First description of scleractinian corals from the Santa Marta and Snow Hill Island (Gamma Member) formations, Upper Cretaceous, James Ross Island, Antarctica
at : Jun 12, 2020 16:19:59  (view:85)

First description of scleractinian corals from the Santa Marta and Snow Hill Island (Gamma Member) formations, Upper Cretaceous, James Ross Island, Antarctica

Roberto Videira-Santos1,2, Sandro Marcelo Scheffler1, Luiza Corral Martins de Oliveira Ponciano3, Luiz Carlos Weinschütz4, Rodrigo Giesta Figueiredo5, Taissa Rodrigues6, Juliana Manso Sayão7,9, Douglas Santos Riff8 & Alexander Wilhelm Armin Kellner9

1Laboratório de Paleoinvertebrados, Departamento de Geologia e Paleontologia, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Quinta da Boa Vista, s/n, 20940-040, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil;

2Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, BR-465, Km 07, s/n, 23890-000, Seropédica, RJ, Brazil;

3Laboratório de Tafonomia e Paleoecologia Aplicadas - LABTAPHO, Departamento de Ciências Naturais – DCN, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – UNIRIO, Av. Pasteur, 458, 22290-250, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil;

4Centro Paleontológico de Mafra - CENPALEO, Universidade do Contestado, Av. Pres. Nereu Ramos,1071, 89300-000, Mafra, SC, Brazil;

5Departamento de Biologia, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo – UFES, Alto Universitário s/n, Guararema, Alegre, ES, Brazil;

6Laboratório de Paleontologia, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Centro de Ciências Humanas e Naturais, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo – UFES, Avenida Fernando Ferrari, 514, Goiabeiras, 29075-910, Vitória, ES, Brazil;

7Laboratório de Paleobiologia e Microestruturas, Núcleo de Biologia, Centro Acadêmico de Vitória, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco - UFPE, Rua do Alto do Reservatório, s/n, 52050-480, Vitória de Santo Antão, PE, Brazil;

8 Laboratório de Paleontologia, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, campus Umuarama, 38400-902, Uberlândia, MG, Brazil;

9Laboratory of Systematics and Taphonomy of Fossil Vertebrates, Departamento de Geologia e Paleontologia, Museu Nacional/Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Quinta da Boa Vista s/n, São Cristóvão, 20940-040 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Corresponding author: Roberto Videira-Santos (robvidsan@yahoo.com.br; +55 21 99951-3562)

Abstract: Antarctic corals are known from the Upper Cretaceous Santa Marta Formation (Santonian-early Campanian) and Gamma Member (late Campanian) of Snow Hill Island Formation (late Campanian-early Maastrichtian) but they have not so far been taxonomically described. We describe three corals taxa based on 29 specimens collected in 2007 and 2016 on James Ross Island (northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula). They represent the first formal record of scleractinian corals from the Santa Marta Formation, identified as Caryophylliidae indet. and Gamma Member of Snow Hill Island Formation, identified as ?Astreopora sp. and Fungiacyathus deltoidophorus. The family Caryophylliidae and the genus Astreopora were not restricted to the Weddellian Biogeographic Province but the species Fungiacyathus deltoidophorus was endemic to Antarctica during the Cretaceous. The genus Fungiacyathus and the family Caryophylliidae thrive in Antarctica until the present day. Fungiacyathus occurred in shallower environments during the late Campanian than today. No specimens related to Astreopora have yet to be found in Antarctica after the late Campanian. This can be explained by the capacity of Fungiacyathus and Caryophyllidae to endure cold waters, since they are asymbiotic corals. The symbiotic ?Astreopora sp., due to its sensitivity to low temperatures, became extinct in this continent as soon as the Antarctic waters began to cool, around the Campanian/Maastrichtian. The presence of ?Astreopora sp. in Gamma Member of Snow Hill Island Formation may represents the first occurrence of this genus in Antarctica and the oldest record of this genus in the Southern Hemisphere.

Keywords: Scleractinia, Taxonomy, Campanian, James Ross Sub-Basin, Antarctica