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ZooKeys 469: Island Life in the Cretaceous: Faunal Composition, Biogeography, Evolution, and Extinction of Land-Living Vertebrates on the Late Cretaceous European Archipelago

Journal / Magazine

Series: ZooKeys Volume: 469

By: Zoltán Csiki-Sava (Author), Eric Buffetaut (Author), Attila Osi (Author), Xabier Pereda-Suberbiola (Author), Stephen L Brusatte (Author)

162 pages, colour photos, colour maps, tables

Pensoft Publishers

Paperback | Jan 2015 | #221245 | ISBN-13: 9789546427618
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £46.99 $58/€53 approx

About this book

One of the largest mass extinctions in Earth history occurred at the end of the Cretaceous Period, about 66 millions of years ago (Mya). This extinction completely wiped out the hallmark group of the Mesozoic, the non-avian dinosaurs, and also severely affected other groups of vertebrates living on land. Its tempo (whether it was a rapid and catastrophic extinction or more gradual), worldwide synchronicity, and exact causes are still debated, mainly because the most complete fossil record of these events comes from the North American Western Interior and thus might narrate a local story instead of a general extinction scenario.

ZooKeys 469: Island Life in the Cretaceous reviews the European Late Cretaceous (100 to 66 Mya) fossil record, significantly improved in recent years by discoveries spanning from Sweden to Sicily, and from the UK to Russia. This record gives new insight into the last stages of dinosaur history in Europe. Similar patterns of vertebrate evolution, extinction, and survival are seen in both Europe and North America, particularly the rapid disappearance of dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous, thus supporting a common cause behind global sudden extinctions and preferential survivals at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary.

Moreover, because the European vertebrates lived in a tropical island archipelago, they offer valuable insights into the evolution of dinosaur-dominated ecosystems under restrictive, insular conditions.


Introduction   3
Europe in the Late Cretaceous: Paleogeography and Paleotectonics of an Ancient Island Archipelago   6
The Late Cretaceous Continental Vertebrate Faunas of Europe   10
A. General Overview   10
Cenomanian   11
Turonian   19
Coniacian   20
Santonian   21
Campanian   23
Maastrichtian   25
B. Santonian, Hungary (Iharkút and Ajka)   29
History of research   29
Geological setting   29
Faunal overview   31
C. Lower Campanian, eastern Austria (Muthmannsdorf )   36
History of research   36
Geological setting   36
Faunal overview   37
D. Santonian–Maastrichtian, Southern France   39
History of research   39
Geological setting   40
Faunal overview   42
E. Campanian–Maastrichtian, Spain and Portugal   46
History of research   46
Geological setting   47
Faunal overview   51
F. Coniacian and Campanian–Maastrichtian, Romania   57
History of research   57
Geological setting   58
Faunal overview   61
Discussion and Conclusions   69
Late Cretaceous faunal composition, evolution and paleobiogeography   69
Faunal composition: distribution, endemism and provinciality   71
Faunal composition and evolution: the history of research   75
Faunal composition and evolution: the old European core   76
Faunal composition and evolution: the Asiamerican kinship   77
Faunal composition and evolution: the Gondwanan immigrants   80
Interactions between Late Cretaceous Europe and other bioprovinces – origin, timing and route of faunal connections   82
Late Cretaceous faunal evolution in continental Europe   85
Late Cretaceous island life   92
Insularity-related features of the European Late Cretaceous vertebrate assemblages   94
Insularity-related adaptations of the European Late Cretaceous island-dwelling taxa   96
Events at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in the European Archipelago   100
Dinosaurs   100
Other vertebrates   102
Patterns of extinction and survival near the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary   105
Acknowledgements   108
References   109

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