Northeastern Section (45th Annual) and Southeastern Section (59th Annual) Joint Meeting (13-16 March 2010)

Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 4:15 PM


ZACHOS, Louis G., Geology and Geological Engineering, University of Mississippi, 118G Carrier Hall, Oxford, MS 38677,

The echinoid fauna of the Late Paleocene (Thanetian) Vincentown Formation has long been recognized as more closely resembling the faunas of the Late Cretaceous than those of the post-Paleocene Cenozoic. This is the first comprehensive look at these echinoids in many years. Revision of taxonomic treatment as well as study of undescribed material affords comparison with better known, approximately contemporaneous faunas from Europe. Although echinoids of this age are also known from the Gulf Coast region of the southeastern United States, nowhere else in North America is the diversity as high as from the Vincentown. The twelve species (including ten previously described and two new) known from this formation account for more than half of all Paleocene echinoids known from eastern North America. The echinoids demonstrate a stronger affinity with the boreal Danian faunas of northern Europe than with either Danian or Thanetian echinoid faunas of the Gulf Coast region. The sparse occurrence of any echinoid remains in the contemporaneous Aquia Formation of Maryland and Virginia is evidence that there existed an environmental or ecologic barrier between the area of deposition of the Vincentown and other Paleocene formations to the south.