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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT Recently completed, comprehensive surveys of the living and fossil brachyurans from New Zealand permit an analysis of the paleobiogeographic history of the group. Among the 18 families known from the modern fauna, 50% are represented in the fossil record. The modern fauna is comprised of fewer family-level taxa than are present in Japan, China, or West Africa, which reflects limited low latitude influence. Development of some elements of the New Zealand brachyuran fauna can be traced into the Cretaceous. As early as the Eocene, a characteristic fauna, with high latitude, temperate affinities, had developed. Tethyan, or tropical and subtropical, taxa are less common than previously presumed. The New Zealand brachyuran fauna was established largely prior to separation of the southern continents and development of the circum-Antarctic current system.

Affiliations: 1: (RF) Department of Geology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio 44242, U.S.A;; 2: (CM) Department of Zoology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.


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