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The East Side Story – The Transylvanian latest Cretaceous continental vertebrate record and its implications for understanding Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary events

The East Side Story – The Transylvanian latest Cretaceous continental vertebrate record and its implications for understanding Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary events
The East Side Story – The Transylvanian latest Cretaceous continental vertebrate record and its implications for understanding Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary events
The latest Cretaceous continental vertebrate faunas of the wider Transylvanian area figured prominently in discussions concerning the Cretaceous–Paleogene Boundary (K-Pg) events when they were first described by Nopcsa between 1897 and 1929, because they were assumed to be late Maastrichtian in age. Subsequently their age was reconsidered as early Maastrichtian, and were thus regarded of lesser importance in understanding the K-Pg boundary events in Europe and worldwide. Moreover, Transylvanian continental vertebrate assemblages (the so-called ‘Ha?eg Island’ faunas) were often lumped together as a temporally restricted assemblage with a homogenous taxonomic composition. Recent fossil discoveries and more precise dating techniques have considerably expanded knowledge of the Transylvanian vertebrate assemblages, their ages, and their evolution. A synthesis of the available stratigraphic data allows development of the first comprehensive chronostratigraphic framework of the latest Cretaceous Transylvanian vertebrates. According to these new data, expansion of continental habitats and emergence of their vertebrate faunas started locally during the latter part of the late Campanian, and these faunas continued up to the second half of the Maastrichtian. During this time, long-term faunal stasis appears to have characterized the Transylvanian vertebrate assemblages, which is different from the striking turnovers recorded in western Europe during the same time interval. This suggests that there was no single ‘Europe-wide’ pattern of latest Cretaceous continental vertebrate evolution. Together, the available data shows that dinosaurs and other vertebrates were relatively abundant and diverse until at least ca. 1 million years before the K-Pg boundary, and is therefore consistent with the hypothesis of a sudden extinction, although this must be tested with future discoveries and better age constraints and correlations.
Late Cretaceous, Romania, Transylvanian landmass, Vertebrates, Chronostratigraphy, Faunal evolution
0195-6671
662-698
Csiki-Sava, Zoltan
54658049-b7b2-43fb-ba6d-97fc5068957c
Vremir, Mátyás
4b606297-070e-4359-98dd-5e80f4f383d0
Vasile, Ștefan
31a597a5-b2db-4af2-b35c-d9a72ac268b9
Brusatte, Stephen
1d1dea61-d77c-4a6e-bb84-86a76352ca24
Dyke, Gareth
600ca61e-b40b-4c86-b8ae-13be4e331e94
Naish, Darren
6cd448f6-99cc-4c45-93d1-bdd24ee3d281
Norell, Mark
59dfbf0e-1a22-42aa-956e-c98496b733ee
Totoianu, Radu
6868ecfe-7d79-466c-a2e2-08afe71f7ade
Csiki-Sava, Zoltan
54658049-b7b2-43fb-ba6d-97fc5068957c
Vremir, Mátyás
4b606297-070e-4359-98dd-5e80f4f383d0
Vasile, Ștefan
31a597a5-b2db-4af2-b35c-d9a72ac268b9
Brusatte, Stephen
1d1dea61-d77c-4a6e-bb84-86a76352ca24
Dyke, Gareth
600ca61e-b40b-4c86-b8ae-13be4e331e94
Naish, Darren
6cd448f6-99cc-4c45-93d1-bdd24ee3d281
Norell, Mark
59dfbf0e-1a22-42aa-956e-c98496b733ee
Totoianu, Radu
6868ecfe-7d79-466c-a2e2-08afe71f7ade

Csiki-Sava, Zoltan, Vremir, Mátyás, Vasile, Ștefan, Brusatte, Stephen, Dyke, Gareth, Naish, Darren, Norell, Mark and Totoianu, Radu (2016) The East Side Story – The Transylvanian latest Cretaceous continental vertebrate record and its implications for understanding Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary events. Cretaceous Research, 57, 662-698. (doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2015.09.003).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The latest Cretaceous continental vertebrate faunas of the wider Transylvanian area figured prominently in discussions concerning the Cretaceous–Paleogene Boundary (K-Pg) events when they were first described by Nopcsa between 1897 and 1929, because they were assumed to be late Maastrichtian in age. Subsequently their age was reconsidered as early Maastrichtian, and were thus regarded of lesser importance in understanding the K-Pg boundary events in Europe and worldwide. Moreover, Transylvanian continental vertebrate assemblages (the so-called ‘Ha?eg Island’ faunas) were often lumped together as a temporally restricted assemblage with a homogenous taxonomic composition. Recent fossil discoveries and more precise dating techniques have considerably expanded knowledge of the Transylvanian vertebrate assemblages, their ages, and their evolution. A synthesis of the available stratigraphic data allows development of the first comprehensive chronostratigraphic framework of the latest Cretaceous Transylvanian vertebrates. According to these new data, expansion of continental habitats and emergence of their vertebrate faunas started locally during the latter part of the late Campanian, and these faunas continued up to the second half of the Maastrichtian. During this time, long-term faunal stasis appears to have characterized the Transylvanian vertebrate assemblages, which is different from the striking turnovers recorded in western Europe during the same time interval. This suggests that there was no single ‘Europe-wide’ pattern of latest Cretaceous continental vertebrate evolution. Together, the available data shows that dinosaurs and other vertebrates were relatively abundant and diverse until at least ca. 1 million years before the K-Pg boundary, and is therefore consistent with the hypothesis of a sudden extinction, although this must be tested with future discoveries and better age constraints and correlations.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: September 2015
Published date: January 2016
Keywords: Late Cretaceous, Romania, Transylvanian landmass, Vertebrates, Chronostratigraphy, Faunal evolution
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 381320
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/381320
ISSN: 0195-6671
PURE UUID: 5bbc8a19-d56d-42ac-91d6-dabf483c9f05

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Date deposited: 15 Sep 2015 08:59
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 04:49

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Contributors

Author: Zoltan Csiki-Sava
Author: Mátyás Vremir
Author: Ștefan Vasile
Author: Stephen Brusatte
Author: Gareth Dyke
Author: Darren Naish
Author: Mark Norell
Author: Radu Totoianu

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