Member and Sagwon Member of the Sagavanirktok Formation); abandonment of eight members or tongues (Kogosukruk, Rogers Creek, Barrow Trail, Sentinel Hill, Ayiyak, Shale Wall, Niakogon, and Killik); and definition of one new member (White Hills Member of the Sagavanirktok Formation).

  14. Previously Unrecognized Ornithuromorph Bird Diversity in the Early Cretaceous Changma Basin, Gansu Province, Northwestern China (United States)

    Wang, Ya-Ming; O'Connor, Jingmai K.; Li, Da-Qing; You, Hai-Lu


    Here we report on three new species of ornithuromorph birds from the Lower Cretaceous Xiagou Formation in the Changma Basin of Gansu Province, northwestern China: Yumenornis huangi gen. et sp. nov., Changmaornis houi gen. et sp. nov., and Jiuquanornis niui gen. et sp. nov.. The last of these is based on a previously published but unnamed specimen: GSGM-05-CM-021. Although incomplete, the specimens can be clearly distinguished from each other and from Gansus yumenensis Hou and Liu, 1984. Phylogenetic analysis resolves the three new taxa as basal ornithuromorphs. This study reveals previously unrecognized ornithuromorph diversity in the Changma avifauna, which is largely dominated by Gansus but with at least three other ornithuromorphs. Body mass estimates demonstrate that enantiornithines were much smaller than ornithuromorphs in the Changma avifauna. In addition, Changma enantiornithines preserve long and recurved pedal unguals, suggesting an arboreal lifestyle; in contrast, Changma ornithuromorphs tend to show terrestrial or even aquatic adaptions. Similar differences in body mass and ecology are also observed in the Jehol avifauna in northeastern China, suggesting niche partitioning between these two clades developed early in their evolutionary history. PMID:24147058

  15. Impact of sauropod dinosaurs on lagoonal substrates in the Broome Sandstone (Lower Cretaceous, Western Australia.

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    Tony Thulborn

    Full Text Available Existing knowledge of the tracks left by sauropod dinosaurs (loosely 'brontosaurs' is essentially two-dimensional, derived mainly from footprints exposed on bedding planes, but examples in the Broome Sandstone (Early Cretaceous of Western Australia provide a complementary three-dimensional picture showing the extent to which walking sauropods could deform the ground beneath their feet. The patterns of deformation created by sauropods traversing thinly-stratified lagoonal deposits of the Broome Sandstone are unprecedented in their extent and structural complexity. The stacks of transmitted reliefs (underprints or ghost prints beneath individual footfalls are nested into a hierarchy of deeper and more inclusive basins and troughs which eventually attain the size of minor tectonic features. Ultimately the sauropod track-makers deformed the substrate to such an extent that they remodelled the topography of the landscape they inhabited. Such patterns of substrate deformation are revealed by investigating fragmentary and eroded footprints, not by the conventional search for pristine footprints on intact bedding planes. For that reason it is not known whether similar patterns of substrate deformation might occur at sauropod track-sites elsewhere in the world.

  16. Crocodyliform feeding traces on juvenile ornithischian dinosaurs from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian Kaiparowits Formation, Utah.

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    Clint A Boyd

    Full Text Available Crocodyliforms serve as important taphonomic agents, accumulating and modifying vertebrate remains. Previous discussions of Mesozoic crocodyliform feeding in terrestrial and riverine ecosystems have often focused on larger taxa and their interactions with equally large dinosaurian prey. However, recent evidence suggests that the impact of smaller crocodyliforms on their environments should not be discounted. Here we present direct evidence of feeding by a small crocodyliform on juvenile specimens of a 'hypsilophodontid' dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian Kaiparowits Formation of southern Utah. Diagnostic crocodyliform bite marks present on a left scapula and a right femur, as well as a partial probable crocodyliform tooth crown (ovoid in cross-section preserved within a puncture on the right femur, comprise the bulk of the feeding evidence. Computed tomography scans of the femoral puncture reveal impact damage to the surrounding bone and that the distal tip of the embedded tooth was missing prior to the biting event. This is only the second reported incidence of a fossil crocodyliform tooth being found embedded directly into prey bone. These bite marks provide insight into the trophic interactions of the ecosystem preserved in the Kaiparowits Formation. The high diversity of crocodyliforms within this formation may have led to accentuated niche partitioning, which seems to have included juvenile dinosaurian prey.

  17. Terpenoid Compositions and Botanical Origins of Late Cretaceous and Miocene Amber from China (United States)

    Shi, Gongle; Dutta, Suryendu; Paul, Swagata; Wang, Bo; Jacques, Frédéric M. B.


    The terpenoid compositions of the Late Cretaceous Xixia amber from Central China and the middle Miocene Zhangpu amber from Southeast China were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to elucidate their botanical origins. The Xixia amber is characterized by sesquiterpenoids, abietane and phyllocladane type diterpenoids, but lacks phenolic abietanes and labdane derivatives. The molecular compositions indicate that the Xixia amber is most likely contributed by the conifer family Araucariaceae, which is today distributed primarily in the Southern Hemisphere, but widely occurred in the Northern Hemisphere during the Mesozoic according to paleobotanical evidence. The middle Miocene Zhangpu amber is characterized by amyrin and amyrone-based triterpenoids and cadalene-based sesquiterpenoids. It is considered derived from the tropical angiosperm family Dipterocarpaceae based on these compounds and the co-occurring fossil winged fruits of the family in Zhangpu. This provides new evidence for the occurrence of a dipterocarp forest in the middle Miocene of Southeast China. It is the first detailed biomarker study for amber from East Asia. PMID:25354364

  18. Bridging the gap between chewing and sucking in the hemipteroid insects: new insights from Cretaceous amber. (United States)

    Yoshizawa, Kazunori; Lienhard, Charles


    The diversity of feeding apparatuses in insects far exceeds that observed in any other animal group. Consequently, tracking mouthpart innovation in insects is one of the keys toward understanding their diversification. In hemipteroid insects (clade Paraneoptera or Acercaria: lice, thrips, aphids, cicadas, bugs, etc.), the transition from chewing to piercing-and-sucking mouthparts is widely regarded as the turning point that enabled hyperdiversification of the Hemiptera, the fifth largest insect order. However, the transitional process from chewing to piercing-and-sucking in the Paraneoptera was hitherto completely unknown. In this paper, we report a well preserved mid Cretaceous amber fossil of the paraneopteran insect family Archipsyllidae and describe it as Mydiognathus eviohlhoffae gen. et sp. n. This species has elongate mandibles and styliform laciniae similar to Hemiptera but retains functional chewing mouthparts. A number of morphological characters place the Archipsyllidae as the sister group of the thrips plus hemipterans, which strongly suggests that the mouthparts of M. eviohlhoffae represent a transitional condition from primitive chewing to derived piercing-and-sucking mouthparts. The clade composed of Archipsyllidae, thrips, and hemipterans is here named Pancondylognatha, a new supra-ordinal taxon. Based on newly obtained information, we also assess the monophyly of the Paraneoptera, which was called into question by recent phylogenomic analyses. A phylogenetic analysis that includes Mydiognathus strongly supports the monophyly of the Paraneoptera.

  19. Strontium isotope geochemistry of late cretaceous granodiorites, Jamaica and Haiti, Greater Antilles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, L.M.; Walker, R.L.; Kesler, S.E.; Lewis, J.F.


    Initial 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios have been determined for a representative suite of Upper Cretaceous granodiorites and associated rocks from the Above Rocks composite stock in central Jamaica and the Terre-Neuve pluton in northwestern Haiti. The average initial 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratio for seven samples of the Terre-Neuve intrusion is 0.7036, with a range of 0.7026-0.7047. For two samples of the Above Rocks the initial ratios are 0.7033 and 0.7034. A third sample from this intrusive has an initial ratio of 0.7084, which is tentatively attributed to contamination. The initial 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios indicate that neither ancient sialic crust nor sediments carried down a Benioff zone can be the primary source of the granodioritic magma. K/Rb ratios for these rocks range from 178 to 247, which are much lower than the average values (>= 1000) for tholeiitic basalts. It is concluded that the magmas originated primarily by melting of downthrust oceanic crust or adjacent mantle material. (Auth.)

  20. Direct evidence for impact winter following the Cretaceous-Paleogene bolide impact (United States)

    Vellekoop, J.; Sluijs, A.; Smit, J.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J. S.; Brinkhuis, H.


    The Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary, ~65.5 Ma, marks a mass-extinction event related the impact of a large asteroid on the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico. Model scenarios predict that the explosive injection of dust and sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere blocked incoming solar radiation, resulting in a cooling pulse of months to several decades, a so-called 'impact winter', but thus far, proxy records lack sufficient resolution to evaluate this hypothesis. We report on a major, short-lived drop in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) recorded in an unusually well preserved and stratigraphically expanded K/Pg boundary site in Texas, USA, based on TEX86 paleothermometry. Critically, the cooling directly post-dates impact-related tsunami deposits, and coincides with the deposition of extraterrestrial iridium representing aerosol fall out, restricting the age of the cooling to the first months to decades after impact. We interpret this cooling to reflect the first direct evidence for the "impact winter" at the K/Pg boundary. The combination of darkness and cooling must have been a key contributory element in the extinctions of many biological clades, including the dinosaurs, flying reptiles and marine reptiles.

  1. Cretaceous park of sex determination: sex chromosomes are conserved across iguanas. (United States)

    Rovatsos, Michail; Pokorná, Martina; Altmanová, Marie; Kratochvíl, Lukáš


    Many poikilothermic vertebrate lineages, especially among amphibians and fishes, possess a rapid turnover of sex chromosomes, while in endotherms there is a notable stability of sex chromosomes. Reptiles in general exhibit variability in sex-determining systems; as typical poikilotherms, they might be expected to have a rapid turnover of sex chromosomes. However, molecular data which would enable the testing of the stability of sex chromosomes are lacking in most lineages. Here, we provide molecular evidence that sex chromosomes are highly conserved across iguanas, one of the most species-rich clade of reptiles. We demonstrate that members of the New World families Iguanidae, Tropiduridae, Leiocephalidae, Phrynosomatidae, Dactyloidae and Crotaphytidae, as well as of the family Opluridae which is restricted to Madagascar, all share homologous sex chromosomes. As our sampling represents the majority of the phylogenetic diversity of iguanas, the origin of iguana sex chromosomes can be traced back in history to the basal splitting of this group which occurred during the Cretaceous period. Iguanas thus show a stability of sex chromosomes comparable to mammals and birds and represent the group with the oldest sex chromosomes currently known among amniotic poikilothermic vertebrates.

  2. Measurement of in-situ hydraulic conductivity in the Cretaceous Pierre Shale

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neuzil, C.E.; Bredehoeft, J.D.


    A recent study of the hydrology of the Cretaceous Pierre Shale utilized three techniques for measuring the hydraulic conductivity of tight materials. Regional hydraulic conductivity was obtained from a hydrodynamic model analysis of the aquifer-aquitard system which includes the Pierre Shale. Laboratory values were obtained from consolidation tests on core samples. In-situ values of hydraulic conductivity were obtained by using a borehole slug test designed specifically for tight formations. The test is conducted by isolating a portion of the borehole with one or two packers, abruptly pressurizing the shut-in portion, and recording the pressure decay with time. The test utilizes the analytical solution for pressure decay as water flows into the surrounding formation. Consistent results were obtained using the test on three successively smaller portions of a borehole in the Pierre Shale. The in-situ tests and laboratory tests yielded comparable values; the regional hydraulic conductivity was two to three orders of magnitude larger. This suggests that the lower values represent intergranular hydraulic conductivity of the intact shale and the regional values represent secondary permeability due to fractures. Calculations based on fracture flow theory demonstrate that small fractures could account for the observed differences

  3. A new crested pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Spain: the first European tapejarid (Pterodactyloidea: Azhdarchoidea.

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    Romain Vullo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Tapejaridae is a group of unusual toothless pterosaurs characterized by bizarre cranial crests. From a paleoecological point of view, frugivorous feeding habits have often been suggested for one of its included clades, the Tapejarinae. So far, the presence of these intriguing flying reptiles has been unambiguously documented from Early Cretaceous sites in China and Brazil, where pterosaur fossils are less rare and fragmentary than in similarly-aged European strata. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Europejara olcadesorum gen. et sp. nov. is diagnosed by a unique combination of characters including an unusual caudally recurved dentary crest. It represents the oldest known member of Tapejaridae and the oldest known toothless pterosaur. The new taxon documents the earliest stage of the acquisition of this anatomical feature during the evolutionary history of the Pterodactyloidea. This innovation may have been linked to the development of new feeding strategies. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The discovery of Europejara in the Barremian of the Iberian Peninsula reveals an earlier and broader global distribution of tapejarids, suggesting a Eurasian origin of this group. It adds to the poorly known pterosaur fauna of the Las Hoyas locality and contributes to a better understanding of the paleoecology of this Konservat-Lagerstätte. Finally, the significance of a probable contribution of tapejarine tapejarids to the early angiosperm dispersal is discussed.

  4. Trap architecture of the Early Cretaceous Sarir Sandstone in the eastern Sirt Basin, Libya

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    Gras, R. [Schlumberger GeoQuest, Cedex (France); Thusu, B. [Arabian Gulf Oil Company, Benghazi (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya)


    The Sarir Sandstone is the principal reservoir for oil accumulations in the eastern Sirt Basin in Libya. The main phase of the rifting in this area took place in the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous, during which time the Sarir Sandstone was deposited as a non-marine, intra-continental clastic syn-rift sequence. Although successfully explored from 1959 onwards, the prolific eastern Sirt Basin is in a relatively immature stage of exploration regarding wildcat drilling and 3D seismic data acquisition. The most recent phase of exploration, utilizing 3D seismic techniques, revealed a complex structural development. The trap geometries are often related to E-W trending, basement-controlled fault systems, oblique to the NNW-SSE Sirt Basin trend. The fault systems were active during the Sarir Sandstone deposition, giving rise to structural as well as combined structural-traps. An increased understanding of trap architecture has led to both re-evaluation of older fields and new discoveries. (author)

  5. Episodic Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous intraplate compression in Central Patagonia during Gondwana breakup (United States)

    Navarrete, César; Gianni, Guido; Echaurren, Andrés; Kingler, Federico Lince; Folguera, Andrés


    From Lower Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous, several intraplate compression events affected discrete sectors of Central Patagonia, under a general context of crustal extension associated with Gondwana breakup. This was demonstrated by means of 2D and 3D seismic and borehole data, which show partial inversion of Lower and Middle Jurassic extensional structures of the Chubut and Cañadón Asfalto basins, during the earliest stages of breakup. A comparison with surrounding areas in Patagonia, where similar Jurassic intraplate compression was described, allowed the discrimination of three discrete pulses of subtle compression (C1: ∼188-185 Ma; C2: ∼170-163; C3: ∼157-136? Ma). Interestingly, episodic intraplate compressional events are closely followed by high flux magmatic events linked to the westward expansion of the Karoo-Ferrar thermal anomaly, which impacted on the lithosphere of southwest Gondwana in Lower Jurassic. In addition, we determined the approximate direction of the main compressive strain (σ1) compatible with other Jurassic intraplate belts of South America. These observations led us to propose a linkage between a thermo mechanically weakened continental crust due to LIPs activity, changes in plate motions and ridge-push forces generated by the opening of the Weddell Sea, in order to explain intraplate shortening, interrupted while Karoo LIPs magmatic invigoration took place.

  6. Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous oysters from Siberia: A systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor N. Kosenko


    Full Text Available The present study reviews the taxonomy of Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous oysters from the Northern and the Subpolar Urals (Western Siberia and northern East Siberia. Previous studies have documented 10 species from the genus Liostrea (L. delta, L. cucurbita, L. praeanabarensis, L. anabarensis, L. plastica, L. gibberosa, L. planoconvexa, L. siberica, L. uralensis, L. lyapinensis, and 3 species from the genus Gryphaea (G. borealis and 2 species in open nomenclature. Liostrea gibberosa, L. planoconvexa, L. uralensis, and L. cucurbita are transferred in this study to the genus Pernostrea. Furthermore, two new species of Pernostrea are described: P. mesezhnikovi sp. nov. and P.? robusta sp. nov. Liostrea siberica is transferred to the genus Praeexogyra. Liostrea praeanabarensis and L. anabarensis are attributed to the subgenus Boreiodeltoideum (genus Deltoideum as well as L. delta sensu Zakharov (1966 which is described here as new species Deltoideum (Boreiodeltoideum borealis sp. nov. The similar shell morphology of the genera Deltoideum and Pernostrea provides a basis to establish the new tribe Pernostreini trib. nov. in the subfamily Gryphaeinae. Three species are recorded for the first time from Siberia: Nanogyra? cf. thurmanni, “Ostrea” cf. moreana and Gryphaea (Gryphaea curva.

  7. A fossil brain from the Cretaceous of European Russia and avian sensory evolution. (United States)

    Kurochkin, Evgeny N; Dyke, Gareth J; Saveliev, Sergei V; Pervushov, Evgeny M; Popov, Evgeny V


    Fossils preserving traces of soft anatomy are rare in the fossil record; even rarer is evidence bearing on the size and shape of sense organs that provide us with insights into mode of life. Here, we describe unique fossil preservation of an avian brain from the Volgograd region of European Russia. The brain of this Melovatka bird is similar in shape and morphology to those of known fossil ornithurines (the lineage that includes living birds), such as the marine diving birds Hesperornis and Enaliornis, but documents a new stage in avian sensory evolution: acute nocturnal vision coupled with well-developed hearing and smell, developed by the Late Cretaceous (ca 90Myr ago). This fossil also provides insights into previous 'bird-like' brain reconstructions for the most basal avian Archaeopteryx--reduction of olfactory lobes (sense of smell) and enlargement of the hindbrain (cerebellum) occurred subsequent to Archaeopteryx in avian evolution, closer to the ornithurine lineage that comprises living birds. The Melovatka bird also suggests that brain enlargement in early avians was not correlated with the evolution of powered flight.

  8. Phosphatized algal-bacterial assemblages in Late Cretaceous phosphorites of the Voronezh Anteclise (United States)

    Maleonkina, Svetlana Y.


    Late Cretaceous phosphogenesis of the Voronezh Anteclise has occurred during Cenomanian and Early Campanian. SEM studies show the presence of phosphatized algal-bacterial assemblages both in Cenomanian and Campanian phosphorites. In some Cenomanian nodular phosphorite samples revealed empty tubes 1 - 5 microns in diameter, which are most likely trichomes of cyanobacterial filaments. Other samples contained accumulations of spheres 0,5-3 microns, similar to coccoidal bacteria. Complicated tubular forms with variable diameter 2 - 5 microns occur on surface of some quartz grains in nodules. They are probably pseudomorphs after algae. We found similar formations in the Campanian phosphate grains. Frequently, grain represents a cyanobacterial mat, which is sometimes concentrically coated by phosphatic films. The films of some grains retain the primary structure, their concentric layers are formed by pseudomorphs after different bacterial types and obviously they represent oncolite. In other cases, the primary structure is unobservable because of recrystallization process erases them. Occasionally, the central part retains the coccoidal structure and the recrystallization affects only films. Besides the core of such oncolite can be represented not only by phosphatic grain, but also by grains of other minerals, such as quartz, glauconite and heavy minerals, which serve as a substrate for cyanobacterial colonies. Bacteria also could settle on cavity surfaces and interiors frames of sponge fragments, teeth and bones.

  9. The upper cretaceous snake Dinilysia patagonica Smith-Woodward, 1901, and the crista circumfenestralis of snakes. (United States)

    Palci, Alessandro; Caldwell, Michael W


    Studies on the phylogenetic relationships of snakes and lizards are plagued by problematic characterizations of anatomy that are then used to define characters and states in taxon-character matrices. State assignments and character descriptions must be clear characterizations of observable anatomy and topological relationships if homologies are to be hypothesized. A supposed homology among snakes, not observed in lizards, is the presence of a crista circumfenestralis (CCF), a system of bony crests surrounding the fenestra ovalis and lateral aperture of the recessus scalae tympani. We note that there are some fossil and extant snakes that lack a CCF, and some extant lizards that possess a morphological equivalent. The phylogenetically important upper Cretaceous fossil snake Dinilysia patagonica has been interpreted by different authors as either having or lacking a CCF. These conflicting results for Dinilysia were tested by re-examining the morphology of the otic region in a large sample of snakes and lizards. An unambiguous criterion arising from the test of topology is used to define the presence of a CCF: the enclosure of the ventral margin of the juxtastapedial recess by flanges of the otoccipital (crista tuberalis and crista interfenestralis) that extend forward to contact the posterior margin of the prootic. According to this criterion D. patagonica does not possess a CCF, therefore, this anatomical feature must have arisen later during the evolution of snakes. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Petrogenesis of early cretaceous silicic volcanism in SE Uruguay. The role of mantle and crustal sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lustrino, Michele; Morbidelli, Lucio; Marrazzo, Marianna; Melluso, Leone; Brotzu, Pietro; Tassinari, Colombo C.G.; Gomes, Celso B.; Ruberti, Excelso


    Early Cretaceous (∼129 Ma) silicic rocks crop out in SE Uruguay between the Laguna Merin and Santa Lucia basins in the Lascano, Sierra Sao Miguel, Salamanca and Minas areas. They are mostly rhyolites with minor quartz-trachytes and are nearly contemporaneous with the Parana-Etendeka igneous province and with the first stages of South Atlantic Ocean opening. A strong geochemical variability (particularly evident from Rb/Nb, Nb/Y trace element ratios) and a wide range of Sr-Nd isotopic ratios ( 143 Nd/ 144 Nd (129) =0.51178-0.51209; 87 Sr/ 86 Sr (129) =0.70840-0.72417) characterize these rocks. Geochemistry allows to distinguish two compositional groups, corresponding to the north-eastern (Lascano and Sierra Sao Miguel, emplaced on the Neo-Proterozoic southern sector of the Dom Feliciano mobile belt) and south-eastern localities (Salamanca, Minas, emplaced on the much older (Archean) Nico Perez terrane or on the boundary between the Dom Feliciano and Nico Perez terranes). These compositional differences between the two groups are explained by variable mantle source and crust contributions. The origin of the silicic magmas is best explained by complex processes involving assimilation and fractional crystallization and mixing of a basaltic magma with upper crustal lithologies, for Lascano and Sierra Sao Miguel rhyolites. In the Salamanca and Minas rocks genesis, a stronger contribution from lower crust is indicated. (author)

  11. The interaction of the cretaceous-tertiary extinction bolide with the atmosphere, ocean, and solid earth (United States)

    Okeefe, J. D.; Ahrens, T. J.


