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Radiation of Cenozoic Planktonic Foraminifera

Richard Cifelli
Systematic Zoology
Vol. 18, No. 2 (Jun., 1969), pp. 154-168
DOI: 10.2307/2412601
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2412601
Page Count: 15
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Radiation of Cenozoic Planktonic Foraminifera
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Abstract

The general aspects of planktonic foraminiferal radiation during the Cenozoic are shown by the distributional patterns of several morphotypic groups. There were two major radiations, one occurring during the Paleogene, the other during the Neogene. The radiations followed severe reductions in diversity which occurred at the close of the Cretaceous and again during the mid-Tertiary. Distributional patterns are iterative, and the Neogene radiation is essentially a repetition of what occurred during the Paleogene. According to the present interpretation, the iterative patterns reflect major changes in the dynamic structure of surface waters. By analogy with the distribution of the modern fauna, it is suggested that thermal barriers were degraded during times of reduction and the oceans were uniformly cool. During the radiations thermal gradients were restored and the structure of the surface waters was essentially as it is today.

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