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Systematics, palaeoecology and palaeobiogeography of the Neogene fossil sharks from the Azores (Northeast Atlantic)

Abstract : The Azores Archipelago is a group of isolated islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean. One of these oceanic islands - Santa Maria - exhibits marine fossiliferous sediments of late Miocene/early Pliocene and also of Pleistocene age. Recent research provided new selachian fossil material, with three new records (Carcharias acutissima, Megaselachus megalodon, and Carcharhinus cf. leucas) increasing the number of fossil sharks reported from the Azores (Santa Maria Island) to seven species (Notorynchus primigenius, C. acutissima, Cosmopolitodus hastalis, Paratodus benedenii, Isurus oxyrinchus, M. megalodon, and C. cf. leucas). So far, no teeth of batoids or small sharks have been found despite the screen-washing of several sediment samples from Santa Maria. The Azorean Mio-Pliocene selachian fauna clearly differs from those described from sediments deposited on continental shelves, in which batoids and small benthic sharks (e.g., scyliorhinids) are usually well represented. During the late Miocene/early Pliocene, subtropical to warm-temperate seas were prevalent in the area of the Azores, as deduced from palaeontological, geological and isotopic data, all indicating a warmer climate than in the present.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 23, 2012 - 12:57:38 PM
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Sergio Avila, Ricardo Ramalho, Romain Vullo. Systematics, palaeoecology and palaeobiogeography of the Neogene fossil sharks from the Azores (Northeast Atlantic). Annales de Paléontologie, Elsevier Masson, 2012, 98 (3), pp.167-189. ⟨10.1016/j.annpal.2012.04.001⟩. ⟨insu-00756602⟩

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