    A number of investigations, including those reported by Orth et al. (1981), have provided physical evidence for the impact of an extraterrestrial object on earth 65 million years ago. This time corresponds to the end of the cretaceous period. This impact could, therefore, be responsible for the observed extinction of biological species at the end of the Mesozoic era. Among the species becoming extinct are found also flying and walking dinosaurs, which include all land animals that had masses greater than 25 kg. The present investigation is concerned with a study of the possibilities for the collision of earth with 10 km-size object, and the consequences produced by such a collision. It is found that the penetration of the atmosphere by the bolide creates a temporary hole in the atmosphere. The resulting flow fields can inject melt droplets and finely commuted solid particles into the atmosphere. Short-term effects of heating, followed by dust induced worldwide cooling, may provide several mechanisms for the observed extinction of the species.

  12. Early evolution of the angiosperm clade Asteraceae in the Cretaceous of Antarctica. (United States)

    Barreda, Viviana D; Palazzesi, Luis; Tellería, Maria C; Olivero, Eduardo B; Raine, J Ian; Forest, Félix


    The Asteraceae (sunflowers and daisies) are the most diverse family of flowering plants. Despite their prominent role in extant terrestrial ecosystems, the early evolutionary history of this family remains poorly understood. Here we report the discovery of a number of fossil pollen grains preserved in dinosaur-bearing deposits from the Late Cretaceous of Antarctica that drastically pushes back the timing of assumed origin of the family. Reliably dated to ∼76-66 Mya, these specimens are about 20 million years older than previously known records for the Asteraceae. Using a phylogenetic approach, we interpreted these fossil specimens as members of an extinct early diverging clade of the family, associated with subfamily Barnadesioideae. Based on a molecular phylogenetic tree calibrated using fossils, including the ones reported here, we estimated that the most recent common ancestor of the family lived at least 80 Mya in Gondwana, well before the thermal and biogeographical isolation of Antarctica. Most of the early diverging lineages of the family originated in a narrow time interval after the K/P boundary, 60-50 Mya, coinciding with a pronounced climatic warming during the Late Paleocene and Early Eocene, and the scene of a dramatic rise in flowering plant diversity. Our age estimates reduce earlier discrepancies between the age of the fossil record and previous molecular estimates for the origin of the family, bearing important implications in the evolution of flowering plants in general.

  13. The Late Cretaceous Alkaline Igneous Province in the Iberian Peninsula, and its tectonic significance (United States)

    Rock, N. M. S.


    The Iberian Province consists of the following: the three subvolcanic, syenitic, major intrusive complexes of Monchique, Sines and Sintra in W. and SW Portugal, together with their basanitic/lamprophyric minor intrusive suites; basanitic volcanic complexes around Lisbon; at least some of a widespread suite of basanitic to theralitic minor intrusives in west central Portugal; about 80 small basanitic/lamprophyric to nepheline syenitic intrusions scattered through the Pyrenees, NE Spain, the French Corbières, and off the coast of NW Spain; and the Ormonde Seamount of the Gorringe Bank off the SW coast of Portugal. Most of these occurrences have been dated isotopically or from field evidence as Late Cretaceous. Geological and petrological details of the various occurrences are compiled and reviewed. Primary basanitic magmas were probably parental to the entire Province, and generated syenitic magmas by differentiation processes; oversaturated rocks were produced by alkali loss and perhaps also by crustal involvement. The Iberian Province is related to the opening of the N. Atlantic, specifically that of the Bay of Biscay.

  14. Biogeography of worm lizards (Amphisbaenia) driven by end-Cretaceous mass extinction. (United States)

    Longrich, Nicholas R; Vinther, Jakob; Pyron, R Alexander; Pisani, Davide; Gauthier, Jacques A


    Worm lizards (Amphisbaenia) are burrowing squamates that live as subterranean predators. Their underground existence should limit dispersal, yet they are widespread throughout the Americas, Europe and Africa. This pattern was traditionally explained by continental drift, but molecular clocks suggest a Cenozoic diversification, long after the break-up of Pangaea, implying dispersal. Here, we describe primitive amphisbaenians from the North American Palaeocene, including the oldest known amphisbaenian, and provide new and older molecular divergence estimates for the clade, showing that worm lizards originated in North America, then radiated and dispersed in the Palaeogene following the Cretaceous-Palaeogene (K-Pg) extinction. This scenario implies at least three trans-oceanic dispersals: from North America to Europe, from North America to Africa and from Africa to South America. Amphisbaenians provide a striking case study in biogeography, suggesting that the role of continental drift in biogeography may be overstated. Instead, these patterns support Darwin and Wallace's hypothesis that the geographical ranges of modern clades result from dispersal, including oceanic rafting. Mass extinctions may facilitate dispersal events by eliminating competitors and predators that would otherwise hinder establishment of dispersing populations, removing biotic barriers to dispersal. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  15. New structural data on the Kerkinskiy level of the lower Cretaceous in East Turkmenistan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khalylov, M.


    A characteristic feature of the structure in the eastern Turkmenistan regions is the appearance in the lower Cretacecous section (Neocomian) of a salt mass. Comparison of the Neocomian deposits of different areas in East Turkmenistan revealed a difference in the lithological composition of the masses which are included in the red terrigenous formations. The salt deposits in the Neocomian section correlate well among themselves. It is assumed that salts exist in the Neocomian supralevel in the Afghan-Tajik depression. These salt deposits are isolated as the Kerkinskiy level. It is represented by rose rock salt with gypsum clay beds with an admixture of terrigenous material and anhydrite, becoming anhydrite-halite rock in places. Beds of pure salts, alternating with terrigenous materials most often contaminated with salt, were isolated in the Kerkinskiy level. Anhydrite beds were found in the top part of the level. According to the spread of the lower Cretaceous saline Kerkinskiy level, the Predyuzhnogissarskiy trough is outlined in its modern boundaries in the structure of the southeast edge of the Amudarya syneclise and still in the Neocomian. The Kerkinskiy level on the platform and folded-mountainous territory of southeast Turkmeniya is viewed as a major saline geological body. The nature of its interrelationships with the surrounding masses makes is possible to assume the possible appearance of lithological oil and gas traps in the interval between the Gaurdakskiy mass and the Kerkinskiy level, as well as in the zones of substitution of the Kerkinskiy and Shatlyk levels.

  16. Measurements of iridium and the meteoric impact hypothesis at cretaceous end

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sircilli Neto, F.


    Both instrumental and radiochemical neutron activation analysis methods were developed for trace-element determination, such as iridium and gold, for application in cosmochemistry. The magnitude of the determined concentrations is in the range of parts per billion. In the instrumental method 1.5 grams of sample were submitted to irradiation by 10 13 thermal -2 .s -1 during 32 hours. The gamma spectrometry is carried out with 10 to 12 hours counting time after 40 days of decay. In the radiochemical analysis a method of radiochemical separation of noble metals based on tellurium coprecipitation is implanted for iridium and gold determinations. As an application of the instrumental neutron activation analysis, preliminary iridium concentrations are measured for the first time in sedimentary rocks collected in the Brazilian territory. These techniques for determinations of iridium will be useful to check the asteroid impact hypothesis, which is supposed to be the cause of the great Cretaceous/Tertiary mass extinction, using samples collected in the South Hemisphere. (Author) [pt

  17. Skin of the Cretaceous mosasaur Plotosaurus: implications for aquatic adaptations in giant marine reptiles. (United States)

    Lindgren, Johan; Alwmark, Carl; Caldwell, Michael W; Fiorillo, Anthony R


    The physical nature of water and the environment it presents to an organism have long been recognized as important constraints on aquatic adaptation and evolution. Little is known about the dermal cover of mosasauroids (a group of secondarily aquatic reptiles that occupied a wide array of predatory niches in the Cretaceous marine ecosystems 92-65 Myr ago), a lack of information that has hindered inferences about the nature and level of their aquatic adaptations. A newly discovered Plotosaurus skeleton with integument preserved in three dimensions represents not only the first documented squamation in a mosasaurine mosasaur but also the first record of skin in an advanced member of the Mosasauroidea. The dermal cover comprises keeled and possibly osteoderm-reinforced scales that presumably contributed to an anterior-posterior channelling of the water flow and a reduction of microturbulent burst activities along the surface of the skin. Thus, hydrodynamic requirements of life in the water might have influenced the evolution of multiple-keeled body scales in advanced mosasauroids.

  18. Mammal survival at the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary: metabolic homeostasis in prolonged tropical hibernation in tenrecs. (United States)

    Lovegrove, Barry G; Lobban, Kerileigh D; Levesque, Danielle L


    Free-ranging common tenrecs, Tenrec ecaudatus, from sub-tropical Madagascar, displayed long-term (nine months) hibernation which lacked any evidence of periodic interbout arousals (IBAs). IBAs are the dominant feature of the mammalian hibernation phenotype and are thought to periodically restore long-term ischaemia damage and/or metabolic imbalances (depletions and accumulations). However, the lack of IBAs in tenrecs suggests no such pathology at hibernation Tbs > 22°C. The long period of tropical hibernation that we report might explain how the ancestral placental mammal survived the global devastation that drove the dinosaurs and many other vertebrates to extinction at the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary following a meteorite impact. The genetics and biochemistry of IBAs are of immense interest to biomedical researchers and space exploration scientists, in the latter case, those envisioning a hibernating state in astronauts for deep space travel. Unravelling the physiological thresholds and temperature dependence of IBAs will provide new impetus to these research quests. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  19. Explosive diversification of marine fishes at the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary. (United States)

    Alfaro, Michael E; Faircloth, Brant C; Harrington, Richard C; Sorenson, Laurie; Friedman, Matt; Thacker, Christine E; Oliveros, Carl H; Černý, David; Near, Thomas J


    The Cretaceous-Palaeogene (K-Pg) mass extinction is linked to the rapid emergence of ecologically divergent higher taxa (for example, families and orders) across terrestrial vertebrates, but its impact on the diversification of marine vertebrates is less clear. Spiny-rayed fishes (Acanthomorpha) provide an ideal system for exploring the effects of the K-Pg on fish diversification, yet despite decades of morphological and molecular phylogenetic efforts, resolution of both early diverging lineages and enormously diverse subclades remains problematic. Recent multilocus studies have provided the first resolved phylogenetic backbone for acanthomorphs and suggested novel relationships among major lineages. However, these new relationships and associated timescales have not been interrogated using phylogenomic approaches. Here, we use targeted enrichment of >1,000 ultraconserved elements in conjunction with a divergence time analysis to resolve relationships among 120 major acanthomorph lineages and provide a new timescale for acanthomorph radiation. Our results include a well-supported topology that strongly resolves relationships along the acanthomorph backbone and the recovery of several new relationships within six major percomorph subclades. Divergence time analyses also reveal that crown ages for five of these subclades, and for the bulk of the species diversity in the sixth, coincide with the K-Pg boundary, with divergences between anatomically and ecologically distinctive suprafamilial clades concentrated in the first 10 million years of the Cenozoic.

  20. Laser Fluorescence Illuminates the Soft Tissue and Life Habits of the Early Cretaceous Bird Confuciusornis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda R Falk

    Full Text Available In this paper we report the discovery of non-plumage soft tissues in Confuciusornis, a basal beaked bird from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota in northeastern China. Various soft tissues are visualized and interpreted through the use of laser-stimulated fluorescence, providing much novel anatomical information about this early bird, specifically reticulate scales covering the feet, and the well-developed and robust pro- and postpatagium. We also include a direct comparison between the forelimb soft tissues of Confuciusornis and modern avian patagia. Furthermore, apparently large, fleshy phalangeal pads are preserved on the feet. The reticulate scales, robust phalangeal pads as well as the highly recurved pedal claws strongly support Confuciusornis as an arboreal bird. Reticulate scales are more rounded than scutate scales and do not overlap, thus allowing for more flexibility in the toe. The extent of the pro- and postpatagium and the robust primary feather rachises are evidence that Confuciusornis was capable of powered flight, contrary to previous reports suggesting otherwise. A unique avian wing shape is also reconstructed based on plumage preserved. These soft tissues combined indicate an arboreal bird with the capacity for short-term (non-migratory flight, and suggest that, although primitive, Confuciusornis already possessed many relatively advanced avian anatomical characteristics.

  1. A New Megaraptoran Dinosaur (Dinosauria, Theropoda, Megaraptoridae) from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia (United States)


    A skeleton discovered in the Upper Cretaceous Sierra Barrosa Formation (Turonian-Coniacian) of Neuquén Province, Argentina represents a new species of theropod dinosaur related to the long snouted, highly pneumatized Megaraptoridae. The holotype specimen of Murusraptor barrosaensis n.gen et n.sp. (MCF-PVPH-411) includes much of the skull, axial skeleton, pelvis and tibia. Murusraptor is unique in having several diagnostic features that include anterodorsal process of lacrimal longer than height of preorbital process, and a thick, shelf-like thickening on the lateral surface of surangular ventral to the groove between the anterior surangular foramen and the insert for the uppermost intramandibular process of the dentary. Other characteristic features of Murusraptor barrosaensis n.gen. et n. sp.include a large mandibular fenestra, distal ends of caudal neural spines laterally thickened into lateral knob-like processes, short ischia distally flattened and slightly expanded dorsoventrally. Murusraptor belongs to a Patagonian radiation of megaraptorids together with Aerosteon, Megaraptor and Orkoraptor. In spite being immature, it is a larger but more gracile animal than existing specimens of Megaraptor, and is comparable in size with Aerosteon and Orkoraptor. The controversial phylogeny of the Megaraptoridae as members of the Allosauroidea or a clade of Coelurosauria is considered analyzing two alternative data sets. PMID:27439002

  2. Isotopic ordering in eggshells reflects body temperatures and suggests differing thermophysiology in two Cretaceous dinosaurs. (United States)

    Eagle, Robert A; Enriquez, Marcus; Grellet-Tinner, Gerald; Pérez-Huerta, Alberto; Hu, David; Tütken, Thomas; Montanari, Shaena; Loyd, Sean J; Ramirez, Pedro; Tripati, Aradhna K; Kohn, Matthew J; Cerling, Thure E; Chiappe, Luis M; Eiler, John M


    Our understanding of the evolutionary transitions leading to the modern endothermic state of birds and mammals is incomplete, partly because tools available to study the thermophysiology of extinct vertebrates are limited. Here we show that clumped isotope analysis of eggshells can be used to determine body temperatures of females during periods of ovulation. Late Cretaceous titanosaurid eggshells yield temperatures similar to large modern endotherms. In contrast, oviraptorid eggshells yield temperatures lower than most modern endotherms but ∼ 6 °C higher than co-occurring abiogenic carbonates, implying that this taxon did not have thermoregulation comparable to modern birds, but was able to elevate its body temperature above environmental temperatures. Therefore, we observe no strong evidence for end-member ectothermy or endothermy in the species examined. Body temperatures for these two species indicate that variable thermoregulation likely existed among the non-avian dinosaurs and that not all dinosaurs had body temperatures in the range of that seen in modern birds.

  3. Impact of Sauropod Dinosaurs on Lagoonal Substrates in the Broome Sandstone (Lower Cretaceous), Western Australia (United States)

    Thulborn, Tony


    Existing knowledge of the tracks left by sauropod dinosaurs (loosely ‘brontosaurs’) is essentially two-dimensional, derived mainly from footprints exposed on bedding planes, but examples in the Broome Sandstone (Early Cretaceous) of Western Australia provide a complementary three-dimensional picture showing the extent to which walking sauropods could deform the ground beneath their feet. The patterns of deformation created by sauropods traversing thinly-stratified lagoonal deposits of the Broome Sandstone are unprecedented in their extent and structural complexity. The stacks of transmitted reliefs (underprints or ghost prints) beneath individual footfalls are nested into a hierarchy of deeper and more inclusive basins and troughs which eventually attain the size of minor tectonic features. Ultimately the sauropod track-makers deformed the substrate to such an extent that they remodelled the topography of the landscape they inhabited. Such patterns of substrate deformation are revealed by investigating fragmentary and eroded footprints, not by the conventional search for pristine footprints on intact bedding planes. For that reason it is not known whether similar patterns of substrate deformation might occur at sauropod track-sites elsewhere in the world. PMID:22662116

  4. The cretaceous/tertiary-boundary impact and its global effects with reference to Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sutherland, F.L.


    Considerable evidence exists for a major meteoritic impact at Chicxulub, Mexico, and its effects at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary (KTB). It includes a buried crater, subglobal ejecta, and global fireball deposits that incorporate shocked minerals and non-terrestrial spinels. Platinum-group-element enrichments (Ir anomaly) and marked C- and O-isotope shifts at the KTB coincide with an extinction event. Australia contributes little to the KTB impact story as far, but was isolated from the severest impact and extinction effects. A Chicxulub strike (C- or L-chondrite impactor) explains many KTB features, but does not satisfy all KTB studies. Continuing KTB impact debates include the size of Chicxulub crater, the extent of heterogeneous spinels. The role of KTB plume volcanism (whether impact-induced or not) and the nature of KTB extinctions (whether caused by climatic cooling or warming and whether sharp, gradual or latitudinally reduced) are also in debate. This synthesis suggests that the Chicxulub impact produced a crater 180 km wide and possibly induced tsunamigenic activity; that compositional differences between impact deposits might reflect more that one impact coinciding with the KTB; that the Deccan volcanism predates the KTB in India; and that several KTB studies tentatively suggest maximum impact and subordinate volcanic effects within lower latitudes. 98 refs., 4 figs

  5. An Atmospheric CO2 Record Across the End-Cretaceous Extinction (United States)

    Royer, D. L.; Milligan, J. N.; Kowalczyk, J.


    A bolide impact and flood-basalt emissions likely caused large changes to the end-Cretaceous carbon cycle. Presently, there is only one proxy record for atmospheric CO2 that captures these changes (Beerling et al., 2002, PNAS 99: 7836-7840). These authors estimated CO2 from the calibrated stomatal indices of Ginkgo dated to within 105 yrs before and after the extinction ( 300-500 ppm) in addition to that of Stenochlaena, a fern disaster taxa present in the Raton Basin, New Mexico, 2300 ppm). We revisited these fossil collections and applied a newer and more robust CO2 proxy that is based on leaf gas-exchange principles and does not require calibrations with present-day species (Franks et al., 2014, Geophys Res Lett 41: 4685-4694). We reconstruct pre- and post-extinction CO2 concentrations of 650 ppm from Ginkgo, compared to 850 ppm directly after the extinction from Stenochlaena. This change in CO2 of 200 ppm can be readily explained with carbon cycle models as a consequence of either the bolide impact or flood-basalt emissions. Placing these CO2 estimates into the broader context of other leaf gas-exchange CO2 estimates for the Cenozoic, the Earth system sensitivity was 3 K per CO2 doubling during the early Paleogene, before steepening to >6 K several million years before the Eocene-Oligocene boundary.

  6. Fossil evidence for open, Proteaceae-dominated heathlands and fire in the Late Cretaceous of Australia. (United States)

    Carpenter, Raymond J; Macphail, Michael K; Jordan, Gregory J; Hill, Robert S


    The origin of biomes is of great interest globally. Molecular phylogenetic and pollen evidence suggest that several plant lineages that now characterize open, burnt habitats of the sclerophyll biome, became established during the Late Cretaceous of Australia. However, whether this biome itself dates to that time is problematic, fundamentally because of the near-absence of relevant, appropriately aged, terrestrial plant macro- or mesofossils. We recovered, identified, and interpreted the ecological significance of fossil pollen, foliar and other remains from a section of core drilled in central Australia, which we dated as Late Campanian-Maastrichtian. The sediments contain plant fossils that indicate nutrient-limited, open, sclerophyllous vegetation and abundant charcoal as evidence of fire. Most interestingly, >30 pollen taxa and at least 12 foliage taxa are attributable to the important Gondwanan family Proteaceae, including several minute, amphistomatic, and sclerophyllous foliage forms consistent with subfamily Proteoideae. Microfossils, including an abundance of Sphagnales and other wetland taxa, provided strong evidence of a fenland setting. The local vegetation also included diverse Ericaceae and Liliales, as well as a range of ferns and gymnosperms. The fossils provide strong evidence in support of hypotheses of great antiquity for fire and open vegetation in Australia, point to extraordinary persistence of Proteaceae that are now emblematic of the Mediterranean-type climate southwestern Australian biodiversity hotspot and raise the profile of open habitats as centers of ancient lineages. © 2015 Botanical Society of America.

  7. Positive geothermal anomalies in oceanic crust of Cretaceous age offshore Kamchatka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Delisle


    Full Text Available Heat flow measurements were carried out in 2009 offshore Kamchatka during the German-Russian joint-expedition KALMAR. An area with elevated heat flow in oceanic crust of Cretaceous age – detected ~30 yr ago in the course of several Russian heat flow surveys – was revisited. One previous interpretation postulated anomalous lithospheric conditions or a connection between a postulated mantle plume at great depth (>200 km as the source for the observed high heat flow. However, the positive heat flow anomaly – as our bathymetric data show – is closely associated with the fragmentation of the western flank of the Meiji Seamount into a horst and graben structure initiated during descent of the oceanic crust into the subduction zone offshore Kamchatka. This paper offers an alternative interpretation, which connects high heat flow primarily with natural convection of fluids in the fragmented rock mass and, as a potential additional factor, high rates of erosion, for which evidence is available from our collected bathymetric image. Given high erosion rates, warm rock material at depth rises to nearer the sea floor, where it cools and causes temporary elevated heat flow.

