A Paleobiogeographic Comparison between Mediterranean Iberian Triassic Faunas and those of the Sephardic Province

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The Triassic Muschelkalk facies of southern Israel (Sephardic Province) shows affinities with the Iberian (western Mediterranean) Muschelkalk deposits of the Catalan Coastal and Iberian ranges. Taxa in common include: ammonites (Gevanites, Protrachyseras,) bivalves (Modiolus, Mytilus, Neoschizodus, Paleoneilo, Pleuromya), brachiopods (Coenothyris), conodonts (Pseudofurnishius), foraminifera (nodosariids), and chondrichthyans (Hybodus). During the early part of the Middle Triassic (Anisian) a marine transgression occurred from east to west resulting in deposition of Muschelkalk facies. This transgression was controlled by paleogeographic oscillations in Pangaea which, in turn, affected the distribution of marine faunas and communities. Significant changes occurred in the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Triassic due to fluctuations between marine and continental environments. Sephardic Province faunas were able to migrate west, toward the eastern part of the Iberian ranges, due to the disappearance of disjunctions which allowed for open pathways to develop between provinces and realms of the Neotethys.

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