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Catalina Pimiento, Gerardo Gonzalez-Barba, Austin Hendy, Carlos Jaramillo, Bruce MacFadden, Camilo Montes, Sandra Suarez and Monica Shippritt (2013)

Early Miocene chondrichthyans from the Culebra Formation, Panama: A window into marine vertebrate faunas before closure the Central American Seaway

Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 42:159-170.

The newly described chondrichthyan fauna of the early Miocene Culebra Formation of Panama provides insight into the marine vertebrates occupying shallow seas adjacent to the Central American Seaway, prior to the rise of the Isthmus of Panama. This study takes advantage of a time-limited and unique opportunity to recover fossil from renewed excavations of the Panama Canal. The chondrichthyan fauna of the Culebra Formation is composed of teeth and vertebral centra representing 12 taxa. The species found possessed a cosmopolitan tropical and warm-temperate distribution during the early Neogene and are similar to other assemblages of the tropical eastern Pacific and southern Caribbean. The taxa described suggest a neritic environment, and is in contrast with other interpretations that proposed bathyal water depths for the upper member of the Culebra Formation. The wide depth range of the most common species, Carcharocles chubutensis, and the habitat preference of Pristis sp., suggests varied marine environments, from deep, to shallow waters, close to emerged areas of the evolving isthmus. (c) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

sharks, Systematic Paleontology, Rays, Neogene, western panama, stratigraphy, south-america, Depth preferences, collision, arc, Neotropics, early neogene, Batoids, isthmus
WOS:000315763100014
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