The Fossil and Modern Fish Faunas of Antarctica: Evolution and Diversity

  • J. T. Eastman

Abstract

The paleontological exploration of Antartica is constrained by unusual physiographic conditions. For example, the average thickness of the ice cap is 2160 m and only 2.4% of the continent’s rock surface is exposed above the ice at various coastal and mountainous sites (Drewry 1983). Antarctica has also experienced extreme tectonic displacement and accompanying paleoenvironmental change during geologic time. Nevertheless, the existing fossil record indicates that fish have inhabited waters in and around Antarctica at various intervals during the past several hundred million years. These faunas are separated by large gaps in time and are not ancestral to each other. Collectively, however, they indicate that freshwater and marine biotas diversified in the antarctic component of Gondwana at specific intervals during the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras.

Keywords

Cretaceous Jurassic Miocene Devonian Eocene 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. T. Eastman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoological and Biomedical SciencesOhio UniversityAthensUSA

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