New age of fishes initiated by the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction

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doi: 10.1073/pnas.1504985112
Author(s): Sibert, Elizabeth C.; Norris, Richard D.
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
University of California at San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, United States
Volume Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(28), p.8537-8542. Publisher: National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, United States. ISSN: 0027-8424 CODEN: PNASA6
Note: In English. 45 refs.; illus.
Summary: Ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) comprise nearly half of all modern vertebrate diversity, and are an ecologically and numerically dominant megafauna in most aquatic environments. Crown teleost fishes diversified relatively recently, during the Late Cretaceous and early Paleogene, although the exact timing and cause of their radiation and rise to ecological dominance is poorly constrained. Here we use microfossil teeth and shark dermal scales (ichthyoliths) preserved in deep-sea sediments to study the changes in the pelagic fish community in the latest Cretaceous and early Paleogene. We find that the Cretaceous?Paleogene (K/Pg) extinction event marked a profound change in the structure of ichthyolith communities around the globe: Whereas shark denticles outnumber ray-finned fish teeth in Cretaceous deep-sea sediments around the world, there is a dramatic increase in the proportion of ray-finned fish teeth to shark denticles in the Paleocene. There is also an increase in size and numerical abundance of ray-finned fish teeth at the boundary. These changes are sustained through at least the first 24 million years of the Cenozoic. This new fish community structure began at the K/Pg mass extinction, suggesting the extinction event played an important role in initiating the modern "age of fishes."
Year of Publication: 2015
Research Program: DSDP Deep Sea Drilling Project
IODP Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
IPOD International Phase of Ocean Drilling
ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 11 Paleontology, Vertebrate; 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Actinopterygii; Assemblages; Atlantic Ocean; Bermuda Rise; Biostratigraphy; Cenozoic; Central Atlantic Ocean; Chondrichthyes; Chordata; Cretaceous; DSDP Site 386; DSDP Site 596; Deep Sea Drilling Project; Deep-sea environment; Denticles; East Pacific; Elasmobranchii; Eocene; Europe; Expedition 342; Gubbio Italy; IODP Site U1403; IPOD; Ichthyoliths; Integrated Ocean Drilling Program; Italy; K-T boundary; Leg 145; Leg 208; Leg 43; Leg 91; Lower Paleocene; Lower Paleogene; Marine environment; Mass extinctions; Mesozoic; Microfossils; North Atlantic; North Pacific; ODP Site 1262; ODP Site 886; Ocean Drilling Program; Osteichthyes; Pacific Ocean; Paleocene; Paleoecology; Paleogene; Pelagic environment; Perugia Italy; Pisces; Size; South Atlantic; South Pacific; Southeast Pacific; Southern Europe; Stratigraphic boundary; Teeth; Tertiary; Tethys; Umbria Italy; Upper Cretaceous; Vertebrata; Walvis Ridge
Coordinates: N431500 N432500 E0134200 E0133500
N444123 N444123 W1681425 W1681425
S235113 S235111 W1653916 W1653917
N395636 N395636 W0514811 W0514812
Record ID: 2017015156
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