Oligocene and Early Miocene gastropods from Kutch (NW India) document an early biogeographic switch from Western Tethys to Indo-Pacific

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2009
Authors:Harzhauser, M., Reuter, M., Piller, W. E., Berning, B., Kroh, A., Mandic O.
Journal:Paläontologische Zeitschrift
Keywords:Miocene (India), Oligocene (India)

Shallow marine gastropod assemblages from Chattian, Aquitanian and Burdigalian sections in the Indian Kutch Basin are described. They provide insight into the composition and biogeographic relations of the gastropod assemblages at this junction between the Western Tethys and Proto-Indo-Pacific Ocean. For the first time, an improved biostratigraphy allows a clear separation of the assemblages, especially for the hitherto undifferentiated Early Miocene faunas. Throughout the Oligocene, about one-third of the species are also frequently found in the Western Tethys, documenting a passable Tethyan Seaway for nearshore molluscs. A considerable provincialism is evident as well. The expected turnover during the Early Miocene, due to the closing of the Tethyan Seaway, is reflected in the Miocene assemblages. Surprisingly, however, the cut appears very early, i.e. already during the Aquitanian, when the West–East interrelation drops to zero despite the passage having been open during this interval. In contrast, the Burdigalian assemblages witness a minor re-appearance of Western Tethys taxa, suggesting the re-establishment of rather ineffective migration pathways prior to the final closure of the Tethyan Seaway. Cerithium bermotiense and Lyria (Indolyria) maniyaraensis are introduced as new species.

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