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New Paleocene species and biostratigraphic relevance of the genus Spiniferites across the North Sea and Norwegian Sea

Vieira, Manuel, Mahdi, Salih
Review of palaeobotany and palynology 2019 v.262 pp. 28-43
Danian age, Miozoa, Selandian age, Thanetian age, basins, new species, palynology, taxon descriptions, North Sea, Northern European region, Norwegian Sea
Industrial palynological studies of the Paleocene of North Sea and Norwegian Sea basins over several decades have led to the consistent recognition of six distinctive species of organic-walled dinoflagellate cyst genus Spiniferites. These species, however, have not previously been formally described, a situation that we remedy herein. Hence, we propose the new species Spiniferites fentonii, Spiniferites rhomboideus, Spiniferites truncatus, Spiniferites sabulus, Spiniferites kirschii and Spiniferites dolichoidus. These new species have distinctive morphological features that separate them, from other species, both of Spiniferites and other genera. Some of the new species are very useful stratigraphic markers across north-western Europe. The material described is from the early Thanetian Lista Formation and a late Danian interval including the basal Maureen Formation and parts of the Våle Formation. The new species have not been observed in the Selandian (between the Danian and Thanetian), and Spiniferites diversity during that stage seems to have been lower in general across the study area; this was probably related to regional environmental changes. The stratigraphic range of the new species is used in combination with other known markers to increase stratigraphic resolution across the region.