Geological Magazine

Rapid Communication

Geological history of bathyal echinoid faunas, with a new genus from the late Cretaceous of Italy

ANDREW B. SMITH 

Department of Palaeontology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK

Abstract

The Scaglia Rossa of central and northern Italy yields a late Cretaceous bathyal echinoid fauna. Comparison with Jurassic and Cenozoic bathyal faunas highlights that (i) there have been at least three phases of colonization of bathyal settings from the continental shelves, with successive faunas replacing the earlier; and (ii) bathyal echinoid faunas encompass an increasing range of feeding strategies and greater diversity of taxa through time, paralleling increasing nutrification of the oceans. A new Santonian deep-sea spatangoid, Bathyovulaster disjunctus gen. et sp. nov., is described from sediments deposited at > 1500 m water depth at Gubbio, Umbria–Marche region, Italy.

(Received February 13 2012)

(Accepted August 24 2012)

(Online publication September 21 2012)

Keywords:

  • evolution;
  • Atelostomata;
  • spatangoids;
  • deep sea;
  • phylogeny

Correspondence:

E-mail: a.smith@nhm.ac.uk

Metrics