  8. Variable sources for Cretaceous to recent HIMU and HIMU-like intraplate magmatism in New Zealand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Meer, Quinten; Waight, Tod Earle; Scott, James


    –100Ma) calc-alkaline lamprophyres are compositionally similar to the preceding arc-magmatism (206Pb/204Pb(i)=18.6, 207Pb/204Pb(i)=15.62, 208Pb/204Pb(i)=38.6, 87Sr/86Sr(i)=0.7063–0.7074, εNd(i)=−2.1 −+0.1 and εHf(i)=−0.2 −+2.3) and are interpreted as melts originating from subduction-modified lithosphere....... Alkaline dikes erupted on the inboard Gondwana margin shortly after cessation of subduction (92–84Ma) have heterogeneous isotopic properties: 206Pb/204Pb(i)=18.7 to 19.4, 207Pb/204Pb(i)=15.60 to 15.65, 208Pb/204Pb(i)=38.6 to 39.4, 87Sr/86Sr(i)=0.7031 to 0.7068, εNd(i)=+4.5 to +8.0 and εHf(i)=+5.1 to +8...... from the complex local subduction history. A coeval episode of alkaline magmatism (mainly 98–82Ma) occurred outboard of Gondwana’s former active margin and on the Hikurangi oceanic plateau (accreted to Zealandia in the Early Cretaceous) with compositions closer to true HIMU (206Pb/204Pb(i)≈20.5, 207Pb...

  9. A new oviraptorid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of southern China. (United States)

    Wang, Shuo; Sun, Chengkai; Sullivan, Corwin; Xu, Xing


    This paper describes a new oviraptorid dinosaur taxon, Ganzhousaurus nankangensis gen. et sp. nov., based on a specimen collected from the Upper Cretaceous Nanxiong Formation of Nankang County, Ganzhou City, Jiangxi Province, southern China. This new taxon is distinguishable from other oviraptorids based on the following unique combination of primitive and derived features: relatively shallow dentary; absence of fossa or pneumatopore on lateral surface of dentary; weakly downturned anterior mandibular end; shallow depression immediately surrounding anterior margin of external mandibular fenestra; external mandibular fenestra subdivided by anterior process of surangular; dentary posteroventral process slightly twisted and positioned on mandibular ventrolateral surface; shallow longitudinal groove along medial surface of dentary posteroventral process; angular anterior process wider transversely than deep dorsoventrally; sharp groove along ventrolateral surface of angular anterior process; ventral border of external mandibular fenestra formed mainly by angular; ventral flange along distal half of metatarsal II; and arctometatarsal condition absent. Phylogenetic analysis places Ganzhousaurus nankangensis gen. et sp. nov. in the clade Oviraptoridae, together with Oviraptor, Citipati, Rinchenia and the unnamed Zamyn Khondt oviraptorid.

  10. Stable Isotopes Reveal Rapid Enamel Elongation (Amelogenesis) Rates for the Early Cretaceous Iguanodontian Dinosaur Lanzhousaurus magnidens. (United States)

    Suarez, Celina A; You, Hai-Lu; Suarez, Marina B; Li, Da-Qing; Trieschmann, J B


    Lanzhousaurus magnidens, a large non-hadrosauriform iguanodontian dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Hekou Group of Gansu Province, China has the largest known herbivorous dinosaur teeth. Unlike its hadrosauriform relatives possessing tooth batteries of many small teeth, Lanzhousaurus utilized a small number (14) of very large teeth (~10 cm long) to create a large, continuous surface for mastication. Here we investigate the significance of Lanzhousaurus in the evolutionary history of iguanodontian-hadrosauriform transition by using a combination of stable isotope analysis and CT imagery. We infer that Lanzhousaurus had a rapid rate of tooth enamel elongation or amelogenesis at 0.24 mm/day with dental tissues common to other Iguanodontian dinosaurs. Among ornithopods, high rates of amelogenesis have been previously observed in hadrosaurids, where they have been associated with a sophisticated masticatory apparatus. These data suggest rapid amelogenesis evolved among non-hadrosauriform iguanodontians such as Lanzhousaurus, representing a crucial step that was exapted for the evolution of the hadrosaurian feeding mechanism.

  11. Glendonites as a paleoenvironmental tool: Implications for early Cretaceous high latitudinal climates in Australia (United States)

    De Lurio, Jennifer L.; Frakes, L. A.


    Glendonites, calcite pseudomorphs after the metastable mineral ikaite (CaCO 3 · 6H 2O), occur in the Late Aptian interval of the Bulldog Shale in the Eromanga Basin, Australia and in other Early Cretaceous basins at high paleolatitudes. Ikaite precipitation in the marine environment requires near-freezing temperatures (not higher than 4°C), high alkalinity, increased levels of orthophosphate, and high P CO2. The rapid and complete transformation of ikaite to calcite at temperatures between 5 and 8°C provides an upper limit on the oxygen isotopic composition of the pore waters: -2.6 ikaite precipitation. Data previously reported as 11 to 16°C (assuming δ w = 0.0‰SMOW) yield paleotemperatures ranging from -1 to 5°C, squarely in the range of ikaite stability. The low δ w indicates hyposaline conditions, most likely caused by mixing high latitude meteoric waters with seawater. The 18O depleted, low temperature waters suggest that the region was at least seasonally colder than previously accepted.

  12. Geobiological constraints on Earth system sensitivity to CO₂ during the Cretaceous and Cenozoic. (United States)

    Royer, D L; Pagani, M; Beerling, D J


    Earth system climate sensitivity (ESS) is the long-term (>10³ year) response of global surface temperature to doubled CO₂ that integrates fast and slow climate feedbacks. ESS has energy policy implications because global temperatures are not expected to decline appreciably for at least 10³ year, even if anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions drop to zero. We report provisional ESS estimates of 3 °C or higher for some of the Cretaceous and Cenozoic based on paleo-reconstructions of CO₂ and temperature. These estimates are generally higher than climate sensitivities simulated from global climate models for the same ancient periods (approximately 3 °C). Climate models probably do not capture the full suite of positive climate feedbacks that amplify global temperatures during some globally warm periods, as well as other characteristic features of warm climates such as low meridional temperature gradients. These absent feedbacks may be related to clouds, trace greenhouse gases (GHGs), seasonal snow cover, and/or vegetation, especially in polar regions. Better characterization and quantification of these feedbacks is a priority given the current accumulation of atmospheric GHGs. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. A New Baurusuchid (Crocodyliformes, Mesoeucrocodylia) from the Late Cretaceous of Brazil and the Phylogeny of Baurusuchidae (United States)

    Montefeltro, Felipe C.; Larsson, Hans C. E.; Langer, Max C.


    Background Baurusuchidae is a group of extinct Crocodyliformes with peculiar, dog-faced skulls, hypertrophied canines, and terrestrial, cursorial limb morphologies. Their importance for crocodyliform evolution and biogeography is widely recognized, and many new taxa have been recently described. In most phylogenetic analyses of Mesoeucrocodylia, the entire clade is represented only by Baurusuchus pachecoi, and no work has attempted to study the internal relationships of the group or diagnose the clade and its members. Methodology/Principal Findings Based on a nearly complete skull and a referred partial skull and lower jaw, we describe a new baurusuchid from the Vale do Rio do Peixe Formation (Bauru Group), Late Cretaceous of Brazil. The taxon is diagnosed by a suite of characters that include: four maxillary teeth, supratemporal fenestra with equally developed medial and anterior rims, four laterally visible quadrate fenestrae, lateral Eustachian foramina larger than medial Eustachian foramen, deep depression on the dorsal surface of pterygoid wing. The new taxon was compared to all other baurusuchids and their internal relationships were examined based on the maximum parsimony analysis of a discrete morphological data matrix. Conclusion The monophyly of Baurusuchidae is supported by a large number of unique characters implying an equally large morphological gap between the clade and its immediate outgroups. A complex phylogeny of baurusuchids was recovered. The internal branch pattern suggests two main lineages, one with a relatively broad geographical range between Argentina and Brazil (Pissarrachampsinae), which includes the new taxon, and an endemic clade of the Bauru Group in Brazil (Baurusuchinae). PMID:21765925

  14. Metamorphic history and geodynamic significance of the Early Cretaceous Sabzevar granulites (Sabzevar structural zone, NE Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Nasrabady


    Full Text Available The Iranian ophiolites are part of the vast orogenic suture zones that mark the Alpine-Himalayan convergence zone. Few petrological and geochronological data are available from these ophiolitic domains, hampering a full assessment of the timing and regimes of subduction zone metamorphism and orogenic construction in the region. This paper describes texture, geochemistry, and the pressure-temperature path of the Early Cretaceous mafic granulites that occur within the Tertiary Sabzevar ophiolitic suture zone of NE Iran. Whole rock geochemistry indicates that the Sabzevar granulites are likely derived from a MORB-type precursor. They are thus considered as remnants of a dismembered dynamo-thermal sole formed during subduction of a back-arc basin (proto-Sabzevar Ocean formed in the upper-plate of the Neotethyan slab. The metamorphic history of the granulites suggests an anticlockwise pressure-temperature loop compatible with burial in a hot subduction zone, followed by cooling during exhumation. Transition from a nascent to a mature stage of oceanic subduction is the geodynamic scenario proposed to accomplish for the reconstructed thermobaric evolution. When framed with the regional scenario, results of this study point to diachronous and independent tectonic evolutions of the different ophiolitic domains of central Iran, for which a growing disparity in the timing of metamorphic equilibration and of pressure-temperature paths can be expected to emerge with further investigations.

  15. Unusual shell anatomy and osteohistology in a new Late Cretaceous panchelid turtle from northwestern Patagonia, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo S. De La Fuente


    Full Text Available Rionegrochelys caldieroi de la Fuente, Maniel, and Jannello gen. et sp. nov. is a Late Cretaceous turtle from Rio Negro Province, Argentina. The holotype and the referred specimens of this new species show an unusual shell morphology and microanatomy. The proportion between the carapace and plastron and the peculiar morphology of the shell such as the heart shaped carapace, a very deep nuchal notch, peripheral bones 2–11 with strongly gutter, the first vertebral scute twice as wide as long and subrectangular in shape, the posterior margin of vertebral scute 5 is three lobe shaped, and the unexpected osteohistology characterized by a massive structure, with higher compactness (80.6% than other chelids, suggests beyond doubt that this turtle may be considered a new taxon. A semi-aquatic habitat with tendency towards terrestrial environments is inferred for Rionegrochelys caldieroi similar to that of the extant pelomedusid Pelomedusa subrufa among the extant pleurodires. Rionegrochelys caldieroi is recovered as a stem chelid. This new species seems to be closely related to Bonapartemys bajobarrealis and the clade formed by Lomalatachelys neuquina plus Mendozachelys wichmanni.

  16. Extraterrestrial amino acids in Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary sediments at Stevns Klint, Denmark (United States)

    Zhao, Meixun; Bada, Jeffrey L.


    SINCE the discovery1 nearly a decade ago that Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary layers are greatly enriched in iridium, a rare element in the Earth's crust, there has been intense controversy on the relationship between this Ir anomaly and the massive extinction of organisms ranging from dinosaurs to marine plankton that characterizes the K/T boundary. Convincing evidence suggests that both the Ir spike and the extinction event were caused by the collision of a large bolide (>10 km in diameter) with the Earth1-11. Alternative explanations claim that extensive, violent volcanism12-14 can account for the Ir, and that other independent causes were responsible for the mass extinctions15,16. We surmise that the collision of a massive extraterrestrial object with the Earth may have produced a unique organic chemical signature because certain meteorites, and probably comets, contain organic compounds which are either rare or non-existent on the Earth17. In contrast, no organic compounds would be expected to be associated with volcanic processes. Here we find that K/T boundary sediments at Stevns Klint, Denmark, contain both α-amino-isobutyric acid [AIB, (CH3)2CNH2COOH] and racemic isovaline [ISOVAL, CH3CH2(CH3)CNH2COOH], two amino acids that are exceedingly rare on the Earth but which are major amino acids in carbonaceous chondrites17,18. An extraterrestrial source is the most reasonable explanation for the presence of these amino acids.

  17. Partner choice and fidelity stabilize coevolution in a Cretaceous-age defensive symbiosis (United States)

    Kaltenpoth, Martin; Roeser-Mueller, Kerstin; Koehler, Sabrina; Peterson, Ashley; Nechitaylo, Taras Y.; Stubblefield, J. William; Herzner, Gudrun; Seger, Jon; Strohm, Erhard


    Many insects rely on symbiotic microbes for survival, growth, or reproduction. Over evolutionary timescales, the association with intracellular symbionts is stabilized by partner fidelity through strictly vertical symbiont transmission, resulting in congruent host and symbiont phylogenies. However, little is known about how symbioses with extracellular symbionts, representing the majority of insect-associated microorganisms, evolve and remain stable despite opportunities for horizontal exchange and de novo acquisition of symbionts from the environment. Here we demonstrate that host control over symbiont transmission (partner choice) reinforces partner fidelity between solitary wasps and antibiotic-producing bacteria and thereby stabilizes this Cretaceous-age defensive mutualism. Phylogenetic analyses show that three genera of beewolf wasps (Philanthus, Trachypus, and Philanthinus) cultivate a distinct clade of Streptomyces bacteria for protection against pathogenic fungi. The symbionts were acquired from a soil-dwelling ancestor at least 68 million years ago, and vertical transmission via the brood cell and the cocoon surface resulted in host–symbiont codiversification. However, the external mode of transmission also provides opportunities for horizontal transfer, and beewolf species have indeed exchanged symbiont strains, possibly through predation or nest reuse. Experimental infection with nonnative bacteria reveals that—despite successful colonization of the antennal gland reservoirs—transmission to the cocoon is selectively blocked. Thus, partner choice can play an important role even in predominantly vertically transmitted symbioses by stabilizing the cooperative association over evolutionary timescales. PMID:24733936

  18. Fungal Ferromanganese Mineralisation in Cretaceous Dinosaur Bones from the Gobi Desert, Mongolia. (United States)

    Owocki, Krzysztof; Kremer, Barbara; Wrzosek, Beata; Królikowska, Agata; Kaźmierczak, Józef


    Well-preserved mycelia of fungal- or saprolegnia-like biota mineralised by ferromanganese oxides were found for the first time in long bones of Late Cretaceous dinosaurs from the Gobi Desert (Nemegt Valley, Mongolia). The mycelia formed a biofilm on the wall of the bone marrow cavity and penetrated the osteon channels of the nearby bone tissue. Optical microscopy, Raman, SEM/EDS, SEM/BSE, electron microprobe and cathodoluminescence analyses revealed that the mineralisation of the mycelia proceeded in two stages. The first stage was early post-mortem mineralisation of the hyphae by Fe/Mn-oxide coatings and microconcretions. Probably this proceeded in a mildly acidic to circumneutral environment, predominantly due to heterotrophic bacteria degrading the mycelial necromass and liberating Fe and Mn sorbed by the mycelia during its lifetime. The second stage of mineralisation, which proceeded much later following the final burial of the bones in an alkaline environment, resulted from the massive precipitation of calcite and occasionally barite on the iron/manganese-oxide-coated mycelia. The mineral phases produced by fungal biofilms colonising the interiors of decaying dinosaur bones not only enhance the preservation (fossilisation) of fungal remains but can also be used as indicators of the geochemistry of the dinosaur burial sites.

  19. Iridium concentration and noble gas composition of Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary clay from Stevens Klint, Denmark

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osawa, Takahito; Hatsukawa, Yuichi; Nagao, Keisuke; Koizumi, Mitsuo; Oshima, Masumi; Toh, Yosuke; Kimura, Atsushi; Furutaka, Kazuyoshi


    The Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary about 65 million years ago records a mass extinction event caused by a bolide impact. K-T boundary clay collected from Stevns Klint, Denmark was investigated in this work. Iridium concentrations of eight clays across the K-T boundary were determined using a multiple gamma-ray analysis system after neutron activation. Anomalously high Ir concentrations were detected in five marl samples, with the highest concentration being 29.9 ppb. Four samples were analyzed for all noble gases. NO extraterrestrial Ar, Kr, and Xe were discovered in any of the samples, although most of the 3 He which was detected was extraterrestrial. Solar-like Ne was observed only in the sample SK4, which had an Ir concentration of 14.3 ppb, indicating the presence of micrometeorites. The solar-like Ne clearly did not originate from an asteroid/comet associated with the bolide impact, as that asteroid is thought to have been extremely large. Also, because there was no sign of a high accretion rate of micrometeorites at the boundary it could not be ascertained whether the solar-like Ne was related to a catastrophic event that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. (author)

  20. A New Megaraptoran Dinosaur (Dinosauria, Theropoda, Megaraptoridae from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolfo A Coria

    Full Text Available A skeleton discovered in the Upper Cretaceous Sierra Barrosa Formation (Turonian-Coniacian of Neuquén Province, Argentina represents a new species of theropod dinosaur related to the long snouted, highly pneumatized Megaraptoridae. The holotype specimen of Murusraptor barrosaensis n.gen et n.sp. (MCF-PVPH-411 includes much of the skull, axial skeleton, pelvis and tibia. Murusraptor is unique in having several diagnostic features that include anterodorsal process of lacrimal longer than height of preorbital process, and a thick, shelf-like thickening on the lateral surface of surangular ventral to the groove between the anterior surangular foramen and the insert for the uppermost intramandibular process of the dentary. Other characteristic features of Murusraptor barrosaensis n.gen. et n. sp.include a large mandibular fenestra, distal ends of caudal neural spines laterally thickened into lateral knob-like processes, short ischia distally flattened and slightly expanded dorsoventrally. Murusraptor belongs to a Patagonian radiation of megaraptorids together with Aerosteon, Megaraptor and Orkoraptor. In spite being immature, it is a larger but more gracile animal than existing specimens of Megaraptor, and is comparable in size with Aerosteon and Orkoraptor. The controversial phylogeny of the Megaraptoridae as members of the Allosauroidea or a clade of Coelurosauria is considered analyzing two alternative data sets.

  1. Geochronological constraints on Cretaceous-Paleocene volcanism in South Westland, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phillips, C.J.; Cooper, A.F.; Palin, J.M.; Nathan, S.


    Cretaceous and Paleocene sedimentation in South Westland, New Zealand, is recorded in the Otumotu Formation, Tauperikaka Coal Measures, Whakapohai Sandstone, Arnott Basalt, Buttress Conglomerate, and Tokakoriri Formation, originally named and mapped by Nathan in 1977. Within this stratigraphic sequence, the name Buttress Conglomerate was used to describe volcanic conglomerates at Porphyry and Buttress Points that contained rounded clasts of plagioclasephyric intermediate volcanic rocks. Stratigraphically, the volcanic conglomerate at Porphyry Point forms sharp contacts with the underlying Arnott Basalt (Haumurian) and overlying Tokakoriri Formation (Teurian). The volcanic conglomerate at Buttress Point, however, is entirely fault-bounded. Clasts from each unit were collected and U-Pb zircon dated using the TIMS and ELA-ICP-MS methods. A trachyandesite clast collected at Buttress Point gives an age of 96.9 ± 1.6 Ma, whereas a rhyolite clast collected at Porphyry Point gives an age of 61.4 ± 0.8 Ma. Petrological, geochemical, and stratigraphic data suggest that erosion of the clasts closely followed volcanism, and that these ages accurately reflect the depositional ages of the conglomerates. Conglomerates at Porphyry and Buttress Points have been formally renamed the Porphyry Point Member of the Tokakoriri Formation and the Buttress Point Conglomerate, respectively. (author). 49 refs., 7 figs., 4 tabs

  2. Increased thermohaline stratification as a possible cause for an ocean anoxic event in the Cretaceous period. (United States)

    Erbacher, J; Huber, B T; Norris, R D; Markey, M


    Ocean anoxic events were periods of high carbon burial that led to drawdown of atmospheric carbon dioxide, lowering of bottom-water oxygen concentrations and, in many cases, significant biological extinction. Most ocean anoxic events are thought to be caused by high productivity and export of carbon from surface waters which is then preserved in organic-rich sediments, known as black shales. But the factors that triggered some of these events remain uncertain. Here we present stable isotope data from a mid-Cretaceous ocean anoxic event that occurred 112 Myr ago, and that point to increased thermohaline stratification as the probable cause. Ocean anoxic event 1b is associated with an increase in surface-water temperatures and runoff that led to decreased bottom-water formation and elevated carbon burial in the restricted basins of the western Tethys and North Atlantic. This event is in many ways similar to that which led to the more recent Plio-Pleistocene Mediterranean sapropels, but the greater geographical extent and longer duration (approximately 46 kyr) of ocean anoxic event 1b suggest that processes leading to such ocean anoxic events in the North Atlantic and western Tethys were able to act over a much larger region, and sequester far more carbon, than any of the Quaternary sapropels.

  3. Inversion of the Erlian Basin (NE China) in the early Late Cretaceous: Implications for the collision of the Okhotomorsk Block with East Asia (United States)

    Guo, Zhi-Xin; Shi, Yuan-Peng; Yang, Yong-Tai; Jiang, Shuan-Qi; Li, Lin-Bo; Zhao, Zhi-Gang


    A significant transition in tectonic regime from extension to compression occurred throughout East Asia during the mid-Cretaceous and has stimulated much attention. However, the timing and driving mechanisms of the transition remain disputed. The Erlian Basin, a giant late Mesozoic intracontinental petroliferous basin located in the Inner Mongolia, Northeast China, contains important sedimentary and structural records related to the mid-Cretaceous compressional event. The stratigraphical, sedimentological and structural analyses reveal that a NW-SE compressional inversion occurred in the Erlian Basin between the depositions of the Lower Cretaceous Saihan and Upper Cretaceous Erlian formations, causing intense folding of the Saihan Formation and underlying strata, and the northwestward migration of the depocenters of the Erlian Formation. Based on the newly obtained detrital zircon U-Pb data and previously published paleomagnetism- and fossil-based ages, the Saihan and Erlian formations are suggested as latest Aptian-Albian and post-early Cenomanian in age, respectively, implying that the inversion in the Erlian Basin occurred in the early Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian time). Apatite fission-track thermochronological data record an early Late Cretaceous cooling/exhuming event in the basin, corresponding well with the aforementioned sedimentary, structural and chronological analyses. Combining with the tectono-sedimentary evolutions of the neighboring basins of the Erlian Basin, we suggest that the early Late Cretaceous inversional event in the Erlian Basin and the large scale tectonic transition in East Asia shared the common driving mechanism, probably resulting from the Okhotomorsk Block-East Asia collisional event at about 100-89 Ma.

