Chondrichthyans from the Menuha Formation (Late Cretaceous: Santonian-Early Campanian) of the Makhtesh Ramon Region, Southern Israel

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Exposures of the Menuha Formation (Santonian-Early Campanian, Mount Scopus Group) in the Makhtesh Ramon region of the southern Negev have produced numerous chondrichthyan teeth. The isolated teeth represent at least ten different species: Cretalamna appendiculata, Cretoxyrhina mantelli, Squalicorax falcatus?, S. kaupi, Scapanorhynchus rapax, S. raphiodon?, Carcharias samhammeri, Carcharias cf. C. holmdelensis?, and two other fish (Hadrodus priscus and a pycnodont). This assemblage has important implications for Late Cretaceous chondrichthyan palaeobiogeography. The majority of teeth were contained within a glauconite-rich, yellow-brown, soft chalk that included oysters (Pycnodonte vesicularis?), trace fossils (Planolites, Thalassinoides, and Chondrites), phosphatic peloids, and foraminiferans (globigerinids). The teeth were collected mainly through surface-sampling and sieving. The Menuha Formation probably represents a temperate to subtropical, shallow, open-shelf environment deposited during the formation of the Ramon anticline. Reworked conglomeratic chalks in the western section represent marginal facies derived from this structural uplift. With little to no published material describing the chondrichthyan fauna of the Menuha Formation, these data improve interpretations of its palaeoenvironment. Interpretation of the palaeoenvironment of the formation is important for understanding the larger stratigraphic/tectonic framework of the Ramon monocline region of southern Israel. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Campanian, Chondrichthyes, Israel, Makhtesh Ramon, Menuha Formation, Santonian

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