Paleobiogeography of Southern Hemisphere decapod Crustacea

Publication Title

Journal of Paleontology

Publication Date


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paleobiogeography, Southern Hemisphere, decapod crustacea


Earth Sciences | Geology | Paleontology


Paleobiogeographic patterns of decapod crustaceans from the Southern Hemisphere, based upon 441 species-level records arrayed in 154 genera, document global patterns of distribution that can be compared to those previously published on decapods from the North Pacific and Central American regions. All known records of decapods from the Southern Hemisphere spanning the Early Triassic to Pleistocene have been compiled, nearly all have been personally verified, and patterns of origin and distribution have been interpreted. Interchange between hemispheres, including amphitropical and bipolar distributions, are recognized from Jurassic to post– Miocene time. The high southern latitudes was a site of origin of several generic-level taxa during the Jurassic through Eocene and many of these taxa have been identified in subsequent times in lower latitude regions in shallow- and deepwater environments in both hemispheres. The isolation of Antarctica due to ocean currents significantly diminished the role of the high southern latitudes as an area of origin for decapods. The Tethys was an important dispersal pathway for decapods during the Cretaceous through early Miocene. Endemism was high during the Eocene, similar to the North Pacific and Central America. The magnitude of the Cretaceous/Paleogene extinction event on the Southern Hemisphere decapod fauna was not profound; most Cretaceous extinctions seem to have occurred well before the end of the Cretaceous, and 85% of the Cretaceous families are known from the Paleogene in the Southern Hemisphere taxa.