  4. Preliminary vitrinite and bitumen reflectance, total organic carbon, and pyrolysis data for samples from Upper and Lower Cretaceous strata, Maverick Basin, south Texas (United States)

    Hackley, Paul C.; Dennen, Kristin O.; Gesserman, Rachel M.; Ridgley, Jennie L.


    The Lower Cretaceous Pearsall Formation, a regionally occurring limestone and shale interval of 500-600-ft maximum thickness (Rose, 1986), is being evaluated as part of an ongoing U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment of undiscovered hydrocarbon resources in onshore Lower Cretaceous strata of the northern Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of this report is to release preliminary vitrinite and bitumen reflectance, total organic carbon, and pyrolysis data for Pearsall Formation, Glen Rose Formation, Hosston Formation, Austin Group, and Eagle Ford Group samples from the Maverick Basin in south Texas in order to aid in the characterization of these strata in this area. The preliminary nature of this report and the data contained herein reflect that the assessment and characterization of these samples is a work currently in progress. Pearsall Formation subdivisions are, in ascending stratigraphic order, the Pine Island Shale, James Limestone, and Bexar Shale Members (Loucks, 2002). The Lower Cretaceous Glen Rose Formation is also part of the USGS Lower Cretaceous assessment and produces oil in the Maverick Basin (Loucks and Kerans, 2003). The Hosston Formation was assessed by the USGS for undiscovered oil and gas resources in 2006 (Dyman and Condon, 2006), but not in south Texas. The Upper Cretaceous Austin Group is being assessed as part of the USGS assessment of undiscovered hydrocarbon resources in the Upper Cretaceous strata of the northern Gulf of Mexico and, along with the Upper Cretaceous Eagle Ford Group, is considered to be an important source rock in the Smackover-Austin-Eagleford Total Petroleum System (Condon and Dyman, 2006). Both the Austin Group and the Eagle Ford Group are present in the Maverick Basin in south Texas (Rose, 1986).

  5. Resolving the Timing of Events Around the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary (United States)

    Sprain, Courtney Jean

    Despite decades of study, the exact cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (KPB) mass extinction remains contentious. Hypothesized scenarios center around two main environmental perturbations: voluminous (>10 6 km3) volcanic eruptions from the Deccan Traps in modern-day India, and the large impact recorded by the Chicxulub crater. The impact hypothesis has gained broad support, bolstered by the discoveries of iridium anomalies, shocked quartz, and spherules at the KPB worldwide, which are contemporaneous with the Chicxulub impact structure. However, evidence for protracted extinctions, particularly in non-marine settings, and paleoenvironmental change associated with climatic swings before the KPB, challenge the notion that the impact was the sole cause of the KPB mass extinction. Despite forty years of study, the relative importance of each of these events is unclear, and one key inhibitor is insufficient resolution of existing geochronology. In this dissertation, I present work developing a high-precision global chronologic framework for the KPB that outlines the temporal sequence of biotic changes (both within the terrestrial and marine realms), climatic changes, and proposed perturbations (i.e. impact, volcanic eruptions) using 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and paleomagnetism. This work is focused on two major areas of study: 1) refining the timing and tempo of terrestrial ecosystem change around the KPB, and 2) calibrating the geomagnetic polarity timescale, and particularly the timing and duration of magnetic polarity chron C29r (the KPB falls about halfway into C29r). First I develop a high-precision chronostratigraphic framework for fluvial sediments within the Hell Creek region, in NE Montana, which is one of the best-studied terrestrial KPB sections worldwide. For this work I dated 15 tephra deposits with +/- 30 ka precision using 40Ar/ 39Ar geochronology, ranging in time from 300 ka before the KPB to 1 Ma after. By tying these results to paleontological

  6. Cretaceous honeycomb oysters (Pycnodonte vesicularis) as palaeoseasonality records: A multi-proxy study (United States)

    de Winter, Niels J.; Vellekoop, Johan; Vorsselmans, Robin; Golreihan, Asefeh; Petersen, Sierra V.; Meyer, Kyle W.; Speijer, Robert P.; Claeys, Philippe


    Pycnodonte or "honeycomb-oysters" (Bivalvia: Gryphaeidea) is an extinct genus of calcite-producing bivalves which is found in abundance in Cretaceous to Pleistocene fossil beds worldwide. As such, Pycnodonte shells could be ideal tracers of palaeoclimate through time, with the capability to reconstruct sea water conditions and palaeotemperatures in a range of palaeoenvironmental settings. Only few studies have attempted to reconstruct palaeoclimate based on Pycnodonte shells and with variable degrees of success (e.g. Videt, 2003; Huyge et al., 2015). Our study investigates the shell growth, structure and chemical characteristics of Maastrichtian Pycnodonte vesicularis from Bajada de Jaguel in Argentina and aims to rigorously test the application of multiple palaeoenvironmental proxies on the shells of several Maastrichtian Pycnodonte oysters for palaeoclimate reconstruction. The preservation state of four calcite shells was assessed by fluorescence microscopy, cathodoluminescence and micro X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) mapping. Their shell structure was investigated using a combination of XRF mapping, high-resolution color scanning and microCT scanning. Long integration time point-by-point XRF line scanning yielded high-resolution trace element profiles through the hinge of all shells. Microdrilled samples from the same locations on the shell were analyzed for trace element composition by ICP-MS and for stable carbon and oxygen isotopes by IRMS. Preservation of the calcite microstructure was found to be of sufficient quality to allow discussion of original shell porosity, annual growth increments and pristine chemical signatures of the bivalves. The combination of fluorescence and cathodoluminescence microscopy with XRF mapping and microCT scanning sheds light on the characteristic internal "honeycomb" structure of these extinct bivalves and allows comparison with that of the related extant Neopycnodonte bivalves (Wisshak et al., 2009). Furthermore, high resolution

  7. The Nova-Canton Trough and the Late Cretaceous evolution of the central Pacific (United States)

    Joseph, Devorah; Taylor, Brain; Shor, Alexander N.; Yamazaki, Toshitsugu

    Free-air gravity anomalies derived from satellite altimetry data show that the major Pacific fracture zones, from the Pau to Marquesas, are co-polar about an Euler pole located at 150.5°W, 34.6°S for the period preceding chron 33 and including a large portion of the Cretaceous Normal Superchron. They also show continuity of the Clipperton Fracture Zone through the Line Islands to the Nova-Canton ridge and trough; this Canton-Clipperton trend is co-polar to the same pole. Sidescan-sonar and bathymetry data in the Nova-Canton Trough region reveal N140°E-striking abyssal hill topography south of the N70°E-striking structures of the Nova-Canton Trough and crustal fabric striking normal to the trough (N160°E) to the north. We conclude that the Nova-Canton Trough is the Middle Cretaceous extension of the Clipperton Fracture Zone. We propose that the anomalous depths (7000-8400 m) of the trough between 167°30'-168°30'W are the result of a complex plate reorganization. Conjugate magnetic anomaly lineations M1-M3 in the Phoenix lineations between the Central Pacific Fracture Zone and the Phoenix Fracture Zone and the absence of lineations younger than anomaly M3 west of the Phoenix Fracture Zone suggest that spreading may have gradually ceased along the Pacific-Phoenix system from west to east. We infer that the remaining active segment of the Pacific-Phoenix spreading system after anomaly M1 time was the easternmost section of the Phoenix lineations. At ˜M0 time, the Pacific-Phoenix spreading axis stretched from lineated bathymetric depressions lying between 180°W and the Phoenix Islands to ˜168°W and included the western deep of the Nova-Canton Trough. We hypothesize that accretion terminated on the Pacific-Phoenix spreading axis shortly after M0 time and that the absence of an M0 isochron in the region between the eastern Phoenix lineations and the Nova-Canton Trough, or along the Nova-Canton Trough itself, may be due to a decrease in spreading rate prior to

  8. The late cretaceous Donlin Creek gold deposit, Southwestern Alaska: Controls on epizonal ore formation (United States)

    Goldfarb, R.J.; Ayuso, R.; Miller, M.L.; Ebert, S.W.; Marsh, E.E.; Petsel, S.A.; Miller, L.D.; Bradley, D.; Johnson, Chad; McClelland, W.


    The Donlin Creek gold deposit, southwestern Alaska, has an indicated and inferred resource of approximately 25 million ounces (Moz) Au at a cutoff grade of 1.5 g/t. The ca. 70 Ma deposit is hosted in the Late Cretaceous Kuskokwim flysch basin, which developed in the back part of the are region of an active continental margin, on previously accreted oceanic terranes and continental fragments. A hypabyssal, mainly rhyolitic to rhyodacitic, and commonly porphyritic, 8- ?? 3-km dike complex, part of a regional ca. 77 to 58 Ma magmatic arc, formed a structurally competent host for the mineralization. This deposit is subdivided into about one dozen distinct prospects, most of which consist of dense quartz ?? carbonate veinlet networks that fill north-northeast-striking extensional fractures in the northeast-trending igneous rocks. The sulfide mineral assemblage is dominated by arsenopyrite, pyrite, and, typically younger, stibnite; gold is refractory within the arsenopyrite. Sericitization, carbonatization, and suffidation were the main alteration processes. Fluid inclusion studies of the quartz that hosts the resource indicate dominantly aqueous ore fluids with also about 3 to 7 mol percent CO2 ?? CH4 and a few tenths to a few mole percent NaCl + KCl. The gold-bearing fluids were mainly homogeneously trapped at approximately 275?? to 300??C and at depths of 1 to 2 km. Some of the younger stibnite may have been deposited by late-stage aqueous fluids at lower temperature. Measured ??18O values for the gold-bearing quartz range between 11 and 25 per mil; the estimated ??18O fluid values range from 7 to 12 per mil, suggesting a mainly crustally derived fluid. A broad range of measured ??D values for hydrothermal micas, between -150 and -80 per mil, is suggestive of a contribution from devolatilization of organic matter and/or minor amounts of mixing with meteoric fluids. Gold-associated hydrothermal sulfide minerals are characterized by ??34S values mainly between -16 and

  9. Calibrating Late Cretaceous Terrestrial Cyclostratigraphy with High-precision U-Pb Zircon Geochronology: Qingshankou Formation of the Songliao Basin, China (United States)

    Wang, T.; Ramezani, J.; Wang, C.


    A continuous succession of Late Cretaceous lacustrine strata has been recovered from the SK-I south (SK-Is) and SKI north (SK-In) boreholes in the long-lived Cretaceous Songliao Basin in Northeast China. Establishing a high-resolution chronostratigraphic framework is a prerequisite for integrating the Songliao record with the global marine Cretaceous. We present high-precision U-Pb zircon geochronology by the chemical abrasion isotope dilution thermal-ionization mass spectrometry method from multiple bentonite core samples from the Late Cretaceous Qingshankou Formation in order to assess the astrochronological model for the Songliao Basin cyclostratigraphy. Our results from the SK-Is core present major improvements in precision and accuracy over the previously published geochronology and allow a cycle-level calibration of the cyclostratigraphy. The resulting choronostratigraphy suggest a good first-order agreement between the radioisotope geochronology and the established astrochronological time scale over the corresponding interval. The dated bentonite beds near the 1780 m depth straddle a prominent oil shale layer of the Qingshankou Formation, which records a basin-wide lake anoxic event (LAE1), providing a direct age constraint for the LAE1. The latter appears to coincide in time with the Late Cretaceous (Turonian) global sea level change event Tu4 presently constrained at 91.8 Ma.

  10. New tyrannosaur from the mid-Cretaceous of Uzbekistan clarifies evolution of giant body sizes and advanced senses in tyrant dinosaurs. (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Averianov, Alexander; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Muir, Amy; Butler, Ian B


    Tyrannosaurids--the familiar group of carnivorous dinosaurs including Tyrannosaurus and Albertosaurus--were the apex predators in continental ecosystems in Asia and North America during the latest Cretaceous (ca. 80-66 million years ago). Their colossal sizes and keen senses are considered key to their evolutionary and ecological success, but little is known about how these features developed as tyrannosaurids evolved from smaller basal tyrannosauroids that first appeared in the fossil record in the Middle Jurassic (ca. 170 million years ago). This is largely because of a frustrating 20+ million-year gap in the mid-Cretaceous fossil record, when tyrannosauroids transitioned from small-bodied hunters to gigantic apex predators but from which no diagnostic specimens are known. We describe the first distinct tyrannosauroid species from this gap, based on a highly derived braincase and a variety of other skeletal elements from the Turonian (ca. 90-92 million years ago) of Uzbekistan. This taxon is phylogenetically intermediate between the oldest basal tyrannosauroids and the latest Cretaceous forms. It had yet to develop the giant size and extensive cranial pneumaticity of T. rex and kin but does possess the highly derived brain and inner ear characteristic of the latest Cretaceous species. Tyrannosauroids apparently developed huge size rapidly during the latest Cretaceous, and their success in the top predator role may have been enabled by their brain and keen senses that first evolved at smaller body size.

  11. New tyrannosaur from the mid-Cretaceous of Uzbekistan clarifies evolution of giant body sizes and advanced senses in tyrant dinosaurs (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L.; Averianov, Alexander; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Muir, Amy; Butler, Ian B.


    Tyrannosaurids-the familiar group of carnivorous dinosaurs including Tyrannosaurus and Albertosaurus-were the apex predators in continental ecosystems in Asia and North America during the latest Cretaceous (ca. 80-66 million years ago). Their colossal sizes and keen senses are considered key to their evolutionary and ecological success, but little is known about how these features developed as tyrannosaurids evolved from smaller basal tyrannosauroids that first appeared in the fossil record in the Middle Jurassic (ca. 170 million years ago). This is largely because of a frustrating 20+ million-year gap in the mid-Cretaceous fossil record, when tyrannosauroids transitioned from small-bodied hunters to gigantic apex predators but from which no diagnostic specimens are known. We describe the first distinct tyrannosauroid species from this gap, based on a highly derived braincase and a variety of other skeletal elements from the Turonian (ca. 90-92 million years ago) of Uzbekistan. This taxon is phylogenetically intermediate between the oldest basal tyrannosauroids and the latest Cretaceous forms. It had yet to develop the giant size and extensive cranial pneumaticity of T. rex and kin but does possess the highly derived brain and inner ear characteristic of the latest Cretaceous species. Tyrannosauroids apparently developed huge size rapidly during the latest Cretaceous, and their success in the top predator role may have been enabled by their brain and keen senses that first evolved at smaller body size.

  12. The geochemistry and tectonic setting of late Cretaceous Caribbean and Colombian volcanism (United States)

    Kerr, Andrew C.; Tarney, John; Marriner, Giselle F.; Nivia, Alvaro; Klaver, Gerard Th.; Saunders, Andrew D.


    Late Cretaceous mafic volcanic sequences in Western Colombia and in the southern Caribbean have a striking coherence in their chemistry and compositional range which suggests they are part of the same magmatic province. The chemical characteristics of the majority of the mafic lavas are totally unlike those of island arc or marginal basin basalts, so the sequences cannot represent accreted arc terranes. On the other hand their trace element characteristics closely resemble those of Icelandic/Reykjanes Ridge basalts that represent an oceanic plateau formed by extensive decompression melting of an uprising deep mantle plume. The occurrence of komatiites on Gorgona and high-MgO picritic lavas in S.E. Colombia and on Curaçao, representing high temperature melts of the plume tail, confirms this analogy. Likewise, late stage rhyolites within the Colombian mafic volcanics may well be the equivalent of the extensive silicic magmas on Iceland and at Galapagos, possibly formed by remelting of the deep parts of the overthickened basaltic crust above the plume head. These volcanics, plus others around the Caribbean, including the floor of the Central Caribbean, probably all represent part of an oceanic plateau that formed rapidly at the Galapagos hotspot at 88 Ma, and that was too hot and buoyant to subduct beneath the margin of S. America as it migrated westwards with the opening of the South Atlantic, and so was imbricated along the continental margin. Minor arc-like volcanics, tonalites and hornblende leucogabbro veins may represent the products of subduction-flip of normal ocean crust against the buoyant plateau, or hydrous melts developed during imbrication/obduction.

  13. Testing seasonality of the Late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway with stable isotope analysis of ammonites (Baculites) (United States)

    Ellis, N.; Tobin, T. S.


    Common to the Western Interior Seaway, Baculites is a genus of ammonite with a straight-shelled morphology that serve as index fossils for the Late Cretaceous. Powdered shell samples were generated along growth sequences from several large Baculites fragments (20 - 40 cm) that preserve original aragonite. Stable isotope ratios (δ13C, δ18O) were determined for samples using standard techniques. Sine curves were fit to δ18O and δ13C signals, where the seasonal temperature differential is expressed as the amplitude of the δ18O signal. The periods of the signals represent one annual cycle, from which preliminary Baculites growth rate estimates have been established. Additionally, carbon and oxygen isotope data obtained by Fatheree et al. [1998] were re-analyzed and fit to a sine curve. All of the Baculites that produced usable data and the Fatheree et al. [1998] Baculites produced similar periods (30 - 35 cm), suggesting that Baculites likely utilized an r-type life strategy where they reach maturity rapidly, produce large amounts of offspring, and die within a few years. Understanding their life behaviors is critical to the use of Baculites as a paleoclimate proxy since potential migration, both geographic and in the water column, may influence carbon and oxygen isotope signals. The sinusoidal nature of the isotope signals observed in several Baculites suggests that seasonal inputs are most prevalent. Changes in ammonite activity and/or behavior driven by seasonal progression, seasonally mediated environmental changes, or combinations of these are hypothesized inputs that may result in the observed sinusoidal signals. Amplitudes of δ18O signals suggest seawater temperature variance that is consistent with the paleolatitudes associated with the Baculites specimens sampled. Ammonites from higher paleolatitudes yielded larger amplitude signals indicating greater seasonality at these locations. Further experimentation with Baculites aptychi is ongoing and may yield

  14. Impact of trace metal concentrations on coccolithophore growth and morphology: laboratory simulations of Cretaceous stress (United States)

    Faucher, Giulia; Hoffmann, Linn; Bach, Lennart T.; Bottini, Cinzia; Erba, Elisabetta; Riebesell, Ulf


    The Cretaceous ocean witnessed intervals of profound perturbations such as volcanic input of large amounts of CO2, anoxia, eutrophication and introduction of biologically relevant metals. Some of these extreme events were characterized by size reduction and/or morphological changes of a few calcareous nannofossil species. The correspondence between intervals of high trace metal concentrations and coccolith dwarfism suggests a negative effect of these elements on nannoplankton biocalcification processes in past oceans. In order to test this hypothesis, we explored the potential effect of a mixture of trace metals on growth and morphology of four living coccolithophore species, namely Emiliania huxleyi, Gephyrocapsa oceanica, Pleurochrysis carterae and Coccolithus pelagicus. The phylogenetic history of coccolithophores shows that the selected living species are linked to Mesozoic species showing dwarfism under excess metal concentrations. The trace metals tested were chosen to simulate the environmental stress identified in the geological record and upon known trace metal interactions with living coccolithophore algae.Our laboratory experiments demonstrated that elevated trace metal concentrations, similarly to the fossil record, affect coccolithophore algae size and/or weight. Smaller coccoliths were detected in E. huxleyi and C. pelagicus, while coccoliths of G. oceanica showed a decrease in size only at the highest trace metal concentrations. P. carterae coccolith size was unresponsive to changing trace metal concentrations. These differences among species allow discriminating the most- (P. carterae), intermediate- (E. huxleyi and G. oceanica) and least-tolerant (C. pelagicus) taxa. The fossil record and the experimental results converge on a selective response of coccolithophores to metal availability.These species-specific differences must be considered before morphological features of coccoliths are used to reconstruct paleo-chemical conditions.

  15. Impact of trace metal concentrations on coccolithophore growth and morphology: laboratory simulations of Cretaceous stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Faucher


    Full Text Available The Cretaceous ocean witnessed intervals of profound perturbations such as volcanic input of large amounts of CO2, anoxia, eutrophication and introduction of biologically relevant metals. Some of these extreme events were characterized by size reduction and/or morphological changes of a few calcareous nannofossil species. The correspondence between intervals of high trace metal concentrations and coccolith dwarfism suggests a negative effect of these elements on nannoplankton biocalcification processes in past oceans. In order to test this hypothesis, we explored the potential effect of a mixture of trace metals on growth and morphology of four living coccolithophore species, namely Emiliania huxleyi, Gephyrocapsa oceanica, Pleurochrysis carterae and Coccolithus pelagicus. The phylogenetic history of coccolithophores shows that the selected living species are linked to Mesozoic species showing dwarfism under excess metal concentrations. The trace metals tested were chosen to simulate the environmental stress identified in the geological record and upon known trace metal interactions with living coccolithophore algae.Our laboratory experiments demonstrated that elevated trace metal concentrations, similarly to the fossil record, affect coccolithophore algae size and/or weight. Smaller coccoliths were detected in E. huxleyi and C. pelagicus, while coccoliths of G. oceanica showed a decrease in size only at the highest trace metal concentrations. P. carterae coccolith size was unresponsive to changing trace metal concentrations. These differences among species allow discriminating the most- (P. carterae, intermediate- (E. huxleyi and G. oceanica and least-tolerant (C. pelagicus taxa. The fossil record and the experimental results converge on a selective response of coccolithophores to metal availability.These species-specific differences must be considered before morphological features of coccoliths are used to reconstruct paleo-chemical conditions.

  16. New material of Beelzebufo, a hyperossified frog (Amphibia: Anura from the late cretaceous of Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan E Evans

    Full Text Available The extant anuran fauna of Madagascar is exceptionally rich and almost completely endemic. In recent years, many new species have been described and understanding of the history and relationships of this fauna has been greatly advanced by molecular studies, but very little is known of the fossil history of frogs on the island. Beelzebufo ampinga, the first named pre-Holocene frog from Madagascar, was described in 2008 on the basis of numerous disarticulated cranial and postcranial elements from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian Maevarano Formation of Madagascar. These specimens documented the presence of a hyperossified taxon that differed strikingly from extant Malagasy frogs in its large size and heavy coarse cranial exostosis. Here we describe and analyse new, articulated, and more complete material of the skull, vertebral column, and hind limb, as well as additional isolated elements discovered since 2008. μCT scans allow a detailed understanding of both internal and external morphology and permit a more accurate reconstruction. The new material shows Beelzebufo to have been even more bizarre than originally interpreted, with large posterolateral skull flanges and sculptured vertebral spine tables. The apparent absence of a tympanic membrane, the strong cranial exostosis, and vertebral morphology suggest it may have burrowed during seasonally arid conditions, which have been interpreted for the Maevarano Formation from independent sedimentological and taphonomic evidence. New phylogenetic analyses, incorporating both morphological and molecular data, continue to place Beelzebufo with hyloid rather than ranoid frogs. Within Hyloidea, Beelzebufo still groups with the South American Ceratophryidae thus continuing to pose difficulties with both biogeographic interpretations and prior molecular divergence dates.

