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Fish otoliths from the Santonian of the Pyrenean faunal province, and an overview of all otolith-documented North Atlantic Late Cretaceous teleosts
Nolf, D. (2003). Fish otoliths from the Santonian of the Pyrenean faunal province, and an overview of all otolith-documented North Atlantic Late Cretaceous teleosts. Bull. Kon. Belg. Inst. Natuurwet. Aardwet. = Bull. - Inst. r. sci. nat. Belg., Sci. Terre 73: 155-173
In: Bulletin van het Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen. Aardwetenschappen = Bulletin de l'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique. Sciences de la Terre. KBIN: Brussel. ISSN 0374-6291, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
Author keywords
    Otoliths, Teleosts, Upper Santonian, Pyrenees, North Atlantic

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Abstract
    Sampling of Upper Santonian marls in the Montsec (Catalonia, Spain) and Sougraigne (Aude, France) provided otoliths of 23 teleost taxa of which 12 could be described as new species: "genus Trachichthyidarum" causae, Centroberyx antiquus, "genus Zeiformorum" tyleri, "genus Scorpaeniformorum" agonoides, Dapalis distortus, "genus Acropomatidarum" bagassianus, "genus Apogonidarum" vetustus, "genus Haemulidarum" santonianus, "genus Percoideorum" bilottei. "genus Percoideorum" diagonalis, "genus Percoideorum" palaresanus and "genus Centrolophidarum" classicus. The associations are remarkable in the high number of perciform taxa, the most highly diversified group of Recent fishes. Compared to synchroneous faunas known from skeletons, the otolith-reconstructed Upper Santonian fauna looks surprisingly modern. From a palaeoecological point of view, the studied fauna contains so many extant families that an evaluation based on the present-day behaviour of those families seems to make sense. The association reflects a shallow (probably less than 50 m deep) marine environment with normal salinity, and apparently not far away from reef environments. The new data are integrated in an overview of all presently studied Late Cretaceous otolith associations from Europe and North America. This provides a list of 80 taxa (including 38 nominal species), grouped in 31 families. The earliest fossil record of all otolith-documented North Atlantic Late Cretaceous teleost families (and two orders) is listed herein and compared to their earliest fossil record based on osteological remains. The impact of the data resulting from otolith studies is overwhelming. Finally, we can state that otolith studies provide an entirely new and complementary look at the teleostean fossil record. They show a Late Cretaceous fish fauna with families and higher groups that can be traced much farther back in time than previously known and a wealth of perciform fishes undocumented in the osteological record.

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