Integrated biostratigraphy of Upper Cretaceous deposits from an exceptional continental vertebrate-bearing marine section (Transylvanian Basin, Romania) provides new constraints on the advent of ‘dwarf dinosaur’ faunas in Eastern Europe

R. Bălc, R. Bindiu-Haitonic, S. A. Kövecsi, M. Vremir, M. Ducea, Z. Csiki-Sava, D. Ţabără, Vasile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present paper outlines the results of a detailed study of calcareous nannofossils and small foraminifera made on Campanian marine deposits from the southwestern part of the Transylvanian Basin, Romania, part of the marine-to-continental transitional Petrești succession that yielded the oldest temporally well-constrained continental vertebrate remains in this area. These results are integrated with new and previously published palynostratigraphic information as well as with novel detrital zircon geochronometry data. All three groups of fossils (calcareous nannofossils, small foraminifera, and palynomorphs) convergently indicate an early to middle Late Campanian age for the marine part of the Petrești section. Based on detrital zircon analyses, the most likely maximum depositional age of the studied deposits is 76 ± 1.7 Ma, thus confirming the age supported by microfossil assemblages. Palaeoenvironmental interpretation of the fossil assemblages recovered from the marine part of the Petrești section suggests that despite their flysch-like facies, these beds were deposited in a continental shelf setting, under suboxic conditions and frequent fluctuations in nutrient supply to the seafloor, but quite stable environmental conditions within the water column. The synthesis of all currently available biostratigraphic and geochronologic data from the Petrești succession suggests a middle-late Late Campanian start for the expansion of the emergent land areas that made up the latest Cretaceous Hațeg Island, earlier than previously accepted dates (Maastrichtian) for this event. Furthermore, it documents the establishment of a diversified continental vertebrate faunal assemblage by the second half of the Late Campanian on these emergent lands while also providing further evidence for a later, post-Campanian arrival of certain iconic Hațeg Island dinosaur groups such as titanosaurs and hadrosauroids. Finally, our data show that kogaionid multituberculate mammals were already members of the earliest known Hațeg Island faunas, extending the fossil record of this group from the Maastrichtian into the later part of the middle Late Campanian.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102328
JournalMarine Micropaleontology
Volume187
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Campanian
  • Detrital zircon
  • Hațeg Island
  • Marine sediments
  • Micropalaeontology
  • Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Palaeontology

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