  17. Potassium, rubidium, strontium, thorium and uranium of the cretaceous plutons in the Kitakami Mountains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Katada, Masato; Kanaya, Hiroshi.


    The Cretaceous plutonic rocks in the Kitakami Mountains, 110 to 125 Ma in K-Ar ages on biotite, etc., can be petrographically and petrochemically classified into seven groups; Zones I, II, III, IV, V, VIa and VIb. Some of them are arranged in the east to west direction. The plutons of Zones II and V are mainly felsic. They are of comparatively big dimension reaching 600 square kilometers. The plutons of other zones are composed of felsic and mafic rocks. They occur on a small scale. The plutonic rocks have been chemically analysed for CaO, K 2 O, Rb, Sr, Th, and U. In the mafic rocks of CaO > 8.2 percent, the contents of CaO and Na 2 O are nearly equal in each zone throughout the Kitakami Mountains. K 2 O, Rb, Th, and U contents, however, generally increase westward. Sr also does. In the westernmost zone, Zone IV, the mafic rocks resemble shoshonite concerning their major elements. Some of the plutons, especially in Zones II and V, are zonally divided into marginal and central facies. The two facies are different in their K 2 O, Rb, etc. contents, and K/Rb and other ratios. In the marginal facies K 2 O and Rb are richer and K/Rb is smaller than those in the central facies. This fact suggests the different processes of magmatic differentiation in the two facies. Intrusion of the marginal facies have successively followed by that of the central facies. (author)

  18. Adaptive Radiation in Socially Advanced Stem-Group Ants from the Cretaceous. (United States)

    Barden, Phillip; Grimaldi, David A


    Across terrestrial ecosystems, modern ants are ubiquitous. As many as 94 out of every 100 individual arthropods in rainforests are ants, and they constitute up to 15% of animal biomass in the Amazon. Moreover, ants are pervasive agents of natural selection as over 10,000 arthropod species are specialized inquilines or myrmecomorphs living among ants or defending themselves through mimicry. Such impact is traditionally explained by sociality: ants are the first major group of ground-dwelling predatory insects to become eusocial, increasing efficiency of tasks and establishing competitive superiority over solitary species. A wealth of specimens from rich deposits of 99 million-year-old Burmese amber resolves ambiguity regarding sociality and diversity in the earliest ants. The stem-group genus Gerontoformica maintained distinct reproductive castes including morphotypes unknown in solitary aculeate (stinging) wasps, providing insight into early behavior. We present rare aggregations of workers, indicating group recruitment as well as an instance of interspecific combat; such aggression is a social feature of modern ants. Two species and an unusual new genus are described, further expanding the remarkable diversity of early ants. Stem-group ants are recovered as a paraphyletic assemblage at the base of modern lineages varying greatly in size, form, and mouthpart structure, interpreted here as an adaptive radiation. Though Cretaceous stem-group ants were eusocial and adaptively diverse, we hypothesize that their extinction resulted from the rise of competitively superior crown-group taxa that today form massive colonies, consistent with Wilson and Hölldobler's concept of "dynastic succession." Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Latest Cretaceous climatic and environmental change in the South Atlantic region (United States)

    Woelders, L.; Vellekoop, J.; Kroon, D.; Smit, J.; Casadío, S.; Prámparo, M. B.; Dinarès-Turell, J.; Peterse, F.; Sluijs, A.; Lenaerts, J. T. M.; Speijer, R. P.


    Latest Maastrichtian climate change caused by Deccan volcanism has been invoked as a cause of mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary ( 66.0 Ma). Yet late Maastrichtian climate and ecological changes are poorly documented, in particular on the Southern Hemisphere. Here we present upper Maastrichtian-lower Danian climate and biotic records from the Bajada del Jagüel (BJ) shelf site (Neuquén Basin, Argentina), employing the TEX86 paleothermometer, marine palynology (dinoflagellate cysts), and micropaleontology (foraminifera). These records are correlated to the astronomically tuned Ocean Drilling Program Site 1262 (Walvis Ridge). Collectively, we use these records to assess climatic and ecological effects of Deccan volcanism in the Southern Atlantic region. Both the TEX86-based sea surface temperature (SST) record at BJ and the bulk carbonate δ18O-based SST record of Site 1262 show a latest Maastrichtian warming of 2.5-4°C, at 450 to 150 kyr before the K-Pg boundary, coinciding with the a large Deccan outpouring phase. Benthic foraminiferal and dinocyst assemblage changes indicate that this warming resulted in enhanced runoff and stratification of the water column, likely resulting from more humid climate conditions in the Neuquén Basin. These climate conditions could have been caused by an expanding and strengthening thermal low over the South American continent. Biotic changes in response to late Maastrichtian environmental changes are rather limited, when compared to the major turnovers observed at many K-Pg boundary sites worldwide. This suggests that environmental perturbations during the latest Maastrichtian warming event were less severe than those following the K-Pg boundary impact.

  20. An Unusual New Theropod with a Didactyl Manus from the Upper Cretaceous of Patagonia, Argentina (United States)

    Apesteguía, Sebastián; Smith, Nathan D.; Juárez Valieri, Rubén; Makovicky, Peter J.


    Background Late Cretaceous terrestrial strata of the Neuquén Basin, northern Patagonia, Argentina have yielded a rich fauna of dinosaurs and other vertebrates. The diversity of saurischian dinosaurs is particularly high, especially in the late Cenomanian-early Turonian Huincul Formation, which has yielded specimens of rebacchisaurid and titanosaurian sauropods, and abelisaurid and carcharodontosaurid theropods. Continued sampling is adding to the known vertebrate diversity of this unit. Methodology/ Principal Findings A new, partially articulated mid-sized theropod was found in rocks from the Huincul Formation. It exhibits a unique combination of traits that distinguish it from other known theropods justifying erection of a new taxon, Gualicho shinyae gen. et sp. nov. Gualicho possesses a didactyl manus with the third digit reduced to a metacarpal splint reminiscent of tyrannosaurids, but both phylogenetic and multivariate analyses indicate that didactyly is convergent in these groups. Derived characters of the scapula, femur, and fibula supports the new theropod as the sister taxon of the nearly coeval African theropod Deltadromeus and as a neovenatorid carcharodontosaurian. A number of these features are independently present in ceratosaurs, and Gualicho exhibits an unusual mosaic of ceratosaurian and tetanuran synapomorphies distributed throughout the skeleton. Conclusions/ Significance Gualicho shinyae gen. et sp. nov. increases the known theropod diversity of the Huincul Formation and also represents the first likely neovenatorid from this unit. It is the most basal tetatanuran to exhibit common patterns of digit III reduction that evolved independently in a number of other tetanuran lineages. A close relationship with Deltadromaeus from the Kem Kem beds of Niger adds to the already considerable biogeographic similarity between the Huincul Formation and coeval rock units in North Africa. PMID:27410683

  1. Multiple episodes of fast exhumation since Cretaceous in southeast Tibet, revealed by low-temperature thermochronology (United States)

    Liu-Zeng, Jing; Zhang, Jinyu; McPhillips, Devin; Reiners, Peter; Wang, Wei; Pik, Raphael; Zeng, Lingsen; Hoke, Greg; Xie, Kejia; Xiao, Ping; Zheng, Dewen; Ge, Yukui


    The southeast margin of the Tibetan plateau is characterized by deeply incised river valleys separated by a perched low relief landscape that gently descends from the high Tibetan plateau towards the southeast. When and how this unique landscape formed is debated. The onset of increased river incision is often interpreted as a proxy for the timing of surface uplift. Here, apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He and apatite fission track thermochronometries are employed to map the spatial and temporal pattern of exhumation in the region. Vertical profiles of granitic rocks were collected near Deqin (∼28.5°N) and Weixi (∼27.5°N). The two transects share a similar exhumation history, with two episodes of relatively fast exhumation (∼100-300 m/Myr) in the Cenozoic: during the Paleocene to Eocene (60-40 Ma) and Miocene to present (20-0 Ma), separated by an intervening period of slow exhumation. A pulse of moderate to high exhumation (70-300 m/Myr) during the mid- to late-Cretaceous (120-80 Ma) is also present in the data. However, the rate and total amount of exhumation near Deqin is larger than at Weixi and is especially pronounced in the interval between 20 Ma to present. We interpret this difference as possibly related to differences in erosion rates between the Lancang (Deqin) and the Jinsha (Weixi) rivers. The Paleocene to Eocene episode of fast exhumation is likely in response to early Cenozoic deformation along tectonic boundary structures, related to the transpressional collision of the Indian plate with this region. Pre-Miocene episodes of fast exhumation corroborate recent paleoaltimetric studies, which show that the southeast margin of the Tibetan plateau was elevated prior to the Oligocene.

  2. Early Cretaceous marine sediments of the Lower Saxony Basin. The Gildehaus Sandstone

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    Dellepiane, S.; Weiel, D. [Wintershall Holding GmbH, Barnstorf (Germany); Gerwert, D.; Mutterlose, J. [Bochum Univ. (Germany). Inst. fuer Geologie, Mineralogie und Geophysik


    During the Early Cretaceous (Berriasian - Aptian) the Lower Saxony Basin (LSB) formed the southernmost extension of the North Sea Basin. Sedimentation patterns of the LSB were controlled by divergent dextral shear movement causing differential subsidence related to early rifting in the North Sea. Up to 2000m of fine grained mudstones accumulated in the basin centre, while marginal marine, coarser grained siliciclastics were deposited along the western and southern margins of the LSB. The western marginal facies, outcropping along the Dutch-German border, is characterised by shallow marine sandstones of Valanginian - Hauterivian age. These units, which are separated by clay rich intervals, include the Bentheim Sdst., the Dichotomites Sdst., the Grenz Sdst., the Noricum Sdst. and the Gildehaus Sdst. These sandstones form a series of overall backstepping units, controlled by a main transgressive trend. Economically important are the Bentheim Sdst. and the Gildehaus Sdst., with a long oil producing history. The Bentheim Sdst. (early Valanginian) has been interpreted as an overall retrograding unit related to an incised valley infill with material mainly coming from the South. Tidal processes dominated the deposition of the Bentheim Sdst. The origin and genesis of the Gildehaus Sdst. (mid Hauterivian) is, however, less well understood. Here we present data from two wells drilled to the Gildehaus Sdst. (Emlichheim oil field) which provide evidence for a two fold subdivision of the unit. A well sorted massive quartz sandstone is followed by an interval composed of reworked coarse clastics of massflow origin. Micropalaeontological evidence suggests a fully marine, hemi-pelagic origin of the mud dominated matrix throughout the Gildehaus Sdst. These findings indicate a depositional environment quite different from that of the Bentheim Sdst. Short termed pulses of substantial input of clastic material from two different sources in the West to Southwest punctuated the overall

  3. Lithofacies control in detrital zircon provenance studies: Insights from the Cretaceous Methow basin, southern Canadian Cordillera (United States)

    DeGraaff-Surpless, K.; Mahoney, J.B.; Wooden, J.L.; McWilliams, M.O.


    High-frequency sampling for detrital zircon analysis can provide a detailed record of fine-scale basin evolution by revealing the temporal and spatial variability of detrital zircon ages within clastic sedimentary successions. This investigation employed detailed sampling of two sedimentary successions in the Methow/Methow-Tyaughton basin of the southern Canadian Cordillera to characterize the heterogeneity of detrital zircon signatures within single lithofacies and assess the applicability of detrital zircon analysis in distinguishing fine-scale provenance changes not apparent in lithologic analysis of the strata. The Methow/Methow-Tyaughton basin contains two distinct stratigraphic sequences of middle Albian to Santonian clastic sedimentary rocks: submarine-fan deposits of the Harts Pass Formation/Jackass Mountain Group and fluvial deposits of the Winthrop Formation. Although both stratigraphic sequences displayed consistent ranges in detrital zircon ages on a broad scale, detailed sampling within each succession revealed heterogeneity in the detrital zircon age distributions that was systematic and predictable in the turbidite succession but unpredictable in the fluvial succession. These results suggest that a high-density sampling approach permits interpretation of finescale changes within a lithologically uniform turbiditic sedimentary succession, but heterogeneity within fluvial systems may be too large and unpredictable to permit accurate fine-scale characterization of the evolution of source regions. The robust composite detrital zircon age signature developed for these two successions permits comparison of the Methow/Methow-Tyaughton basin age signature with known plutonic source-rock ages from major plutonic belts throughout the Cretaceous North American margin. The Methow/Methow-Tyaughton basin detrital zircon age signature matches best with source regions in the southern Canadian Cordillera, requiring that the basin developed in close proximity to the

  4. Paleoenvironmental conditions across the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary in central-eastern Mexico (United States)

    Martínez-Yáñez, Mario; Núñez-Useche, Fernando; López Martínez, Rafael; Gardner, Rand D.


    The Padni section of central-eastern Mexico is characterized by pelagic, organic-rich carbonates and shales dated in this study by calpionellid biostratigraphy to the late Tithonian-late Berriasian time interval. Microfacies, pyrite framboid size, spectrometric gamma-ray and mineralogical data are herein integrated in order to reconstruct the paleoenvironmental change during the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary. Deposits of the late Tithonian-early Berriasian are characterized by laminated, organic-rich facies with abundant radiolarian, tiny pyrite framboids and low Th/U ratios. They are linked to upwelling in a semi-restricted basin, high marine productivity and anoxic bottom waters. The early incursions of Tethyan oceanic waters into the proto-Gulf of Mexico occurred during late Tithonian as attested the appearance of calpionellids. Short and intermittent accumulations of saccocomids during early Berriasian suggest episodes of sporadic connection between the Tethys, the proto-Atlantic and the Pacific ocean during sea-level rise events. A full and stable connection between the Tethys and proto-Gulf of Mexico was established until the late Berriasian. This event is supported by the presence of open marine and bioturbated facies with a framboid population typical of dysoxic conditions, higher Th/U ratios and a decreasing pattern of the total organic carbon content. In addition to highlighting the replenishment of the oxygen supply to the basin, this facies also points to a younger age for the finalization of the Yucatán Block rotation and the end of the Gulf of Mexico opening. Deposition of the studied section occurred mostly during a Tithonian-Berriasian arid phase reported in other Tethyan and Atlantic regions. The similarity between the discrete segments of the standard gamma-ray curve defined in the studied outcrop and those reported from subsurface implies their regional continuity allowing their use for correlation purposes.

  5. Source rock contributions to the Lower Cretaceous heavy oil accumulations in Alberta: a basin modeling study (United States)

    Berbesi, Luiyin Alejandro; di Primio, Rolando; Anka, Zahie; Horsfield, Brian; Higley, Debra K.


    The origin of the immense oil sand deposits in Lower Cretaceous reservoirs of the Western Canada sedimentary basin is still a matter of debate, specifically with respect to the original in-place volumes and contributing source rocks. In this study, the contributions from the main source rocks were addressed using a three-dimensional petroleum system model calibrated to well data. A sensitivity analysis of source rock definition was performed in the case of the two main contributors, which are the Lower Jurassic Gordondale Member of the Fernie Group and the Upper Devonian–Lower Mississippian Exshaw Formation. This sensitivity analysis included variations of assigned total organic carbon and hydrogen index for both source intervals, and in the case of the Exshaw Formation, variations of thickness in areas beneath the Rocky Mountains were also considered. All of the modeled source rocks reached the early or main oil generation stages by 60 Ma, before the onset of the Laramide orogeny. Reconstructed oil accumulations were initially modest because of limited trapping efficiency. This was improved by defining lateral stratigraphic seals within the carrier system. An additional sealing effect by biodegraded oil may have hindered the migration of petroleum in the northern areas, but not to the east of Athabasca. In the latter case, the main trapping controls are dominantly stratigraphic and structural. Our model, based on available data, identifies the Gordondale source rock as the contributor of more than 54% of the oil in the Athabasca and Peace River accumulations, followed by minor amounts from Exshaw (15%) and other Devonian to Lower Jurassic source rocks. The proposed strong contribution of petroleum from the Exshaw Formation source rock to the Athabasca oil sands is only reproduced by assuming 25 m (82 ft) of mature Exshaw in the kitchen areas, with original total organic carbon of 9% or more.

  6. Coal depositional models in some tertiary and cretaceous coal fields in the US western interior

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Flores, R M


    Detailed stratigraphic and sedimentological studies of the Tertiary Tongue River Member of the Fort Union Formation in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming, and the Cretaceous Blackhawk Formation and Star Point Sandstone in the Wasatch Plateau, Utah, indicate that the depositional environments of coal played a major role in controlling coal thickness, lateral continuity, potential minability, and type of floor and roof rocks. The potentially minable, thick coal beds of the Tongue River Member were primarily formed in long-lived floodbasin backswamps of upper alluvial plain environment. Avulsion of meandering fluvial channels contributed to the erratic lateral extent of coals in this environment. Laterally extensive coals formed in floodbasin backswamps of a lower alluvial plain environment; however, interruption by overbank and crevasse-splay sedimentation produced highly split and merging coal beds. Lacustrine sedimentation common to the lower alluvial plain, similar to the lake-covered lower alluvial valley of the Atchafalaya River Basin, is related to a high-constructive delta. In contrast to these alluvial coals are the deltaic coal deposits of the Blackhawk Formation. The formation consists of three coal populations: upper delta plain, lower delta plain, and back-barrier. Coals of the lower delta plain are thick and laterally extensive, in contrast to those of the upper delta plain and back-barrier, which contain abundant, very thin and laterally discontinuous carbonaceous shale partings. The reworking of the delta-front sediments of the Star Point Sandstone suggests that the Blackhawk-Star Point delta was a high-destructive system. 1 figure, 1 table.

  7. A new Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystem from Gondwana with the description of a new sauropod dinosaur

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    Jorge O. Calvo


    Full Text Available A unique site at the northern area of Patagonia (Neuquén, Argentina reveals a terrestrial ecosystem preserved in a detail never reported before in a Late Cretaceous deposit. An extraordinary diversity and abundance of fossils was found concentrated in a 0.5 m horizon in the same quarry, including a new titanosaur sauropod, Futalognkosaurus dukei n.gen., n.sp, which is the most complete giant dinosaur known so far. Several plant leaves, showing a predominance of angiosperms over gymnosperms that likely constituted the diet of F. dukei were found too. Other dinosaurs (sauropods, theropods, ornithopods, crocodylomorphs, pterosaurs, and fishes were also discovered, allowing a partial reconstruction of this Gondwanan continental ecosystem.Um depósito fóssil na região norte da Patagônia (Neuquén, Argentina revela um ecossistema nunca antes registrado a este nível de detalhes em depósitos do Cretáceo Superior. Uma diversidade e abundância extraordinária de fósseis encontra-se concentrada em uma camada de 0,5 m no mesmo sítio, incluindo um novo saurópodo titanossaurídeo, Futalognkosaurus dukei n. gen, n. sp., que é o mais completo dinossauro gigante encontrado até a presente data. Foram descobertas váriasfolhas de plantas indicando a predominância de angiospermas sobre gimnospermas que possivelmente formavam a base da dieta de F. dukei. Outros dinossauros (saurópodes, terópodes, ornitópodes, crocodilomorfos, pterossauros e peixes foram também encontrados possibilitando a reconstrução parcialdeste ecossistema continental do Gondwana.

  8. Predation upon hatchling dinosaurs by a new snake from the late Cretaceous of India.

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    Jeffrey A Wilson


    Full Text Available Derived large-mouthed snakes (macrostomatans possess numerous specializations in their skull and lower jaws that allow them to consume large vertebrate prey. In contrast, basal snakes lack these adaptations and feed primarily on small prey items. The sequence of osteological and behavioral modifications involved in the evolution of the macrostomatan condition has remained an open question because of disagreement about the origin and interrelationships of snakes, the paucity of well-preserved early snake fossils on many continental landmasses, and the lack of information about the feeding ecology of early snakes. We report on a partial skeleton of a new 3.5-m-long snake, Sanajeh indicus gen. et sp. nov., recovered from Upper Cretaceous rocks of western India. S. indicus was fossilized in association with a sauropod dinosaur egg clutch, coiled around an egg and adjacent to the remains of a ca. 0.5-m-long hatchling. Multiple snake-egg associations at the site strongly suggest that S. indicus frequented nesting grounds and preyed on hatchling sauropods. We interpret this pattern as "ethofossil" preservation of feeding behavior. S. indicus lacks specializations of modern egg-eaters and of macrostomatans, and skull and vertebral synapomorphies place it in an intermediate position in snake phylogeny. Sanajeh and its large-bodied madtsoiid sister taxa Yurlunggur camfieldensis and Wonambi naracoortensis from the Neogene of Australia show specializations for intraoral prey transport but lack the adaptations for wide gape that characterize living macrostomatan snakes. The Dholi Dungri fossils are the second definitive association between sauropod eggs and embryonic or hatchling remains. New fossils from western India provide direct evidence of feeding ecology in a Mesozoic snake and demonstrate predation risks for hatchling sauropod dinosaurs. Our results suggest that large body size and jaw mobility afforded some non-macrostomatan snakes a greater

  9. Integrated foraminiferal biostratigraphy and chemostratigraphy of the querecual formation (Cretaceous), Eastern Venezuela (United States)

    Crespo De Cabrera, S.; Sliter, W.V.; Jarvis, I.


