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Mesozoic Intercontinental Relationships as Evidenced by Bathynellid Crustacea (Syncarida: Malacostraca)

Horst Kurt Schminke
Systematic Zoology
Vol. 23, No. 2 (Jun., 1974), pp. 157-164
DOI: 10.2307/2412129
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2412129
Page Count: 8
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Mesozoic Intercontinental Relationships as Evidenced by Bathynellid Crustacea (Syncarida: Malacostraca)
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Abstract

The Bathynellacea are one of the oldest groups of the freshwater fauna. They most likely inhabited surface habitats during the Carboniferous prior to becoming established in the mesopsammal. Their dispersive capacity is severely limited. The occurrence of some species in oligohaline to polyhaline waters is secondary. The centre of evolution of the Bathynellacea is located in East Asia where the most primitive species of the two extant families are to be found. As for the Parabathynellidae two lines extending from there onwards can be distinguished. One leads to the west in the direction of Europe, Africa and South America. The "Cteniobathynella-group" of genera belongs to this line. The other is represented by the "Chilibathynella-group" of genera and leads to the south via Australia also to South America. Along both lines the genera become more and more apomorphic in their characters. In order to understand the distribution of the "Cteniobathynella-group" Mesozoic land connections between Africa, Madagascar and South America have to be envisaged. The distribution of the "Chilibathynella-group" cannot be explained unless there had been land connections between Australia/New Guinea and New Zealand and between Australia and South America via Antarctica in the Mesozoic. There are indications that the distribution of the family Bathynellidae may have paralleled that of the Parabathynellidae. But lack of a proper insight into the systematic relationships within this family prevents a detailed reconstruction at present.

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