Cenozoic High Latitude Heterochroneity of Southern Hemisphere Marine Faunas

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Science  20 Apr 1984:
Vol. 224, Issue 4646, pp. 281-283
DOI: 10.1126/science.224.4646.281


Discovery of 11 genera, in five classes within the Mollusca, Echinodermata, and Arthropoda in upper Eocene rocks on Seymour Island, Antarctica, previously known only from Late Cenozoic in mid-latitudes, suggests that the high latitude region of the Southern Hemisphere acted as a center of origin and dispersal for a broad spectrum of taxa. Precursors to modern deep- and shallow-water mid-latitude forms evolved and flourished in the high latitudes until conditions in lower latitudes favored their dispersal. These observations of Antarctic marine invertebrates corroborate those recently made about terrestrial mammals and plants in the Arctic.