    An integrated foraminiferal biostratigraphy and chemostratigraphy is presented for the Lower to Upper Cretaceous Querecual Formation exposed on Chimana Grande Island, Eastern Venezuela. The formation consists of >450 m alternating foraminiferal and organic-rich carbonates and laminated mudrocks, and is considered the main hydrocarbon source rock for the eastern Venezuela Basin. Biostratigraphic resolution within the Querecual Formation is poor, due to a paucity of keeled planktonic foraminifera and impoverished benthic faunas. Deposition occurred in a bathyal environment, with dysaerobic or anoxic bottom waters resulting from high rates of surface productivity associated with an upwelling environment. Biostratigraphic evidence indicates that the Querecual Formation ranges from the upper Albian Rotalipora ticinensis Zone to the Santonian Dicarinella asymetrica Zone. Iron and Al contents fall through the Albian-Cenomanian indicating a progressive decrease in the detrital supply, driven by rising eustatic sea level. A Ca profile demonstrates variations in carbonate production and dissolution. High total organic carbon (TOC) intervals occur in the upper Albian to mid-Cenomanian and Turonian, and high Ba/Al and Si/Al ratios characterize mid-Cenomanian and younger sediments. Variations in these elements primarily reflect changes in marine productivity, but are also affected by diagenetic processes. A stable carbon isotope curve established from analysis of organic matter (??13Corg) correlates well with published ??13C curves for carbonates from England and Italy. The Cenomanian/Turonian boundary cannot be identified using planktonic foraminifera, because key taxa are absent, but the base of the Turonian is clearly indicated by a sharp fall in ??13C immediately above a major positive excursion. The bottom of the Coniacian is placed below a ??13C minimum, towards the base of the Dicarinella concavata Zone. Combined with the foraminiferal data, the isotopic data enable much

  10. New Patagonian Cretaceous theropod sheds light about the early radiation of Coelurosauria

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    Fernando E Novas


    Full Text Available Here we describe a new theropod, Bicentenaria argentina nov. gen. et nov. sp., from the early Late Cretaceous of Patagonia. It is represented by more than a hundred bones belonging to different sized individuals, which were buried together in disarticulation after little transportation. The available association of skeletal elements suggests a gregarious behaviour for Bicentenaria, an ethological trait also recorded among other theropod clades. Increasing documentation of monospecific assemblages of different groups of theropods suggests that a gregarious behaviour may have constituted the ancestral condition for Theropoda, at least. Bicentenaria characterizes for the surangular bone with a high dorsal margin and a prominent lateral shelf, a retroarticular process that is low, wide and spoon-shaped, and quadrate bone with its lateral condyle larger than the medial one. Phylogenetic analysis found the Chinese Tugulusaurus and the Patagonian Bicentenaria as successive sister taxa of all other coelurosaurs, thus revealing the importance of the new taxon in the understanding of the early diversification of Coelurosauria. In particular, Bicentenaria amplifies the array of basal coelurosaurs that inhabited Gondwana during the Cretaceous, also including compsognathids, Aniksosaurus and Santanaraptor. Although still restricted to a handful of forms, available information indicates that Gondwana was a cradle for the evolution of different lineages of basal coelurosaurs, different from those documented in Upper Cretaceous beds in the northern landmasses. Analysis of body size distribution in averostran theropods results in the identification of two main episodes of drastic size reduction in the evolutionary history of Coelurosauria: one occurred at the initial radiation of the group (as represented by Bicentenaria, Zuolong, Tugulusaurus, compsognathids, and Aniksosaurus, and a second episode occurred at the early diverification of Paraves or avialans

  11. Subseafloor fluid mixing and fossilized microbial life in a Cretaceous 'Lost City'-type hydrothermal system at the Iberian Margin (United States)

    Klein, F.; Humphris, S. E.; Guo, W.; Schubotz, F.; Schwarzenbach, E. M.; Orsi, W.


    Subseafloor mixing of reduced hydrothermal fluids with seawater is believed to provide the energy and substrates needed to support autotrophic microorganisms in the hydrated oceanic mantle (serpentinite). Despite the potentially significant implications for the distribution of microbial life on Earth and other water-bearing planetary bodies, our understanding of such environments remains elusive. In the present study we examined fossilized microbial communities and fluid mixing processes in the subseafloor of a Cretaceous 'Lost City'-type hydrothermal system at the passive Iberia Margin (ODP Leg 149, Hole 897D). Brucite and calcite co-precipitated from mixed fluids ca. 65m below the Cretaceous palaeo-seafloor at temperatures of 32±4°C within steep chemical gradients (fO2, pH, CH4, SO4, ΣCO2, etc) between weathered, carbonate-rich serpentinite breccia and serpentinite. Mixing of oxidized seawater and strongly reducing hydrothermal fluid at moderate temperatures created conditions capable of supporting microbial activity within the oceanic basement. Dense microbial colonies are fossilized in brucite-calcite veins that are strongly enriched in organic carbon but depleted in 13C. We detected a combination of bacterial diether lipid biomarkers, archaeol and archaeal tetraethers analogous to those found in brucite-carbonate chimneys at the active Lost City hydrothermal field. The exposure of mantle rocks to seawater during the breakup of Pangaea fueled chemolithoautotrophic microbial communities at the Iberia Margin during the Cretaceous, possibly before the onset of seafloor spreading in the Atlantic. 'Lost City'-type serpentinization systems have been discovered at mid-ocean ridges, in forearc settings of subduction zones and at continental margins. It appears that, wherever they occur, they can support microbial life, even in deep subseafloor environments as demonstrated in the present study. Because equivalent systems have likely existed throughout most of Earth

  12. Exhumation of the Cordillera de Domeyko: Implications for Andean retroarc evolution between the Late Cretaceous and the Oligocene (United States)

    Henriquez, S.; Carrapa, B.; DeCelles, P. G.


    In Cordilleran-type orogens, exhumation of the thrust belt records the kinematic history of the orogenic system. In the Central Andes, the widest and thickest part of this orogen, several authors have documented the exhumation of the thrust belt in the modern forearc (Chile) and retroarc region (Bolivia and Argentina) showing an overall eastward propagation of deformation since the late Eocene. However, the exhumation of earlier Andean retroarc tectonic events remains poorly documented. In the forearc, the Cordillera de Domeyko and Salar de Atacama basin exhibit multiple pieces of evidence for earlier Andean orogenesis. The goal of this study is to document the thermal record of Late Cretaceous to Eocene retroarc deformation. To this end, this study investigates the cooling history of the easternmost basement uplift of the Cordillera de Domeyko. We couple this record with detrital thermochronology from cobbles in the Late Cretaceous to Miocene sedimentary units from the Salar de Atacama basin which records the unroofing history of this uplift. We employed a multi-dating approach combining apatite fission track (AFT) and apatite (U-Th-Sm)/He (AHe) thermochronology to constrain the timing and amount of exhumation in the early Andean retroarc region. Our results show episodic cooling ca. 90-80, 65-60 and 45-40 Ma. This new data provides a thermochronologic record of Late Cretaceous and Paleocene deformation in the retroarc region as well as of the widely recognized Eocene deformation event. The cooling signal is interpreted to reflect exhumation controlled by uplift and erosion in the retroarc region. These exhumation events reflect episodes of internal deformation, crustal thickening, and roughly similar amounts of local erosion. Exhumation in this region decreased by the late Oligocene; by this time the orogenic front was established to the east, in the Eastern Cordillera.

  13. Palaeomagnetism in the Sines massif (SW Iberia) revisited: evidences for Late Cretaceous hydrothermal alteration and associated partial remagnetization (United States)

    Ribeiro, P.; Silva, P. F.; Moita, P.; Kratinová, Z.; Marques, F. O.; Henry, B.


    This study revisits the palaeomagnetism of the Sines massif (˜76 Ma) in the southwestern Iberian Margin (Portugal). The palaeomagnetic analysis was complemented by a comprehensive study of the magnetic mineralogy by means of rock magnetic measurements and petrographic observations. The overall dispersion of palaeomagnetic directions (declination ranging between ˜N0° and ˜N50°) and their migration observed during stepwise demagnetizations have revealed the superposition of remanence components. We interpret this complex palaeomagnetic behaviour as related to the regional hydrothermalism associated with the last stages of Late Cretaceous magmatic activity. This environment favoured mineralogical alteration and a partial chemical remagnetization, giving in most samples a composite magnetization, which has been erroneously interpreted as the primary one in a previous study, then leading to a questionable model for Cretaceous Iberia rotation. Nonetheless, for some samples a single component has been isolated. Interesting rock magnetic properties and microscopic observations point to a well-preserved magnetic mineralogy for these samples, with magnetite clearly of primary origin. The associated ChRM mean direction (D/I = 3.9°/46.5°, α95 = 1.7°, N = 31 samples) then represents the true primary magnetization of the Sines massif. This new palaeomagnetic direction and the corresponding palaeomagnetic pole (long = 332.0°, lat = -79.5°, A95 = 1.7°) agrees with those from the other palaeomagnetic works for the same period and region (e.g. the Sintra and Monchique massifs), yielding a lack of significant rotation of Iberia relative to stable Europe since the uppermost Late Cretaceous (Campanian-Maastrichtian).

  14. A new troodontid theropod, Talos sampsoni gen. et sp. nov., from the Upper Cretaceous Western Interior Basin of North America.

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    Lindsay E Zanno

    Full Text Available Troodontids are a predominantly small-bodied group of feathered theropod dinosaurs notable for their close evolutionary relationship with Avialae. Despite a diverse Asian representation with remarkable growth in recent years, the North American record of the clade remains poor, with only one controversial species--Troodon formosus--presently known from substantial skeletal remains.Here we report a gracile new troodontid theropod--Talos sampsoni gen. et sp. nov.--from the Upper Cretaceous Kaiparowits Formation, Utah, USA, representing one of the most complete troodontid skeletons described from North America to date. Histological assessment of the holotype specimen indicates that the adult body size of Talos was notably smaller than that of the contemporary genus Troodon. Phylogenetic analysis recovers Talos as a member of a derived, latest Cretaceous subclade, minimally containing Troodon, Saurornithoides, and Zanabazar. MicroCT scans reveal extreme pathological remodeling on pedal phalanx II-1 of the holotype specimen likely resulting from physical trauma and subsequent infectious processes.Talos sampsoni adds to the singularity of the Kaiparowits Formation dinosaur fauna, which is represented by at least 10 previously unrecognized species including the recently named ceratopsids Utahceratops and Kosmoceratops, the hadrosaurine Gryposaurus monumentensis, the tyrannosaurid Teratophoneus, and the oviraptorosaurian Hagryphus. The presence of a distinct troodontid taxon in the Kaiparowits Formation supports the hypothesis that late Campanian dinosaurs of the Western Interior Basin exhibited restricted geographic ranges and suggests that the taxonomic diversity of Late Cretaceous troodontids from North America is currently underestimated. An apparent traumatic injury to the foot of Talos with evidence of subsequent healing sheds new light on the paleobiology of deinonychosaurians by bolstering functional interpretations of prey grappling and

  15. Pre-Cretaceous Agaricomycetes yet to be discovered: Reinvestigation of a putative Triassic bracket fungus from southern Germany

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    A. P. Kiecksee


    Full Text Available Agaricomycetes are major components of extant terrestrial ecosystems; however, their fruiting bodies are exceedingly rare as fossils. Reinvestigation of a peculiar fossil from Late Triassic sediments of southern Germany interpreted as a bracket fungus revealed that this fossil in fact represents a wood abnormality, resulting from injury to the cambium and subsequent callus growth in a Baieroxylon -like ginkgoalean wood. As a result, the fossil record of the Agaricomycetes does not yet pre-date the Early Cretaceous, suggesting a late diversification of basidiomycetes possessing large fruiting bodies. doi:10.1002/mmng.201200006

  16. Evaluating the use of amber in palaeoatmospheric reconstructions: The carbon-isotope variability of modern and Cretaceous conifer resins (United States)

    Dal Corso, Jacopo; Schmidt, Alexander R.; Seyfullah, Leyla J.; Preto, Nereo; Ragazzi, Eugenio; Jenkyns, Hugh C.; Delclòs, Xavier; Néraudeau, Didier; Roghi, Guido


    Stable carbon-isotope geochemistry of fossilized tree resin (amber) potentially could be a very useful tool to infer the composition of past atmospheres. To test the reliability of amber as a proxy for the atmosphere, we studied the variability of modern resin δ13C at both local and global scales. An amber δ13C curve was then built for the Cretaceous, a period of abundant resin production, and interpreted in light of data from modern resins. Our data show that hardening changes the pristine δ13C value by causing a 13C-depletion in solid resin when compared to fresh liquid-viscous resin, probably due to the loss of 13C-enriched volatiles. Modern resin δ13C values vary as a function of physiological and environmental parameters in ways that are similar to those described for leaves and wood. Resin δ13C varies between plant species and localities, within the same tree and between different plant tissues by up to 6‰, and in general increases with increasing altitudes of the plant-growing site. We show that, as is the case with modern resin, Cretaceous amber δ13C has a high variability, generally higher than that of other fossil material. Despite the high natural variability, amber shows a negative 2.5-3‰ δ13C trend from the middle Early Cretaceous to the Maastrichtian that parallels published terrestrial δ13C records. This trend mirrors changes in the atmospheric δ13C calculated from the δ13C and δ18O of benthic foraminiferal tests, although the magnitude of the shift is larger in plant material than in the atmosphere. Increasing mean annual precipitation and pO2 could have enhanced plant carbon-isotope fractionation during the Late Cretaceous, whereas changing pCO2 levels seem to have had no effect on plant carbon-isotope fractionation. The results of this study suggest that amber is a powerful fossil plant material for palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic reconstructions. Improvement of the resolution of the existing data coupled with more detailed

  17. Syn-sedimentary tectonics and facies analysis in a rift setting: Cretaceous Dalmiapuram Formation, Cauvery Basin, SE India

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    Nivedita Chakraborty


    Full Text Available The Cretaceous (Albian–Cenomanian Dalmiapuram Formation is one of the economically significant constituents in the hydrocarbon-producing Cauvery rift basin, SE India that opened up during the Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous Gondwanaland fragmentation. The fossil-rich Dalmiapuram Formation, exposed at Ariyalur within the Pondicherry sub-basin of Cauvery Basin, rests in most places directly on the Archean basement and locally on the Lower Cretaceous (Barremian–Aptian Basal Siliciclastic Formation. In the Dalmiapuram Formation, a facies association of tectonically-disturbed phase is sandwiched between two drastically quieter phases. The early syn-rift facies association (FA 1, records the first carbonate marine transgression within the basin, comprising a bar–lagoon system with occasionally storms affecting along the shore and a sheet-like non-recurrent biomicritic limestone bed on the shallow shelf that laterally grades into pyrite–glauconite-bearing dark-colored shale in the deeper shelf. Spectacular breccias together with varied kinds of mass-flow products comprise the syn-rift facies association (FA 2. While the breccias occur at the basin margin area, the latter extend in the deeper inland sea. Clast composition of the coarse clastics includes large, even block-sized limestone fragments and small fragments of granite and sandstone from the basement. Marl beds of quieter intervals between tectonic pulses occur in alternation with them. Faulted basal contact of the formation, and small grabens filled by multiple mass-flow packages bear the clear signature of the syntectonic activity localized contortions, slump folds, and pillow beds associated with mega slump/slide planes and joints, which corroborates this contention further. This phase of tectonic intervention is followed by another relatively quieter phase and accommodates the late syn-rift facies association (FA 3. A tidal bar–interbar shelf depositional system allowed a

  18. Petrological-geochemical characteristics of coarse-grained clastic sedimentary rocks of Quantou Formation, Cretaceous in Songliao basin and their geological significance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Gan; Zhang Bangtong


    Clastic sedimentary rocks of Quantou Formation, Cretaceous in Qing-an area, Songliao basin are mainly composed of sandstone, mudstone and siltstone. The petrological-chemical analysis of clastic sedimentary rocks from Quantou Formation, Cretaceous indicates that their lithology mainly consists of arkose, shale and minor rock debris sandstone and greywacke by chemical classification of bulk elements. REE distribution pattern displays the apparent enrichment of LREE and negative anomaly of Eu and is similar to that of NASC and PAAS. The ratio of trace-element in sedimentary rocks to that of upper crust shows gentle character. All the above features indicate that these sedimentary rocks were slowly deposited under weakly active tectonic setting. They are sediments typical for passive continental margin and active continental margin. It is suggested that material source of clastic sediments of Quantou Formation, Cretaceous in Qing-an area, Songliao basin was originated from Hercynian granite of Zhangguangchai Mountain, and the granite was originated from upper crust. (authors)

  19. Causes and consequences of short-term sea-level changes in the Cretaceous green- and "hothouse": Topics and context of IGCP Project 609 (United States)

    Sames, Benjamin; Wagreich, Michael


    In contrast to the well-understood process of glacial eustasy, controlled mainly by waxing and waning of continental ice sheets, significant short-term, i.e. 10s kyr to a few myr (3rd to 4th order cycles) sea-level changes during the Cretaceous major greenhouse episode remain enigmatic. Such cyclic changes are often explained by the presence of ephemeral ice sheets even during the hottest greenhouse phases ("hothouse periods"), such as the mid-Cretaceous. Though Cretaceous global eustasy involves processes like brief glacial episodes (glacio-eustasy) for which evidence was given - at least for the Early Cretaceous and the late Late Cretaceous - other mechanisms have to be taken into consideration for the "hothouse periods" during which continental ice shields are highly improbable, like the storage and release of groundwater (termed "limno-eustasy" or "aquifer-eustasy"), the possible effect and magnitude of which might have been highly underestimated. Investigation of the timing, the causes, and the consequences of significant short-term (i.e. mainly kyr to 100s of kyr) sea-level changes during the last major greenhouse episode of Earth history, the Cretaceous, is the ultimate goal of the UNESCO IGCP (International Geoscience Programme) project number 609 "Climate-environmental deteriorations during greenhouse phases: Causes and consequences of short-term Cretaceous sea-level changes" (2013-2017; This also comprises the global versus regional correlation and extent of the sequences, their cyclicities, as well as the processes and triggering mechanisms for these, and marine to non-marine correlations. Recent refinements of the geological time scale have made major advances for the Cretaceous to yield a resolution comparable to that of younger Earth history. It is now for the first time possible to correlate and date short-term Cretaceous sea-level records with a resolution appropriate for their detailed analysis. Recognized

  20. New details of bio- and magnetostratigraphical correlations in the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary interval: Lókút (Transdanubial Range, Hngary), Veliky Kamenets (Pieniny Klippen Belt, Ukraine), Barlya (Western Balkan, Bulgaria)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Grabowski, J.; Bakhmutov, V.; Haas, J.; Krobicki, M.; Lakova, I.; Petrova, S.; Reháková, D.; Schnabl, Petr; Stoykova, K.; Sobien, K.


    Roč. 120 (2017), s. 100-100 ISSN 1017-8880. [International Symposium on the Cretaceous /10./. 21.08.2017-26.08.2017, Vienna] Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : magnetostratigraphy * Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary interval * Transdanubian Range * Pieniny Klippen Belt * Western Balkan Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography

  1. The conchostracan subgenus Orthestheria (Migransia) from the Tacuarembó Formation (Late Jurassic-?Early Cretaceous, Uruguay) with notes on its geological age (United States)

    Yanbin, Shen; Gallego, Oscar F.; Martínez, Sergio


    Conchostracans from the Tacuarembó Formation s.s. of Uruguay are reassigned to the subgenus Orthestheria (Migransia) Chen and Shen. They show more similarities to genera of Late Jurassic age in the Congo Basin and China than to those of Early Cretaceous age. On the basis of the character of the conchostracans, we suggest that the Tacuarembó Formation is unlikely to be older than Late Jurassic. It is probably Kimmeridgian, but an Early Cretaceous age cannot be excluded. This finding is consistent with isotopic dating of the overlying basalts, as well as the age range of recently described fossil freshwater sharks.

  2. The Caribbean-Colombian cretaceous igneous province: The internal anatomy of an oceanic plateau (United States)

    Kerr, Andrew C.; Tarney, John; Marriner, Giselle F.; Nivia, Alvaro; Saunders, Andrew D.

    The Late Cretaceous Caribbean—Colombian igneous province is one of the world's best-exposed examples of a plume-derived oceanic plateau. The buoyancy of the plateau (resulting from residual heat and thick crust) kept it from being totally subducted as it moved eastward with the Farallon Plate from its site of generation in the eastern Pacific and encountered a destructive plate margin. In effect, the plateau makes up much of the Caribbean Plate; it is well exposed around its margins, but more so in accreted terranes in western Colombia (including the well-known Gorgona komatiites and Bolívar mafic/ultramafic cumulates). Compositionally, the lavas of the plateau form three groups: (a) basalts, picrites, and komatiites with light-rare-earth-element (LREE)-depleted chondrite-normalised patterns; (b) basalts with LREE-enriched patterns; and (c) basalts with essentially flat REE patterns (the most dominant type) similar to many of the basalts from the Ontong Java Plateau. These three types demonstrate the heterogeneous nature of the mantle plume source region. The picrites and the komatiites seem to lie nearer the base of the plateau than the more homogeneous basalts; thus, the more MgO-rich melts may have been erupted before large magma chambers had a chance to develop. A reconstructed crustal cross section through the plateau consists of dunitic and pyroxenitic cumulates near the base which are overlain by layered olivine-rich gabbros and more isotropic gabbros. The lowermost eruptive sequence comprises compositionally heterogeneous picrites/komatiites overlain by more homogeneous pillow basalts. Spectacular hornblende-plagioclase veins cut the Bolívar assemblage and these may represent local partial melts of the plateau's base as it was thrusted onto the continent. Subduction-related batholiths and extrusive rocks found around the margin of the province are of two distinct ages; one suite represents pre-plateau collision-related volcanism whereas the other suite

  3. Diagenesis of lower Cretaceous pelagic carbonates, North Atlantic: Paleoceanographic signals obscured (United States)

    Frank, T.D.; Arthur, M.A.; Dean, W.E.


