Early Miocene shallow-water corals from la Guajira, Colombia: Part I, Acroporidae-Montastraeidae

Paola Flórez, Paula Zapata-Ramírez, James S. Klaus

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    6 Scopus citations


    We document for the first time Miocene corals from the Siamaná and Jimol formations of the Cocinetas Basin in La Guajira Peninsula, northern Colombia. This is the first of two contributions dedicated to the description and detailed illustration of morphospecies collected during two scientific expeditions (2011, 2014) to the remote region. Here we report coral morphospecies attributed to the families Acroporidae, Agathiphylliidae, Astrocoeniidae, Caryophylliidae, Diploastraeidae, Merulinidae, and Montastraeidae. Eighteen species belonging to these seven families, included in nine genera, are described. Fifteen species are assigned to established taxa, while three remain in open nomenclature. Of the species identified, only Montastraea cavernosa (Linnaeus, 1767) exists today. The coral taxa described are typical of the Oligocene-Miocene transition and were important components of shallow-water reefs in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico region during this period. The occurrence of Agathiphyllia spp., Antiguastrea, and Diploastrea spp. confirms the presence of these genera in the Miocene of the Southern Caribbean. Coral assemblages suggest that the La Guajira coral community thrived in calm and shallow waters.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-24
    Number of pages24
    JournalJournal of Paleontology
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This study was supported by Colciencias, project code 7277 569 33195. PF is funded by the scholarship Doctorados en el Exterior 2015-Colciencias. We also acknowledge the partial support of Ecopetrol S.A., Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, University of Zurich, Universidad del Norte, Universidad de Granada, NSF (Grant EAR 0957679), National Geographic Society, Anders Foundation, 1923 Fund, and G.D. and J. Walston Johnson. Special thanks to J.C. Braga for his guidance, support, and helpful comments on the manuscript and C. Jaramillo for encouraging and supporting the study. We thank T. Stemann and an anonymous reviewer for their valuable comments. We are also grateful to A. Budd for sharing species distribution information, W. Renema for the LBF identifications, V. Pretković for her help in the field, S. Montes for preparing the thin sections, and I. Sanchez for her help with the SEM. Thanks to the ARES team and the Wayúu community for their support and guidance in the field.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2018, The Paleontological Society.


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