Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
THE FIRST RECORD OF CATFISH FROM THE LATE CRETACEOUS–EARLY TERTIARY OF NEW JERSEY
Fossilized skeletal elements recovered from the CretaceousTertiary boundary interval in Upper Freehold Township, New Jersey, represent catfish (Siluriformes) dorsal and pectoral fin spines. The co-occurrence of these fin spines in nearshore marine sediments with well-documented chondrichthyans and marine osteichthyans indicates that these catfish were probably marine. However, the presence of terrestrially derived materials in these same sediments supports the possibility that the fin spines derive from freshwater catfish whose remains were transported post-mortally from nearby deltaic sources. The Upper Freehold Township fin spines are the first catfish fossils recovered from the CretaceousTertiary boundary interval in North America. These fin spines extend the known geographic range of fossil catfish during the CretaceousTertiary boundary interval and provide additional insights to catfish evolution and dispersion shortly after their first documented appearance in the fossil record.