    The stable isotope and minor element geochemistry of Neocomian (Lower Cretaceous) pelagic carbonates of the North Atlantic Basin (Deep Sea Drilling Project Sites 105, 367, 387, 391, and 603) was examined to develop a diagenetic model for pelagic limestones. In particular, we hoped to test the fidelity of whole-rock geochemical records as paleoceanographic indicators for pelagic deposits of pre-Aptian age, in which individual microfossils are not available for analysis. Data indicate that in addition to depth of burial, rhythmic variations in primary carbonate content have strongly controlled diagenetic patterns and associated geochemical signatures in these Neocomian sequences. Samples become increasingly depleted in Sr and 18O with increasing CaCO3 content. Within individual sedimentary sections, substantial decreases in Sr/Ca ratios and ??18O values are evident over a range of 4 to 98% CaCO3. However, even over a relatively narrow range of 50 to 98% CaCO3 a 2.5%c variation in ??18O values and a change of a factor of 1.7 in Sr/Ca ratios are observed. Carbon isotope compositions do not vary as extensively with CaCO3 content, but carbonate-rich intervals tend to be relatively depleted in 13C. Petrographic analysis reveals that these geochemical patterns are related to the transfer of CaCO3 from carbonate-poor intervals (calcareous shales and marlstones) to adjacent carbonate-rich intervals (limestones) during burial compaction and pressure solution. This process results in the addition of diagenetic cement to carbonate-rich intervals to produce a bulk composition that is relatively depleted in Sr and 18O and, at the same time, enables the retention of more-or-less primary carbonate that is relatively enriched in Sr and 18O in adjacent carbonate-poor intervals. Thus, although cyclic variations in CaCO3 content are primary in the Neocomian sequences examined, measured variations in Sr/Ca ratios and ??18O values are not and, as such, do not provide reliable proxies for

  4. Structural characteristics and collapse mechanism of the late Cretaceous Geumseongsan Caldera, SE Korea (United States)

    Lee, S.; Cheon, Y.; Lee, Y.; Son, M.


    The Geumseongsan caldera provides an opportunity to understand the structural evolution of volcanic collapse and the role of paleostress. We focus on structural elements of the exhumed caldera floor to interpret the collapse mechanism. The caldera shows an NNW-trending elliptical shape (8×12 km). Basaltic and rhyolitic rocks are situated in the central high of the caldera, while pre-volcanic sedimentary rocks in the perimetric lowland of the volcanic rocks. Stratal attitudes change sharply from the outside to the inside of caldera bounded with a sub-vertical ring fault. The outside strata show a homocline toward SE about 15°, whereas the inside is divided into four structural domains (NE-, NW-, SE-, and SW-domains) based on the changing attitudes. The strata in NW- and SE-domains dip toward SE and NW, respectively, making an overall synclinal fold. While NE- and SW-domains comprise re-oriented, folded strata, which generally have NE- and SW-trending axes plunging toward the center. In addition, extensional and contractional structures occur distinctively in NW- and SE-domains and in NE- and SW-domains, respectively, indicating an axisymmetric deformation around NE-SW axis. The results indicate that higher horizontal mass movement toward the center occurred in NW- and SE-domains than in NE- and SW-domains while vertical mass movement was more active in the latter. This axisymmetric deformation could be produced by regional stress during the volcanic activity, which affected the collapse pattern of caldera floor. The regional stress field during the late Cretaceous is known as NW-SE horizontal maximum and NE-SW horizontal minimum stresses due to the oblique subduction of proto-Pacific Plate underneath Eurasian Plate. NNW-trending elliptical shape of the caldera is interpreted to have formed under the influence of this stresses, like a tension gash. The NW-SE maximum stress possibly acted to resist vertical displacement along the marginal fault of NW- and SE

  5. Diversity and Variability of Geoporphyrins and Chlorins During Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event II. (United States)

    Junium, C. K.; Mawson, D. H.; Arthur, M. A.; Keely, B. J.


    chlorophylls and the more stable geoporphyrins, predates the previous oldest described sedimentary occurrence by more than 70 Ma (Miocene, Vena del Gesso). Presence of chlorins implies exceptional preservation associated with strongly reducing conditions that existed during OAE II at Demerara Rise and the excellent condition of the recovered core material. Chlorins attributed to green sulfur bacteria, on the basis of specific mass-spectral characteristics 43 and 57, confirm the presence of anaerobic photoautotrophs and periods of photic-zone euxinia at Demerara Rise during the mid-Cretaceous. Unusually high abundances of the C33 bicyclo-alkanoporphyrin were also observed. The C33 bicyclo-alkanoporphyrin is possibly derived from rearrangement of chlorophyll a and suggests that a high proportion of the extractable geoporphyrins were derived from cyanobacteria and calcareous nannoplankton.

  6. The Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary interval in Badlands National Park, South Dakota (United States)

    Stoffer, Philip W.; Messina, Paula; Chamberlain, John A.; Terry, Dennis O.


    Mexico and possibly the Arctic Ocean. The variation of facies preserved in Late Cretaceous strata in the Badlands National Park area were in part controlled by local or regional tectonic blocks that were either rising or sinking contemporaneous with deposition.

  7. Early Cretaceous Ductile Deformation of Marbles from the Western Hills of Beijing, North China Craton (United States)

    Feng, H.; Liu, J.


    During the Early Cretaceous tectonic lithosphere extension, the pre-mesozoic rocks from the Western Hills in the central part of the North China Craton suffered from weak metamorphism but intense shear deformation. The prominent features of the deformation structures are the coexisting layer-parallel shear zones and intrafolia folds, and the along-strike thickness variations of the marble layers from the highly sheared Mesoproterozoic Jing'eryu Formation. Platy marbles are well-developed in the thinner layers, while intrafolia folds are often observed in the thicker layers. Most folds are tight recumbent folds and their axial planes are parallel to the foliations and layerings of the marbles. The folds are A-type folds with hinges being always paralleling to the stretching lineations consistently oriented at 130°-310° directions throughout the entire area. SPO and microstructural analyses of the sheared marbles suggest that the thicker layers suffered from deformations homogeneously, while strain localization can be distinguished in the thinner layers. Calcite twin morphology and CPO analysis indicate that the deformation of marbles from both thinner and thicker layers happened at temperatures of 300 to 500°C. The above analysis suggests that marbles in the thicker layers experienced a progressive sequence of thermodynamic events: 1) regional metamorphism, 2) early ductile deformation dominated by relatively higher temperature conditions, during which all the mineral particles elongated and oriented limitedly and the calcite grains are deformed mainly by mechanical twinning, and 3) late superimposition of relatively lower temperature deformation and recrystallization, which superposed the early deformation, and made the calcites finely granulated, elongated and oriented by dynamical recrystallization along with other grains. Marbles from the thinner layers, however, experienced a similar, but different sequence of thermo-dynamic events, i.e. regional

  8. Extinction Risk of Phytoplankton Species to Potential Killing Mechanisms at the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary (United States)

    Bralower, T. J.; Schueth, J.; Jiang, S.


    The impact at Chicxulub caused catastrophic changes in marine habitats including extended darkness, ocean acidification and eutrophication. These changes were devastating to some groups of phytoplankton at the base of the marine food chain while others escaped virtually unscathed. For example, diatoms had ~85% survival across the boundary and dinoflagellates actually increased in diversity. These non-calcareous plankton most likely survived due to their adaptation to high-stress environments and their ability to form spores and resting cysts. The calcareous nannoplankton, however, were decimated with approximately 85% of genera and 93% of species going extinct. Nannoplankton generally lack the ability to encyst and thus, as a group, would have been susceptible to darkness, ocean acidification and eutrophication. However, we still do not fully understand why certain nannofossil taxa survived while others went extinct. Extinction risk, the projected susceptibility of a taxon to extinction based on its ecology and ability to adapt, is a concept that is widely applied to extant species and higher order fossil groups, but not to phytoplankton. This concept is a useful for probing the selectivity of ancient species to mass extinction. Determining the extinction risk of latest Maastrichtian nannoplankton species would be a step towards understanding the selection of survivors. The deep-sea record contains a remarkable archive of nannoplankton extinction and recovery across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. The recovery was geologically extended, enabling detailed comparisons between the ocean basins. A large, global database of assemblages had led to the discovery that the Northern Hemisphere oceans suffered higher nannoplankton extinction rates than the Southern Hemisphere with an ecological "crisis" that lasted for approximately 350 thousand years after the impact. In addition, incumbency played a major role in the origination of new species. Since extinction almost

  9. Early Cretaceous dextral transpressional deformation within the Median Batholith, Stewart Island, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allibone, A.H.; Tulloch, A.J.


    The character, timing, and significance of deformation within the Median Batholith has been debated since at least 1967, with allochthonous and autochthonous models proposed to account for internal variations in the character of the batholith. Stewart Island provides excellent exposures of intrabatholithic structures, allowing many aspects of the deformation history within the batholith to be analysed, far removed from the effects of later deformation related to the current plate boundary. Median Batholith rocks in northern and central Stewart Island are deformed by three major structures: the Freshwater Fault System, Escarpment Fault, and Gutter Shear Zone. Lineation orientations, Al in hornblende geobarometry, and Ar-Ar thermochronology indicate up to c. 7 km of NNE-directed uplift of the hanging wall of the Escarpment Fault between c. 110 and 105 Ma. Unlike the Escarpment Fault, a wide range of mineral elongation lineation orientations, including many oblique to the strike and dip of related foliations, characterise both the Gutter Shear Zone and Freshwater Fault System. Lineation and limited sense of shear data indicate dextral-reverse movement on both structures during development of their dominant ductile fabrics. Crosscutting and intrusive relationships indicate movement on the Freshwater Fault System after c. 130 Ma and on the Gutter Shear Zone between 120 and 112 Ma. The amount of movement on the Freshwater Fault System and Gutter Shear Zone remains largely unconstrained. However, the 342 ± 24 Ma age of a granite clast in a Paterson Group lithic tuff horizon at Abrahams Bay overlaps that of Carboniferous plutons in the block immediately south of the Freshwater Fault System, implying that the Paterson Group is little displaced from the basement rocks through which it was erupted. The three structures mapped on Stewart Island form part of a narrow transpressional mobile belt active within the Jurassic-Cretaceous arc on the outboard margin of the Western

  10. Redescription of Tijubina pontei, an Early Cretaceous lizard (Reptilia; Squamata from the Crato Formation of Brazil

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    Tiago R. Simões


    Full Text Available The record of Gondwanan Mesozoic lizards is very poor. Among the few species described for this region there is Tijubina pontei, an Early Cretaceous lizard from the Crato Formation (late Aptian of northeast Brazil. Its description is very brief and lacks most of its diagnostic characters and clear delimitation from other lizard species. Here, a full redescription of the holotype is provided. T. pontei is demonstrated to be a valid species and a new diagnosis is provided with reference to Olindalacerta brasiliensis, a contemporary species of the Crato Formation. It lacks the posteroventral and posterodorsal processes of the dentary; the tibial/fibular length equals the femoral length and its posterior dentary teeth are robust, cylindrically based, unsculptured and bear no cuspids. The systematic position of T. pontei still needs further clarification, but preliminary analyses indicate that it lies in a rather basal position among the Squamata, similarly to O. brasiliensis.O registro de lagartos do Mesozóico de Gondwana é extremamente limitado. Dentre as poucas espécies descritas para esta região está Tijubina pontei, um lagarto do Cretáceo Inferior da Formação Crato (Aptiano superior do nordeste do Brasil. A sua descrição é muito breve e não contém a maioria dos seus caracteres diagnósticos ou uma clara delimitação das outras espécies de lagartos. Neste trabalho, uma redescrição completa do holótipo, é provida. É demonstrado que T. pontei é espécie válida, e uma nova diagnose é provida com referência à Olindalacerta brasiliensis, uma espécie contemporânea da Formação Crato. Ele não possui os processos posteroventral e posterodorsal do dentário; o comprimento tibilar/fibular é relativamente igual ao comprimento do fêmur e os seus dentes posteriores no dentário são robustos, de base cilindrica, sem ornamentações e sem cúspides. Embora a posição sistemática de T. pontei ainda necessite de maiores

  11. New information on the anatomy of the Chinese Early Cretaceous Bohaiornithidae (Aves: Enantiornithes from a subadult specimen of Zhouornis hani

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    Yuguang Zhang


    Full Text Available Enantiornithines are the most diverse avian clade in the Cretaceous. However, morphological specializations indicative of specific ecological roles are not well known for this clade. Here we report on an exquisitely well-preserved specimen from the Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group of northeastern China, which pedal morphology is suggestive of a unique ecological specialization within Enantiornithes. The morphology of the new specimen is largely indistinguishable from that of the holotype of the bohaiornithid enantiornithine Zhouornis hani, albeit the latter is somewhat larger. The new specimen provides important and previously unknown details of the skull of Zhouornis hani, which add to the limited knowledge about the cranial anatomy and evolution of enantiornithines. The information offered by the new specimen also augments our understanding of the postcranial morphology of bohaiornithid enantiornithines, a clade that has been only recently recognized. With the description of this specimen, Zhouornis hani becomes one of the most anatomically complete known enantiornithine species, which will facilitate future morphological studies.

  12. Under Cover at Pre-Angiosperm Times: A Cloaked Phasmatodean Insect from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota (United States)

    Wang, Maomin; Béthoux, Olivier; Bradler, Sven; Jacques, Frédéric M. B.; Cui, Yingying; Ren, Dong


    Background Fossil species that can be conclusively identified as stem-relatives of stick- and leaf-insects (Phasmatodea) are extremely rare, especially for the Mesozoic era. This dearth in the paleontological record makes assessments on the origin and age of the group problematic and impedes investigations of evolutionary key aspects, such as wing development, sexual size dimorphism and plant mimicry. Methodology/Principal Findings A new fossil insect species, Cretophasmomima melanogramma Wang, Béthoux and Ren sp. nov., is described on the basis of one female and two male specimens recovered from the Yixian Formation (Early Cretaceous, ca. 126±4 mya; Inner Mongolia, NE China; known as ‘Jehol biota’). The occurrence of a female abdominal operculum and of a characteristic ‘shoulder pad’ in the forewing allows for the interpretation of a true stem-Phasmatodea. In contrast to the situation in extant forms, sexual size dimorphism is only weakly female-biased in this species. The peculiar wing coloration, viz. dark longitudinal veins, suggests that the leaf-shaped plant organ from the contemporaneous ‘gymnosperm’ Membranifolia admirabilis was used as model for crypsis. Conclusions/Significance As early as in the Early Cretaceous, some stem-Phasmatodea achieved effective leaf mimicry, although additional refinements characteristic of recent forms, such as curved fore femora, were still lacking. The diversification of small-sized arboreal insectivore birds and mammals might have triggered the acquisition of such primary defenses. PMID:24646906

  13. Theropod courtship: large scale physical evidence of display arenas and avian-like scrape ceremony behaviour by Cretaceous dinosaurs (United States)

    Lockley, Martin G.; McCrea, Richard T.; Buckley, Lisa G.; Deock Lim, Jong; Matthews, Neffra A.; Breithaupt, Brent H.; Houck, Karen J.; Gierliński, Gerard D.; Surmik, Dawid; Soo Kim, Kyung; Xing, Lida; Yong Kong, Dal; Cart, Ken; Martin, Jason; Hadden, Glade


    Relationships between non-avian theropod dinosaurs and extant and fossil birds are a major focus of current paleobiological research. Despite extensive phylogenetic and morphological support, behavioural evidence is mostly ambiguous and does not usually fossilize. Thus, inferences that dinosaurs, especially theropods displayed behaviour analogous to modern birds are intriguing but speculative. Here we present extensive and geographically widespread physical evidence of substrate scraping behavior by large theropods considered as compelling evidence of “display arenas” or leks, and consistent with “nest scrape display” behaviour among many extant ground-nesting birds. Large scrapes, up to 2 m in diameter, occur abundantly at several Cretaceous sites in Colorado. They constitute a previously unknown category of large dinosaurian trace fossil, inferred to fill gaps in our understanding of early phases in the breeding cycle of theropods. The trace makers were probably lekking species that were seasonally active at large display arena sites. Such scrapes indicate stereotypical avian behaviour hitherto unknown among Cretaceous theropods, and most likely associated with terrirorial activity in the breeding season. The scrapes most probably occur near nesting colonies, as yet unknown or no longer preserved in the immediate study areas. Thus, they provide clues to paleoenvironments where such nesting sites occurred.

  14. Eggs for breakfast? Analysis of a probable mosasaur biting trace on the Cretaceous echinoid Echinocorys ovata Leske, 1778

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    C. Neumann


    Full Text Available Fossil biting traces (praedichnia represent indirect evidence of predation and shed light on fossil predator–prey interactions and fossil food webs. Especially from echinoderm skeletons, biting traces are well known. Here, we describe the oral surface of a large Cretaceous (Maastrichtian holasteroid echinoid Echinocorys ovata Leske, 1778 from Hemmoor (northern Germany which exhibits four circular punctures arranged in a semi-circular arc. Whereas three of the punctures penetrated the skeleton, one puncture only just hit the margin of the echinoid test at the ambitus, leaving a long incision furrow in the skeleton. The punctures were not lethal to the sea urchin as is indicated by progressed skeletal regeneration and closure of the fractures. The overall appearance of the punctures suggests that they were produced during a single mechanical event, most likely by the biting action of the teeth of a large vertebrate animal. We analysed the shape and arrangement of the biting trace and conclude that it was probably produced by a marine reptile possessing a prognath tooth position, most likely by a globidensine mosasauroid. Our finding not only sheds light on mosasaur feeding behaviour and prey selection but also increases the knowledge of the food webs in the chalk sea ecosystem during the uppermost Cretaceous.

  15. Calpionellid distribution and microfacies across the Jurassic/ Cretaceous boundary in western Cuba (Sierra de los Órganos) (United States)

    López-Martínez, Rafael; Barragán, Ricardo; Reháková, Daniela; Cobiella-Reguera, Jorge Luis


    A detailed bed-by-bed sampled stratigraphic section of the Guasasa Formation in the Rancho San Vicente area of the "Sierra de los Órganos", western Cuba, provides well-supported evidence about facies and calpionellid distribution across the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary. These new data allowed the definition of an updated and sound calpionellid biozonation scheme for the section. In this scheme, the drowning event of a carbonate platform displayed by the facies of the San Vicente Member, the lowermost unit of the section, is dated as Late Tithonian, Boneti Subzone. The Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary was recognized within the facies of the overlying El Americano Member on the basis of the acme of Calpionella alpina Lorenz. The boundary is placed nearly six meters above the contact between the San Vicente and the El Americano Members, in a facies linked to a sea-level drop. The recorded calpionellid bioevents should allow correlations of the Cuban biozonation scheme herein proposed, with other previously published schemes from distant areas of the Tethyan Domain.

  16. Toe-of-slope of a Cretaceous carbonate platform in outcrop, seismic model and offshore seismic data (Apulia, Italy) (United States)

    Bracco Gartner, Guido; Morsilli, Michele; Schlager, Wolfgang; Bosellini, Alfonso

    Synthetic seismic models of outcrops in the Early Cretaceous slope of a carbonate platform on the Gargano Promontory (southern Italy) were compared to an offshore seismic section south of the Promontory. Outcrops of the same age on the promontory have the same sequence stratigraphic characteristics as their offshore equivalent, and are the only areas where the transition from platform to basin of Early Cretaceous is exposed on land. Two adjacent outcrop areas were combined into one seismic-scale lithologic model with the aid of photo mosaics, measured sections, and biostratigraphic data. Velocity, density, and porosity measurements on spot samples were used to construct the impedance model. Seismic models were generated by vertical incidence and finite difference programs. The results indicate that the reflections in the seismic model are controlled by the impedance contrast between low porous intervals rich in debris from the platform and highly porous intervals of pelagic lime mudstone, nearly devoid of debris. Finite difference seismic display showed best resemblance with the real seismic data, especially by mapping a drowning unconformity.

  17. Diagenesis and reservoir properties of Cretaceous-Lower Tertiary sandstones: the GANT-1 well, western Nuussuaq, central West Greenland

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    Kierkegaard, Thomas


    The main purpose of this study is to describe the diagenetic alterations occurring in the Cretaceous to Lower Paleocene sedimentary succession of the GANT-1 well, and to determine the diagenetic and detrital factors which control present porosity and permeability. The GANT-1 well is located on north-western Nuussuaq, central West Greenland. The West Greenland margin is a continental margin subdivided into linked basins where Cretaceous to Lower Tertiary and probably older sediments have been deposited. In the Nuussuaq area these sediments are overlain by a succession of Early Tertiary basaltic volcanic rocks which reaches a combined thickness of around 2-2.5 km. Although the reservoir properties of the sandstone intervals in the GANT-1 and GANE-1 wells are generally relatively poor, it is suggested that moderate to good properties may be found in certain intervals within the Maastrichtian-Paleocene succession. However, the reason for the locally enhanced reservoir properties in GANT-1 was not clarified by this study due to the lack of regional petrographical data. (EG) EFP-96. 41 refs., 3 maps

  18. First record of lobed trace fossils in Brazil's Upper Cretaceous paleosols: Rhizoliths or evidence of insects and their social behavior? (United States)

    Luciano do Nascimento, Diego; Batezelli, Alessandro; Bernardes Ladeira, Francisco Sérgio


    This is the first report of trace fossils potentially associated with insect social behavior in sandy and well-drained paleosols of the Upper Cretaceous continental sequence of Brazil. The trace fossils consist of dozens of lobed and vertical structures cemented by CaCO3 and preserved mainly in full relief in paleosols of the Marilia Formation (Bauru Basin) in the state of Minas Gerais. The described ichnofossils are predominantly vertical, up to 2 m long, and are composed of horizontal lobed structures connected by vertical tunnel-like structures that intersect in the center and at the edges. The lobed structures range from 3 to 15 cm long and 2-6 cm thick. Two different hypotheses are analyzed to explain the origin of the trace fossils; the less probable one is that the structures are laminar calcretes associated with rhizoliths and rhizoconcretions. The hypothesis involving social insects was considered because the trace fossils described herein partially resemble a modern ant nest and the ichnofossil Daimoniobarax. The micromorphological analysis of the lobed and tunnel-like structures indicates modifications of the walls, such as the presence of inorganic fluidized linings, dark linings and oriented grains, supporting the hypothesis that they are chambers and shafts. The architecture and size of the reported nests suggest the possibility that social insect colonies existed during the Maastrichtian and are direct evidence of the social behavior and reproductive strategies of the Cretaceous pedofauna.

  19. Identification of a New Hesperornithiform from the Cretaceous Niobrara Chalk and Implications for Ecologic Diversity among Early Diving Birds.

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    Alyssa Bell

    Full Text Available The Smoky Hill Member of the Niobrara Chalk in Kansas (USA has yielded the remains of numerous members of the Hesperornithiformes, toothed diving birds from the late Early to Late Cretaceous. This study presents a new taxon of hesperornithiform from the Smoky Hill Member, Fumicollis hoffmani, the holotype of which is among the more complete hesperornithiform skeletons. Fumicollis has a unique combination of primitive (e.g. proximal and distal ends of femur not expanded, elongate pre-acetabular ilium, small and pyramidal patella and derived (e.g. dorsal ridge on metatarsal IV, plantarly-projected curve in the distal shaft of phalanx III:1 hesperornithiform characters, suggesting it was more specialized than small hesperornithiforms like Baptornis advenus but not as highly derived as the larger Hesperornis regalis. The identification of Fumicollis highlights once again the significant diversity of hesperornithiforms that existed in the Late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway. This diversity points to the existence of a complex ecosystem, perhaps with a high degree of niche partitioning, as indicated by the varying degrees of diving specializations among these birds.

  20. Late Cretaceous climate simulations with different CO2 levels and subarctic gateway configurations: A model-data comparison (United States)

    Niezgodzki, Igor; Knorr, Gregor; Lohmann, Gerrit; Tyszka, Jarosław; Markwick, Paul J.


    We investigate the impact of different CO2 levels and different subarctic gateway configurations on the surface temperatures during the latest Cretaceous using the Earth System Model COSMOS. The simulated temperatures are compared with the surface temperature reconstructions based on a recent compilation of the latest Cretaceous proxies. In our numerical experiments, the CO2 level ranges from 1 to 6 times the preindustrial (PI) CO2 level of 280 ppm. On a global scale, the most reasonable match between modeling and proxy data is obtained for the experiments with 3 to 5 × PI CO2 concentrations. However, the simulated low- (high-) latitude temperatures are too high (low) as compared to the proxy data. The moderate CO2 levels scenarios might be more realistic, if we take into account proxy data and the dead zone effect criterion. Furthermore, we test if the model-data discrepancies can be caused by too simplistic proxy-data interpretations. This is distinctly seen at high latitudes, where most proxies are biased toward summer temperatures. Additional sensitivity experiments with different ocean gateway configurations and constant CO2 level indicate only minor surface temperatures changes (greenhouse worlds is best constrained by temperatures in the midlatitudes.

  1. Facies analysis and paleoenvironmental reconstruction of Upper Cretaceous sequences in the eastern Para-Tethys Basin, NW Iran

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Omidvar, M.; Safari, A.; Vaziri-Moghaddam, H.; Ghalavand, H.


    Upper Cretaceous mixed carbonate-siliciclastic sequences are among the most important targets for hydrocarbon exploration in the Moghan area, located in the eastern Para-Tethys Basin. Despite of their significance, little is known about their facies characteristics and depositional environments. Detailed facies analysis and paleoenvironmental reconstruction of these sequences have been carried out in eight surface sections. Accordingly, four siliciclastic facies, eight carbonate facies and one volcanic facies have been recognized. Detailed facies descriptions and interpretations, together with the results of facies frequency analysis, standard facies models and Upper Cretaceous depositional models of Para-Tethys Basin, have been integrated and a non-rimmed carbonate platform is presented. This platform was affected by siliciclastic influx, in the form of coastal fan delta and submarine fans in the shallow- to deep-marine parts, respectively. This model is interpreted to be shallower in the central and northeastern parts of the Moghan area. Toward the southeast and southwest, this shallow platform turns into deep marine settings along steep slopes without remarkable marginal barriers. (Author)

  2. Maaqwi cascadensis: A large, marine diving bird (Avialae: Ornithurae from the Upper Cretaceous of British Columbia, Canada.

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    Sandy M S McLachlan

    Full Text Available Mesozoic bird fossils from the Pacific Coast of North America are rare, but small numbers are known from the Late Cretaceous aged sediments of Hornby Island, British Columbia. Most are unassociated fragments that offer little information, but additional preparation of a large coracoid has revealed more details of its structure, as well as three associated wing bones. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that Maaqwi cascadensis, gen. et sp. nov. represents a derived crown or near-crown member of Ornithurae, and specifically suggests affinities with Vegaviidae. M. cascadensis is characterized by large size, and regressions based on dimensions of the coracoid suggest a large bird, with an estimated body mass of approximately 1.5 kilograms. The bones are robust, with thick walls, suggesting that M. cascadensis was a bird adapted for diving, similar to modern loons and grebes. The wings are short, while the coracoid is unusually short and broad, similar to modern loons. Along with the Ichthyornithes and Hesperornithes, M. cascadensis and Vegaviidae appear to represent a third clade of bird that evolved to exploit marine habitats in the Late Cretaceous, one specialized for foot-propelled diving and rapid cruising flight over water.

  3. Theropod courtship: large scale physical evidence of display arenas and avian-like scrape ceremony behaviour by Cretaceous dinosaurs. (United States)

    Lockley, Martin G; McCrea, Richard T; Buckley, Lisa G; Lim, Jong Deock; Matthews, Neffra A; Breithaupt, Brent H; Houck, Karen J; Gierliński, Gerard D; Surmik, Dawid; Kim, Kyung Soo; Xing, Lida; Kong, Dal Yong; Cart, Ken; Martin, Jason; Hadden, Glade


    Relationships between non-avian theropod dinosaurs and extant and fossil birds are a major focus of current paleobiological research. Despite extensive phylogenetic and morphological support, behavioural evidence is mostly ambiguous and does not usually fossilize. Thus, inferences that dinosaurs, especially theropods displayed behaviour analogous to modern birds are intriguing but speculative. Here we present extensive and geographically widespread physical evidence of substrate scraping behavior by large theropods considered as compelling evidence of "display arenas" or leks, and consistent with "nest scrape display" behaviour among many extant ground-nesting birds. Large scrapes, up to 2 m in diameter, occur abundantly at several Cretaceous sites in Colorado. They constitute a previously unknown category of large dinosaurian trace fossil, inferred to fill gaps in our understanding of early phases in the breeding cycle of theropods. The trace makers were probably lekking species that were seasonally active at large display arena sites. Such scrapes indicate stereotypical avian behaviour hitherto unknown among Cretaceous theropods, and most likely associated with terrirorial activity in the breeding season. The scrapes most probably occur near nesting colonies, as yet unknown or no longer preserved in the immediate study areas. Thus, they provide clues to paleoenvironments where such nesting sites occurred.

  4. Vertebrate paleontological exploration of the Upper Cretaceous succession in the Dakhla and Kharga Oases, Western Desert, Egypt (United States)

    Sallam, Hesham M.; O'Connor, Patrick M.; Kora, Mahmoud; Sertich, Joseph J. W.; Seiffert, Erik R.; Faris, Mahmoud; Ouda, Khaled; El-Dawoudi, Iman; Saber, Sara; El-Sayed, Sanaa


    The Campanian and Maastrichtian stages are very poorly documented time intervals in Africa's record of terrestrial vertebrate evolution. Upper Cretaceous deposits exposed in southern Egypt, near the Dakhla and Kharga Oases in the Western Desert, preserve abundant vertebrate fossils in nearshore marine environments, but have not yet been the focus of intensive collection and description. Our recent paleontological work in these areas has resulted in the discovery of numerous new vertebrate fossil-bearing localities within the middle Campanian Qusier Formation and the upper Campanian-lower Maastrichtian Duwi Formation. Fossil remains recovered from the Campanian-aged Quseir Formation include sharks, rays, actinopterygian and sarcopterygian fishes, turtles, and rare terrestrial archosaurians, including some of the only dinosaurs known from this interval on continental Africa. The upper Campanian/lower Maastrichtian Duwi Formation preserves sharks, sawfish, actinopterygians, and marine reptiles (mosasaurs and plesiosaurs). Notably absent from these collections are representatives of Mammalia and Avialae, both of which remain effectively undocumented in the Upper Cretaceous rocks of Africa and Arabia. New age constraints on the examined rock units is provided by 23 nannofossil taxa, some of which are reported from the Duwi Formation for the first time. Fossil discoveries from rock units of this age are essential for characterizing the degree of endemism that may have developed as the continent became increasingly tectonically isolated from the rest of Gondwana, not to mention for fully evaluating origin and diversification hypotheses of major modern groups of vertebrates (e.g., crown birds, placental mammals).

  5. Late Cretaceous porphyry copper mineralization in Sonora, Mexico: Implications for the evolution of the Southwest North America porphyry copper province (United States)

    Barra, Fernando; Valencia, Victor A.


    Two porphyry Cu-Mo prospects in northern Sonora, Mexico (Fortuna del Cobre and Los Humos) located within the southwestern North American porphyry province have been dated in order to constrain the timing of crystallization and mineralization of these ore deposits. In Fortuna del Cobre, the pre-mineralization granodiorite porphyry yielded an U-Pb zircon age of 76.5 ± 2.3 Ma, whereas two samples from the ore-bearing quartz feldespathic porphyry were dated at 74.6 ± 1.3 and 75.0 ± 1.4 Ma. Four molybdenite samples from Los Humos porphyry Cu prospect yielded a weighted average Re-Os age of 73.5 ± 0.2 Ma, whereas two samples from the ore-bearing quartz monzonite porphyry gave U-Pb zircon ages of 74.4 ± 1.1 and 74.5 ± 1.3 Ma, showing a Late Cretaceous age for the emplacement of this ore deposit. The results indicate that Laramide porphyry Cu mineralization of Late Cretaceous age is not restricted to northern Arizona as previously thought and provide evidence for the definition of NS trending metallogenic belts that are parallel to the paleo-trench. Porphyry copper mineralization follows the inland migration trend of the magmatic arc as a result of the Farallon slab flattening during the Laramide orogeny.

  6. A new azhdarchid pterosaur from the Late Cretaceous of the Transylvanian Basin, Romania: implications for azhdarchid diversity and distribution.

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    Mátyás Vremir

    Full Text Available We describe a new taxon of medium-sized (wing span ca. 3 m azhdarchid pterosaur from the Upper Cretaceous Transylvanian Basin (Sebeş Formation of Romania. This specimen is the most complete European azhdarchid yet reported, comprising a partially articulated series of vertebrae and associated forelimb bones. The new taxon is most similar to the Central Asian Azhdarcho lancicollis Nessov but possesses a suite of autapomorphies in its vertebrae that include the relative proportions of cervicals three and four and the presence of elongated prezygapophyseal pedicles. The new taxon is interesting in that it lived contemporaneously with gigantic forms, comparable in size to the famous Romanian Hatzegopteryx thambema. The presence of two distinct azhdarchid size classes in a continental depositional environment further strengthens suggestions that these pterosaurs were strongly linked to terrestrial floodplain and wooded environments. To support this discussion, we outline the geological context and taphonomy of our new specimen and place it in context with other known records for this widespread and important Late Cretaceous pterosaurian lineage.

  7. Paleoenvironmental changes across the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary at Flaxbourne River and Woodside Creek, eastern Marlborough, New Zealand

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    Hollis, C.J.; Strong, C.P.; Rodgers, K.A.; Rogers, K.M.


    An integrated study of variation in siliceous microfossils, lithofacies, and other geochemical guides to environmental conditions through the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary transition at Flaxbourne River and Woodside Creek, coastal eastern Marlborough, indicates that the K/T impact disrupted oceanic conditions along the continental margin of eastern New Zealand for c. 1 m.y. Initial effects of the K/T event were a major reduction in carbonate production, associated with calcareous plankton extinctions, and significant increases in terrigenous clay and biogenic silica content. An absence of radiolarian extinctions or significant negative excursions in paleo-productivity indicators (Ba, delta 13 C at the boundary, followed by rapid increases in the abundance of diatoms and spumellarian radiolarians, indicate that biogenic silica production partly compensated for the collapse in calcareous plankton. The earliest Paleocene recovery of calcareous plankton was short-lived, giving way to a progressive increase in siliceous plankton abundance over c. 500,000 yr, which culminated in a c. 400,000 yr episode of peak biogenic silica production. The dominance of siliceous facies, coupled with the abundance of diatoms and spumellarian radiolarians, indicates climatic or oceanic conditions were significantly cooler than in the Late Cretaceous. Stepped increases in biogenic silica production show c. 100,000 yr periodicity, suggesting that Early Paleocene lithofacies changes were influenced by climate forcing agents at the eccentricity bandwidth. (author). 83 refs., 11 figs., 3 tabs

  8. Ontogenetic changes in the craniomandibular skeleton of the abelisaurid dinosaur Majungasaurus crenatissimus from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar

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    Nirina O. Ratsimbaholison


    Full Text Available Abelisaurid theropods were one of the most diverse groups of predatory dinosaurs in Gondwana during the Cretaceous. The group is characterized by a tall, wide skull and robust cervical region. This morphology is thought to have facilitated specialized feeding behaviors such as prolonged contact with prey. The Late Cretaceous abelisaurid Majungasaurus crenatissimus typifies this abelisaurid cranial morphotype. Recent fossil discoveries of this species include a partial growth series that allows for the first time an investigation of ontogenetic variation in cranial morphology in a representative abelisaurid. Herein we examine growth trajectories in the shape of individual cranial bones and articulated skulls of Majungasaurus using geometric morphometrics. Several major changes in skull shape were observed through ontogeny, including an increase in the height of the jugal, postorbital, and quadratojugal, an increase in the extent of the contacts between bones, and a decrease in the circumference of the orbit. The skull transitions from relatively short in the smallest individual to tall and robust in large adults, as is seen in other theropods. Such morphological change during ontogeny would likely have resulted in different biomechanical properties and feeding behaviors between small and large individuals. These findings provide a post-hatching developmental framework for understanding the evolution of the distinctive tall skull morphology seen in abelisaurids and other large-sized theropod dinosaurs.

  9. A New Oviraptorid Dinosaur (Dinosauria: Oviraptorosauria) from the Late Cretaceous of Southern China and Its Paleobiogeographical Implications. (United States)

    Lü, Junchang; Pu, Hanyong; Kobayashi, Yoshitsugu; Xu, Li; Chang, Huali; Shang, Yuhua; Liu, Di; Lee, Yuong-Nam; Kundrát, Martin; Shen, Caizhi


    The Ganzhou area of Jiangxi Province, southern China is becoming one of the most productive oviraptorosaurian localities in the world. A new oviraptorid dinosaur was unearthed from the uppermost Upper Cretaceous Nanxiong Formation of Ganzhou area. It is characterized by an anterodorsally sloping occiput and quadrate (a feature shared with Citipati), a circular supratemporal fenestra that is much smaller than the lower temporal fenestra, and a dentary in which the dorsal margin above the external mandibular fenestra is strongly concave ventrally. The position of the anteroventral corner of the external naris in relation to the posterodorsal corner of the antorbital fenestra provides new insight into the craniofacial evolution of oviraptorosaurid dinosaurs. A phylogenetic analysis recovers the new taxon as closely related to the Mongolian Citipati. Six oviraptorid dinosaurs from the Nanxiong Formation (Ganzhou and Nanxiong) are distributed within three clades of the family. Each of the three clades from the Nanxiong Formation has close relatives in Inner Mongolia and Mongolia, and in both places each clade may have had a specific diet or occupied a different ecological niche. Oviraptorid dinosaurs were geographically widespread across Asia in the latest Cretaceous and were an important component of terrestrial ecosystems during this time.

  10. Inoceramid and foraminiferal record and biozonation of the Turonian and Coniacian (Upper Cretaceous) of the Mangyshlak Mts., western Kazakhstan (United States)

    Walaszczyk, Ireneusz; Kopaevich, Ludmila F.; Beniamovski, Vladimir N.


    Walaszczyk, I., Kopaevich, L.F. and Beniamovski, V.N. 2013. Inoceramid and foraminiferal record and biozonation of the Turonian and Coniacian (Upper Cretaceous) of the Mangyshlak Mts., western Kazakhstan. Acta Geologica Polonica, 63 (4), 469-487. Warszawa. The Turonian and Coniacian (Upper Cretaceous) of the Mangyshlak Mts., western Kazakhstan, yielded a rich and relatively complete inoceramid bivalve record. The faunas and their succession correspond to those known from central and eastern Europe, allowing the zonation established in the latter areas to be applied in a virtually identical form. The gaps in the record of the group in Mangyshlak stem from the regional hiatuses in the geological record in the area and do not reflect any biogeographical differences between eastern and central-western Europe. Planktonic foraminifera are rare. Four successive interval range zones can be distinguished: in ascending stratigraphic order, the Helvetoglobotrunaca helvetica, Marginotruncaca pseudolinneiana, Marginotruncana coronata, and Concavotruncana concavata zones. Their correlation with the inoceramid zonation and, consequently, with the chronostratigraphic scheme, is demonstrated. The zonation and chronostratigraphic subdivision as applied in Mangyshlak may easily be applied to other areas of the peri-Caspian region (Caucasus, Tuarkyr, Kopet-Dagh, SE margin of the East-European Craton).

  11. A revised inoceramid biozonation for the Upper Cretaceous based on high-resolution carbon isotope stratigraphy in northwestern Hokkaido, Japan (United States)

    Hayakawa, Tatsuya; Hirano, Hiromichi


    Hayakawa, T., Hirano, H. 2013. A revised inoceramid biozonation for the Upper Cretaceous based on high-resolution carbon isotope stratigraphy in northwestern Hokkaido, Japan. Acta Geologica Polonica, 63 (2), 239-263. Warszawa. Biostratigraphic correlations of inoceramid bivalves between the North Pacific and Euramerican provinces have been difficult because the inoceramid biostratigraphy of the Japanese strata has been based on endemic species of the northwest Pacific. In this study, carbon stable isotope fluctuations of terrestrial organic matter are assembled for the Upper Cretaceous Yezo Group in the Haboro and Obira areas, Hokkaido, Japan, in order to revise the chronology of the inoceramid biozonation in Japan. The carbon isotope curves are correlated with those of marine carbonates in English and German sections with the aid of age-diagnostic taxa. According to the correlations of the carbon isotope curves, 11 isotope events are recognised in the sections studied. As a result of these correlations, the chronology of the inoceramid biozones of the Northwest Pacific has been considerably revised. The revised inoceramid biozones suggest that the timing of the origination and extinction of the inoceramids in the North Pacific biotic province is different from the stage/substage boundaries defined by inoceramids, as used in Europe and North America.

  12. Scaphitid ammonites from the Upper Cretaceous of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Province, South Africa (United States)

    Kennedy, William James; Klinger, Herbert Christian


    Kennedy, W.J. and Klinger, H.C. 2013. Scaphitid ammonites from the Upper Cretaceous of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Acta Geologica Polonica, 63 (4), 527-543. Warszawa. Scaphitid ammonites are described and illustrated from the Upper Cretaceous of the coastal region of north-eastern South Africa. Scaphites kieslingswaldensis Langenhan and Grundey, 1891, Scaphites manasoaensis Collignon, 1965, and Yezoites concinna sp. nov. occur in the Coniacian part of the St Lucia Formation in northern KwaZulu-Natal. A further Yezoites sp. may also be from this level. Argentoscaphites corrugatus sp. nov. occurs in the Santonian to Lower Campanian Mzamba Formation on the northernmost coast of Eastern Cape Province. Yezoites australis sp. nov. occurs in the Upper Santonian part of the St Lucia and Mzamba formations of these areas, and Scaphites reesidei Collignon, 1969, is recorded from the Lower Campanian part of the Mzamba Formation. The scaphitid assemblage includes species previously described from Western Europe and Madagascar, together with Argentoscaphites, previously known only from Patagonia (and possibly South India). Dimorphism is recognised in Scaphites reesidei, Yezoites concinna sp. nov. and Y. australis sp. nov. Argentoscaphites corrugatus sp. nov. and Yezoites sp. are represented by microconchs only. Dimorphism has not been recognised in Scaphites kieslingswaldensis.

  13. The formation of the Late Cretaceous Xishan Sn-W deposit, South China: Geochronological and geochemical perspectives (United States)

    Zhang, Lipeng; Zhang, Rongqing; Hu, Yongbin; Liang, Jinlong; Ouyang, Zhixia; He, Junjie; Chen, Yuxiao; Guo, Jia; Sun, Weidong


    The Xishan Sn-W deposit is spatially related to K-feldspar granites in the Yangchun basin, western Guangdong Province, South China. LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb dating for the Xishan pluton defines an emplacement age of 79 Ma (78.1 ± 0.9 Ma; 79.0 ± 1.2 Ma; 79.3 ± 0.8 Ma), consistent with the mineralization age of the Xishan Sn-W deposit constrained by molybdenite Re-Os isochron age (79.4 ± 4.5 Ma) and LA-ICP-MS cassiterite U-Pb ages (78.1 ± 0.9 Ma and 79.0 ± 1.2 Ma) for the cassiterite-quartz vein. These indicate a close genetic relationship between the granite and Sn-W mineralization. The Xishan K-feldspar granites have geochemical characteristics of A-type granites, e.g., high total alkali (Na2O + K2O = 7.88-10.07 wt.%), high Ga/Al ratios (10000*Ga/Al > 2.6) and high Zr + Nb + Ce + Y concentrations (> 350 ppm). They are further classified as A2-type granites. The whole-rock isotopic compositions of K-feldspar granites (initial 87Sr/86Sr = 0.705256-0.706181; εNd(t) = - 5.4 to - 4.8) and zircon εHf(t) values (- 7.8 to 2.0) suggest a mixed magma source. The low zircon Ce4 +/Ce3 + ratios (12-88) of K-feldspar granites suggest low oxygen fugacities, which is key for enrichment of tin in primary magmas. The K-feldspar granites have experienced strong differentiation as indicated by their high Rb/Sr and K/Rb ratios, and low Nb/Ta and Zr/Hf ratios, which play an important role in ore-forming element transportation and concentration. A-type granite characteristics of the Xishan pluton show that it formed in an extensional environment. The high F and low Cl characteristics of the K-feldspar granite are most probably attributed to slab rollback. In the Late Cretaceous, the Xishan Sn-W deposit was located near the interaction of the circum-Pacific and the Tethys tectonic realms. Late Cretaceous Sn-W deposits, including the Xishan deposit, form an EW-trending belt from Guangdong to Yunnan Province in South China. This belt is in accordance with the direction of the Neo

  14. Palaeoecology and depositional environments of the Tendaguru Beds (Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous, Tanzania

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    M. Aberhan


    Full Text Available The Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous Tendaguru Beds (Tanzania, East Africa have been well known for nearly a century for their diverse dinosaur assemblages. Here, we present sedimentological and palaeontological data collected by the German-Tanzanian Ten